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BBC Pushes Forward With Open IPTV Environment

Venerable Beeb has announced that it will be looking for partners to create an open industry IPTV platform to allow content providers to roll out internet TV services more easily.

The BBC has gathered a lot of experience from its popular iPlayer platform and is seeking to spread it around under a scheme codenamed Canvas which will allow "any service to build applications onto the platform"; the platform being anything from a set top box to a smartphone.

Speaking at MIPCOM, the world's audiovisual content market, Erik Huggers, BBC's director of future media & technology, said that the corporation would like to create an open industry standard to avoid a situation of "death by a thousand cuts" and federate a very fragmented market.

During the iPlayer experiment, the BBC has had to create or modify its platform to accommodate the whims and wants of dozens of device manufacturers - Nokia's N96, Virginmedia, the Nintendo Wii, The Playstation 3, the iPhone etc - which has proved to be one stumbling block.

Huggers also provided with some interesting figures for the iPlayer; more than 220m videos have been viewed since its launch with punters spending on average between 20 to 22 minutes on the content.

Interestingly, only one in 13 users chose to download the content for later viewing. The overwhelming number of users chose to view the content immediately which might be a cause for worry for content delivery networks and Internet Service Providers, especially if online Video on Demand continues to rise.

You can read Erik Huggers blog here (opens in new tab).

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.