Channel Five has become the first broadcaster to join Project Canvas, a joint venture from the network operator BT, the BBC and ITV to offer television to broadband connected set top boxes to the living room.
The UK broadcaster asserts that it observes Project Canvas, which will provide Freeview and Freesat viewers TV services through an internet-connected set-top box, as “critical” to the future of subscription-free TV, along with a notable opportunity to offers next generation television services to its viewers.
Touting the initiative, the broadcaster’s chief exec and chairman, Dawn Airey said in a statement, “Project Canvas is an important step forward because it will extend choice and significantly improve the television experience for viewers. Its widespread adoption is central to driving Digital Britain.”
Citing the of involvement of four partners from now, the BBC calculated that Project Canvas would need an initial investment worth £24 million for first five years, which simply implies Channel Five would provide £6 million to the coveted project.
However, the ambitious project is still subject to get official nod by the BBC Trust, along with approval by the UK media watchdog Ofcom.
Incidentally, responding to the industry calls for issuing more information over the proposals, the BBC has already released further details on the project earlier this week.
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Five embraces online video on demand and it will surely be a matter of time before it joins other ventures like Microsoft's newly announced MSN Video player. If Internet service providers like BT or Virgin do not decide to boycott Video On demand unilaterally because of the strain it puts on their infrastructure, then VoD will be here to stay.
(Broadband TV News)