back to article Project Canvas becomes YouView

Project Canvas has a CEO and a name now - it’s YouView™. BBC insider Richard Halton, a veteran of the corporation’s Strategy Boutique, will lead the venture, reporting to chairman Kip Meek. Canvas is an attempt to create a reference specification for IP-connected TVs. The joint venture is supported by the established public …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    It’s going to be fascinating to watch. ®

    The in-fighting and back-stabbing amongst the vested interests might be interesting to watch, but what about the programmes? More of the same, I expect. Mostly Shite!

    And DRM? I thought we had got past all that crap. As things stand now, I could quite easily record any program "Off the air" and then play it back at a later date, on any device I choose, Whether on VHS, DVD, or as a digital format (AVI etc.) I can also do this with iPlayer via my Wii and a PVR. How will Canvas / Youview improve this? And for £150 - £300. No chance.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...So what make somebody rush out and buy a Canvas box...?

    True VOD? HD versions of channels only available in SD on Freeview/Freesat? Just a couple of thoughts - I really have no idea either.

    1. Was Steve


      The ability to watch iPlayer/ITVPlayer/4oD on TV without having to setup more crufty bits of software, and take the wife through a Masters in Software Engineering...

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      What else....

      Maybe the same thing that caused some people to rush out and buy a digital set-top box before they came down to a sensible price?

      First rule of marketing: Never underestimate the stupidity of the buying public.

  3. Anthony Shortland
    Thumb Down


    YouView..... wonder what the owner of YouTube will think of that.... considering the coming GoogleTV as well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just how long will it be before YouTube™ objects?

    Gosh, it even sounds fairly similar.

    (No surprise that they didn't call it iView™!)

  5. David Gosnell


    Think you mean Arqiva, unless the project encompasses luxury yacht-based developments.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    PS3 Support hopefully....

    Considering PS3 already does iPlayer and soon to be 4OD and ITVPlayer, and that Project Canvas is a spinoff from iPlayer, it's safe to assume that PS3 will be a targetted platform from the outset.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      PS3 - unlikely

      Canvas wants to control the entire UI, so it's unlikely to be available ever on PS3

  7. Tzael

    It's not that bad...

    OMG I can post a comment on an Orlowski article!

    The real benefit Project Canvas will provide to consumers is a means for driving forward the user experience for browsing and choosing what to watch. It undoubtedly will provide the ability for third-party content providers to plug their services into an interface that will be familiar and intuitive to content consumers. This in itself is fantastic, because it means that new content providers will already have a framework to build upon, and a user experience that is already tried and tested.

    Overall Project Canvas can help evolve the TV platform considerably. Digital TV was a step forward but it has its limits, is cumbersome to the user and can be noticably unresponsive. It's time to move forward but with every TV, every set-top box, every DVD player, every Blu-Ray player having its own user experience it can be difficult for new content providers to become involved. Project Canvas offers a unique opportunity for both the consumer and content providers, I am keen to learn more about the downsides to Project Canvas, and soon I'll remember to call it YouView!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On message?

      Sorry, but your post reads very much like a regurgitated press release.

    2. KroSha

      Points of Failure?

      You are aware it's a BBC project? They haven't exactly covered themselves in glory, you know. The more points of interoperability there are, the more potential points of failure.

      iPlayer is great and I use it all the time. But it's also really simple, which is why it works well. I'm not seeing the same qualities here....

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who wants to be abused as a Cheap Establishment Whore whenever a High Class Hooker is needed??

    Given the steady relentless demise of engaging and leading content on the BBC, and I cannot disagree with Anomalous Cowturd's graphic descriptor, ...."Mostly Shite!" .... to imagine that an old hack and BBC insider Richard Halton, a veteran of the corporation’s Strategy Boutique, will bring anything worthwhile to the venture, and turn around what is little more than a glorified puppet show nowadays, is pretty remote, ...... and that is probably why everyone is abandoning the broadcaster.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      It's not just the BBC I've abandoned

      It's broadcast TV generally. I have neither the time or inclination to go searching for the odd pearl that may appear.

      It's catch up TV or Radio 4 for me. With the odd splash of 6 Music when I fancy a tune.

  9. The BigYin


    Surely "WeRerun" would have been more accurate.

  10. theloon

    This is going to a hillarious mess

    The only part of this that will be worth "watching" will be complete failure of all parties to deliver a working service.

    Anyone else had the ADSL2+ BT downgrade? Most people I know now have less Broadband bandwidth than on ADSL1....some have even been without BB for weeks following it with BT telling them they have no 'mean time to repair' date on this.

    Add to the broadband mess the BT Content play which, as pointed out in a previous TheRegister article, is a 'cough cough scream laugh scream again' "Wholesale" product which only BT Retail can actually take...

    Oh it's gonna be a fun time...

    Yeah this sounds like an Open Platform to me ;)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    they're still way behind me

    I built an HTPC out of bits and put SageTV on it.


  12. Anonymous Coward

    Waste of time and money

    Is it DRM free?

    Will it let me keep recorded shows as long as I want?

    Well it allow me to record ANY show?

    Will it work on a Linux PC without flash/moonlight?

    Unless the answer to all those is yes then I'll stick to BitTorrent.

    This is just the BBC's attempt to fight AppleTV/GoogleTV/AmazonTV/SonyTV and whichever other big corporation decides to jump into IPTV to control the market. They're drooling over the pay-twice-per-view model & the data they can gather on people's viewing habits.

    Oh and 4-5 years later Microsoft will introduce MSTV.

    1. Neil Lewis

      Well, almost .....

      "Oh and 4-5 years later Microsoft will introduce MSTV" - and claim to have invented the idea themselves.

      There, fixed that for you :-)

      1. dogged
        Thumb Down

        erroneous claims

        are copyrighted by Apple, who will certainly sue.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its just another part of the goggle box!

  14. Neil Stansbury

    Wrong name

    They should have called it simply - iTV

    ITV already own the domain name -

    It takes iPlayer forward to its logical (branding) conclusion

    It keeps the word "TV" in the name

    and dominates the "i-named-businesses" that Apple begat.

    The name also easily passes the "Mum test"!

  15. Mage Silver badge

    I thought

    Didn't they say they would Open Sauce it once they had finished tinkering?

    OR did I miss that bit?

    How does it relate to EBU HBB TV?

    Well the exact Spec of Freeview and Freesat (D Book?) seems to be secret too.

    Gerbils too.

  16. SlabMan

    On the other hand

    A UK consortium attempts to set a standard which could result in some business and revenue opportunities in the UK (eg an ARM reference design for the hardware). This could be a good thing

  17. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    YouView, WeControl!

    "The real benefit Project Canvas will provide to consumers is a means for driving forward the user experience for browsing and choosing what to watch"

    In an officially sanctioned manner. The only 'user experience' will be defined by the Canvas board, and you'll be free to browse and choose what you want to watch. Providing it's approved by Canvas and added to their UI. I wouldn't hold my breath for Canvas on PS3 as anything other than an STB emulator.

    "Overall Project Canvas can help evolve the TV platform considerably."

    Healthy competition and multiple suppliers offering users choice of UI's, features, functionality and designs usually aids evolution. There is limited scope to inovate with what we currently know about Canvas. It's the Model-T of IPTV, hence Project Cartel may be more apt. But it does take the pressure off broadcasters having to make their content available to or via competitors.

  18. Stuart Halliday

    Shame - quite liked the name Canvas

    Should have kept the project name...

  19. mittfh

    DRM and standards etc.

    Unfortunately, a fair amount of broadcast content is made by companies other than the BBC, ITV, Ch4 and Ch5. Some of these don't like the idea of people recording content. Add on the self-interested views of the PRS, who'd probably object to people recording anything containing commercial music, as the artists wouldn't be getting their royalties. DRM keeps the novice consumer happy as they can still record the content, but it also keeps the content providers happy as it makes it very difficult for users to copy the recordings to other platforms (oh, and allows them to delete the content after an arbitrary period of time).

    As for mandating a single DRM standard, I would have thought the reasoning to be obvious - it's far easier to just bundle one form of DRM into the boxes than a different one for each channel / content provider.

    Virgin is apparently unhappy because it's going to be an immutable standard - i.e. they can't add their own stuff to it unless it's provided through the Canvas interface.

    Sky are apparently unhappy as they'd prefer to let each individual hardware manufacturer devise their own spec and let the market decide, rather than a bunch of content providers. Oh, and they're not happy about Canvas forcing a UI on the user.

    Personally, most consumers would be happy if there was a single UI (perhaps with minor colour scheme / logo tweaks for individual manufacturers), as there doesn't seem to be a consistent UI with FreeView, and many UIs are cr*p (remember Teletext Extra?)

    But one feature that would be welcomed by almost everyone: a channel list that auto updates itself. It's hardly an incentive to test out DTV before switchover if you have to spend 5 minutes doing the retune dance every time there's a channel change.

  20. pootle

    OMG Yet Another Set Top Box

    to add to the teetering pile already there.

    I can play nearly anything through a PC - including non DRM HD TV via freesat, but the WAF is very low.

    Just bought a Sony Blu ray player and it has iPlayer, 5OD as well as a DLNA player built in so I can play all my music and DRM free recorded TV shows from my NAS. This has achieved a significantly higher WAF The last thing I want is a content provider tithed box with Yet Another Remote Control. The offspring of a player like this and a satellite PVR would nearly be the one box to rule them all.

  21. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    Missing the point ?

    Many commenters miss the point ... that manufacturers are already including some of these functions in their products. For example, some TVs now support iPlayer.

    But, iPLayer uses one set of protocols, ITV Player uses a different set, 4OD uses another set, and so on. The result is that to support all services, the equipment manufacturer must include multiple different collections of software - and these will generally all have different user interfaces.

    What this does is allow a manufacturer to support ONE standard and it'll play any content that someone wants to make available - including ones that come along later (ie after the equipment has been sold to end users). Is that such a bad thing ?

    After all - I don't see so many complaints that the commercial stations are forced to use the same DVD-T standard that the BBC transmits with

    Perhaps the same people that think this idea is bad would prefer that every manufacturer had their own (incompatible) standards for an equivalent to Compact Disk, DVD, etc ?

    And if it annoys Sky (who object to anything that doesn't enhance their proprietary lockin) then that's just a bonus :-)

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