Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

Tech News

Canvas director faces DTG grilling

By
Richard Halton, programme director for IPTV venture Project Canvas, today faced criticism from Digital TV Group members about the lack of published technical specifications for the platform.

In a Q&A session at the DTG Summit, Halton was asked why a technical outline for the project has not yet been made available to the industry.

In response, he asked members to appreciate the "tough and pretty challenging" schedule exerted on the project, which is still awaiting final approval from the BBC Trust.

However, Halton acknowledged the DTG's desire for more effective engagement with Canvas, and committed to publishing the remaining key technical documents by the end of May.

Also in the session, DTG director general Richard Lindsay-Davies said that the trade body will continue to work with Canvas while developing its planned technical standard for IP-connected TV devices, but stressed that there are "other service providers out there".

During his speech, Halton also responded to recent claims from Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett that the Canvas platform will penalise commercial operators.

Speaking at the Cable Congress in Brussels, Berkett expressed concern that the project will force all operators to use a single Canvas brand controlled by the BBC and its partners - ITV, Channel 4, Five, TalkTalk and BT.

In reply, Halton said that Canvas will only achieve its aims if it truly becomes an open platform available to a multitude of different players and service models.

He said that the Trust's provisional approval for Canvas last December recognised the project's potential benefits for consumers and the industry.

However, he accepted that the "substantial progress" made so far on technical development of the project is still "probably not enough to get us where we need to be".

Canvas now has direct collaboration relationships with various manufacturers and industry players - including Cisco, Technicolor, Humax, Intel, LG and Broadcom - and Halton stressed that collaboration with the DTG is "absolutely critical" to the project's future success.

You May Like