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Project Canvas Enlists Channel 4 and TalkTalk

Channel 4 and Talktalk have confirmed that they will be investing more than £16 million each in the IPTV venture known as Project Canvas and will become the fifth and sixth partners enlisted by the BBC.

The corporation, ITV, BT and Channel Five have already joined forces to produce a platform that will bring next generation video on demand services to viewers on Freeview and Freesat digital TV environments.

Richard Halton, who is currently overseeing the project, said in a statement that "Project Canvas can help secure the future of free-to-air broadcasting, as well as create an opportunity for a wide range of public services and new commercial models to thrive through an open platform"

He further added that "We're delighted that Channel 4 and TalkTalk have joined the project.". The project has yet to be approved by the BBC trust after having attracted heavy criticisms from other video on demand providers.

Interestingly, all partners involved in Canvas will be given an equal portion of the new joint venture, meaning that the larger the number of partners, the smaller the share.

Many, like the News Corporation's Sky, suggest that Project Canvas has an unfair advantage and could undermine competition in a nascent but already very competitive market.

The BBC has already spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on Canvas and it is expected that in the first four years of operation, the platform will swallow as much as £115 million.

Our Comments

It is interesting to note that two ISPs have already given their support to Canvas; two of the biggest consumer internet service providers in the country. Project Canvas could be a boon for the data pipes if properly implemented, this would mean having a dedicated super content delivery network running in parallel with the normal pipes.

Related Links

Channel 4 and Talk Talk sign up to Project Canvas (opens in new tab)

(T3)

Channel 4, TalkTalk join Project Canvas (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

C4 and TalkTalk join internet TV group (opens in new tab)

(FT)

Channel 4 and TalkTalk sign up to Project Canvas broadband TV venture (opens in new tab)

(Telegraph)

Channel 4, TalkTalk join Project Canvas (opens in new tab)

(Digitalspy)

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 ITProPortal.com 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.