Advanced Television

BBC: we will create an IPTV standard

October 16, 2008

From Colin Mann in Cannes

The BBC intends to create an open industry standard IPTV platform to enable content providers to easily launch internet TV services, says Erik Huggers, BBC director of future media & technology. Speaking at Mipcom Huggers said the service, codenamed Canvas, would potentially be available through a set-top box, and enable “any service to build applications onto the platform.”

“Creating an open industry standard would make sure we don’t get into the situation ‘death by a thousand cuts’.” The service is yet to be approved by the BBC Trust but Huggers said it would be an opportunity for the iPlayer to extend its functionality. “Do we have to do a separate build for every device thereby building 30 or 40 types for different devices or can we make an industry standard?” he said.

Huggers said Canvas is at least 12 to 18 months away and it isn't clear how it will be funded.

The BBC is also looking into developing cross-platform widgets where users could be on the BBC Weather site and take content across with them as they browse the web. “For example, you may take a traffic widget and move it across onto the phone. So ultimately, taking the content with you wherever you want to go.”

Huggers also confirmed reports of a children’s iPlayer, which will “potentially” launch by the end of the year.

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