The UK’s ambitious open standard, cross platform IPTV platform Project Canvas has received the green light from key stakeholder the BBC Trust.
The BBC Trust issued a statement
onTuesday stating "the likely public value of the proposal justifies any potential negative market impact."
Once launched the service will allow web based broadcasts such as the BBC iPlayer and the ITV Player to be viewed on TV sets via a set-top box.
The BBC body has dragged its heels on supporting the BBC to participate in Canvas, a joint venture between the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Five, BT and ISP TalkTalk.
The BBC Trust support is conditional and based on its approval to approve the publication of the Canvas technical specification in addition to ensuring that access to the platform for content providers and ISPs must be "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory."
The BBC Trust is now in consultation with the industry and the public before making a final decision in the first quarter of 2010. The project is expected to cost over £115m in its first four years of operation, including £48.4m spent on marketing.
BSkyB and Virgin Media strongly oppose Canvas claiming that the free distribution |of web content via TV would erode their pay TV business models
BSkyB corporate affairs director Graham McWilliam said “the key concern with Canvas is the leading role that the BBC wants to take in the project. Internet-based TV is already developing fast and, even without Canvas, the industry is working on shared standards to help it grow even further. There is no need for public money to be spent on replicating what’s set to be delivered through commercial investment.