DTG welcomes Canvas approval

UK industry body the Digital TV Group (DTG) has welcomed the BBC Trust’s decision to approve Project Canvas, the BBC-led joint venture to deliver connected TV services to UK viewers.

The BBC’s governing body last week approved the project on condition that the Canvas core specifications be published within 20 working days of approval being granted and that the final core specification is published no later than eight months before the launch of the first set-top boxes.

The launch-date for the service itself is widely expected to be about April next year.

Other conditions for the Trust’s approval include the ability of users to access Canvas services free-to-air, although they may be charged for additional pay services that third parties might choose to provide via the platform; that the service should include accessibility features such as audio description as part of the core specification; that access to the platform to content providers and ISPs will not be bundled with other products and services and that access to the EPG will be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory; that Canvas will comply with competition and state aid rules, and that the BBC’s involvement will not exceed the BBC Executive’s estimated costs by more than 20% over a five-year period.

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