IPTV World Forum – London: BT Vision will be made available through a variety of set-top boxes once Project Canvas is put into place. Addressing the IPTV World Forum in London Richard Young, business development director, BT Vision gave one of the clearest explanations to date on how the hybrid system would be implemented. However, there was no mention of a role for BT Vision’s current middleware provider, Microsoft Mediaroom.
Young said all of the ISPs involved in Project Canvas were promising to make IPTV work like TV all of the time. Fundamentally based on an open source standard, Canvas would create the mass market needed to engage with consumers. “BT will continue to make available boxes, and we will be very happy if people want to go out and buy a box and connect it to our service,” he explained, adding that it would also be possible to connect to rival providers. “We will continue to provide BT Vision and aggregate content. The services that come onto Canvas will be complementary and there is a role for us in aggregating the best free and pay content into a range of services”.
Young explained that for BT, Canvas was about delivering attractive services and had to be looked at in the round, the economies of VOD were quite difficult but could scale within Canvas.
Earlier, Project Canvas director Richard Halton revealed the organisation was in talks with the Franco-German HBBtv consortium “with a view to take those two programmes in alignment in the course of this year”. He also gave a guarded response to the recent Sky response to the BBC Trust consultation. “I congratulate Sky for its submission that is actually very constructive and thoughtful in some areas on the type of content that should be delivered.”
Halton said that Sky’s arguments remained inconsistent, and that Canvas remained the best platform for the hosting of a wide range of content.