DTG Summit – London: Project Canvas has named Cisco, Humax and Technicolor as manufacturer supporters of the broadcast-broadband project. At a presentation to the Digital TV Group, Richard Halton, project director, Canvas said the three were working on “developing the complex technical requirements of what we’re trying to prepare”.
A further nine manufacturers: ADB, Amino, Broadcom, Echostar, Intel, Sagem, ST, LG and TVonics were named as having expressed an interest in developing components or receivers for the delivery of Canvas-enabled services.
In February the DTG accused the Canvas partners, which include the BBC, BT and TalkTalk, of running a “parallel process”, leading Halton to adopt an occasionally conciliatory tone; “Don’t think the relationship is straight forward and the moment a chair of chair meetings is appointed you know what kind of relationship you’re in.” Halton said Canvas had accepted a seat on the DTG’s steering group.
The DTG is developing its own Connected TV (CTV) specification as part of its D Book reference work that will build on the Interaction Channel that has been mandated for the Freeview HD receivers currently being brought to market. This will sit alongside the separate Canvas specifications that are also under development.
Halton addressed one of the key issues of concern, promising that by the end of May the Canvas team will have brought all the relevant specifications to the table. Some DTG members have complained that to date they have seen as little as 20% of the overall specification.
Following its submission to the BBC Trust, DTG director-general Richard Lindsay-Davies said he was now in discussions with the corporation’s regulatory body over precisely which documents should be released. In a clear warning to Project Canvas, Lindsay-Davies said that the CTV specification would be delivered to the industry, but that the partner would not necessarily be Canvas. “As was the case with Freeview HD a broadcaster will come along with a launch date and that will focus all our minds. What we need is for someone to come along with a launch date and the DTG will keep to that.”
Support for Canvas came from Graham North, commercial director for Humax, which as the first vendor to implement the iPlayer on the Freesat platform has now been named as one of the Canvas manufacturer supporters. “The common standard is a positive step, guaranteeing the viewer a quality service that is reflective of UK broadcasting standards, delivered on a platform with a trusted name. It will also guarantee a viewing experience that is consistent regardless of the hardware or device being used to access the content.
North said that while the content formed a huge part of the project the hardware used to deliver the content is an important component and must live up to consumer expectations.