The next generation web-featured set-top boxes that will offer a range of catch up services, such as BBC iPlayer and ITVplayer, on television screens could make debut as early as the first quarter of the next year, as the BBC Trust is scrutinising the BBC’s proposals for developing the technology for the same.
The new project, codenamed as “Project Canvas”, which include media heavyweights, including the BBC, BT and ITV, primarily aims at a majority of UK households that haven’t registered for on-demand television services and don’t even have a “Personal Video Recorder”.
In its application to the Trust, the BBC notified that around 53 percent of UK households that didn’t sign up for the on-demand television services “risk falling behind”, and even Freeview has failed to deliver the bunch of the BBC licence fee funded television services.
The new set-top boxes, which could cost up to £200, could offer the viewers flexibility to browse the content of iPlayer in a manner similar as they browse television channels, the BBC added.
The partner companies expect that such service could be achieved with the broadband speeds of 1.6Mbps, and though BT is the only ISP associated with the project, other broadband providers will be invited to join the project later.
The final conclusion over the proposed project is expected to come sometime in summer this year.
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Canvas is the other project that BBC hopes, will allow it to forget about Kangaroo. This Freeview-like project could potentially change the way we watch TV programmes but the fact that it is not inclusive for the time being means that only BT will be offering it in the medium term. Canvas will be competing with Virgin and Sky as well. Not ideal.