BBC Trust gives Project Canvas provisional green light

Following the join up of Channel 4 and TalkTalk to the project last week, the BBC Trust has announced it has given Project Canvas a provisional thumbs

The project sees the Beeb, ITV, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk joining forces to bring on-demand services away from your laptop and on to your TV in one central location.

You would need to buy a set-top box to get access to this, estimated to cost around £200, which if fully approved could be available next year.

The service would also allow access to the net, so users could log in to sites such as Facebook and YouTube through their TVs as well.

Diane Coyle, chair of the Trust's Strategic Approvals Committee said: "After careful consideration, the Trust has provisionally concluded that Canvas is likely to benefit licence fee payers.

"We believe Canvas could be an important part of the way in which the BBC delivers its services in the future."

Some of the conditions for the Beeb's involvement include the fact that other content providers must have access to the platform, it must be subscription-free (although it did say other partners could charge for content), and that there would be a review 12 months after launch.

Of course BBC's iPlayer has already been spreading itself around to bring the service to your TV, and is currently viewable through Virgin's set top box, on the Wii and PS3, and expected in 2010 on Freesat (alongside ITV Player), through 3View boxes and Cello Wifi TVs.

However, it could be the wider availability of these Wifi TVs in 2010 that causes Project Canvas problems. With predictions that 20% of flatscreen TVs shipped in Europe will have internet connectivity, will anyone want to fork out the £200 for a box when they can get a TV that has the tech available built-in?

That remains to be seen, but at least it's got the provisional green light from the BBC Trust, which is more than other projects have got.

What do you think to Project Canvas? Let us know below.

Via: BBC