Virgin Boss Hints At Support For Project Canvas

Virgin Media has hinted that it wants to join the BBC-led Project Canvas, after months of apparent opposition.

Project Canvas is set to bring together major UK terrestrial broadcasters and internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a common viewing platform.

According to a blog on The Guardian newspaper's web site, Virgin Media chief Neil Berkett has said his company supports to idea behind Project Canvas, but has called for the platform to be more open.

Along with broadcaster Sky, Virgin Media had previously expressed its opposition to the idea of major TV broadcasters, ISPs and telecoms coming together to offer a common platform.

The company had appealed to the BBC Trust and Ofcom to investigate the impact Project Canvas will have on the competition in the UK cable TV services market.

In an apparent U-turn, Virgin Media has now offered to incorporate the Project Canvas platform into its next-generation Virgin Media set-top boxes, provided that the consortium opens up the standards of the Project Canvas.

Berkett says, however, that the Canvas consortium has rejected the company's proposal of incorporating Project Canvas into its set-top boxes.

Berkett went on to say that for that to happen, Virgin Media would have to allow its entire content catalogue to be accessed from Canvas-imposed interface.