Advanced Television

Canvas support and (some) specs

September 10, 2010

Project Canvas responded to recent criticism claiming that ‘dozens of manufacturers’ had pledged support for the venture. More than 40 companies, including connected TV makers and STB providers, had expressed interest in making devices based on the Canvas software, according to the project. Equipment branded YouView is planned for sale next year.

 “The response from industry has been phenomenal,” said Richard Halton, director of Project Canvas. “For us, this is a great endorsement of our open approach to working with industry partners.” Canvas will conduct a further evaluation process before selecting its first hardware partners later in September.

Canvas also released some more specs including confirming connected-TV boxes and televisions will report viewers’ consumption of linear broadcasts, on-demand shows and apps to their providers. Also, users will see recommendations based on “some combination of recommendations provided by content providers, usage tracking data obtained anonymously from the service device and specific recommendations addressed from one end user to another.” Devices will automatically record shows viewers are deemed most likely to watch.

 “The migration to a connected television environment greatly increases the complexity” of gathering audience metrics because “the same item of content can be available from more than one source” (ie. Channel 4, 4oD and YouTube).

On monitoring: “the device shall provide a mechanism for connection to an audience-monitoring unit provided by BARB (via USB)” – for homes which are already BARB panelists) but… “To satisfy the needs of this evolving environment a more fully featured and adaptable usage measurement capability will be required.”

On the controversial UI issue – Virgin backed-away after it emerged it would not be able to bespoke the UI –  “The Core UI application is the responsibility of the UI Provider (Canvas) to supply.  This shall be implemented such that device manufacturers and ISPs can configure aspects of the Core UI so as to customise its operation.  The specific detail of such customisation is beyond the scope of the this document.”


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