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Will Project Canvas Clash With Apple TV & Google TV?

Project Canvas may have be described by its backers as an open internet-connected TV platform, it looks very likely that it will end up competing, to some extent with two formidable adversaries, Apple and Google, both of whom are already preparing a large scale assault on the TV market globally.

Canvas looks to create a common technical standard for internet-connected TV devices but in a world where the influence of video on demand is growing fast, the very definition of what constitutes traditional TV is being altered.

The entity behind Project Canvas, revealed (opens in new tab) last week that more than 40 organisations have expressed their support for the project, ranging from set-top-boxes, internet-enabled TVs and recorders.

We know already know some of them; BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Five, being the more prominent members and a few others like Humax have confirmed that they will launch Project Canvas-compliant set top boxes.

Canvas hasn't named the rest of the backers for unknown reasons but we already know that some of them will come from the Digital Television Group or DTG, an entity which is working closely with Project Canvas.

There are fears though that Project Canvas may clash with Google TV and to a lesser extent with Apple TV. Google TV has the backing of Sony, Intel, Logitech, Adobe and Dish Networks for the time being and products are set to launch towards the end of the year, coinciding with the launch of Project Canvas.

Although the latter may claim that it has more support form the content industry, the fact that it is a UK-only initiative, unlike Apple TV or Google TV, may well be the reason why it will ultimately fail.

Canvas, Google TV and Apple TV will need users to buy a physical device to access the service and content producers will follow the one with the highest number of followers regardless of their initial support.

Désiré Athow
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 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.