Bertelsmann-owned Channel Five has withdrawn from Project Canvas, the BBC-led project to define future TV standards, citing cost reasons. The channel is up for sale, losing £37m last year, and could be sold for just £1. Five was obliged to find £16m, its share of the £112m estimated cost of the Canvas project, and declined. The …
Standards help elsewhere
Why all the doom & gloom? Standards have helped in the mobile phone and computer and networking businesses, so why not broadcasting? Better than being spoon fed iVideo from Jobs.
"If Canvas boxes succeed, it's much less likely that the hi-tech TV big boys such as Sony and Panasonic* will be able to embed the capabilities into their TVs, as they have with FreeView."
This part wasn't explained - why would TV and set-top manufacturers find it hard to integrate Canvas into their equipment when they've had no problems with Freeview and Freeview HD? Unfounded speculation doesn't do Project Canvas any favours at this point, I'd really like to see this claim justified rather than simply dropped into the article without explanation of why that would be the case.
I'd like to believe that if there are indeed difficulties with integration, those difficulties will be the result of obstinance from companies such as Sky.
Panasonic, Philips et al buy their chipset solutions in; so long as the silicon vendor can supply a software stack to decode it, they don't care.
"If Canvas boxes succeed, it's much less likely that the hi-tech TV big boys such as Sony and Panasonic* will be able to embed the capabilities into their TVs"
Please explain - I would have thought that if Canvas was a big success, that would garuntee that it _would_ be included, assuming that the licence terms were reasonable, and your earlier point suggests that the licensing _will_ be sensible.
Standards are USEFUL
I have a Silvercrest SL-65 satellite receiver, with 7-day EPG facilities. It works with a handful of German channels, but not the others. No French, nor Spanish channels. Obviously the UK version doesn't work either. Sky has a good EPG and interactive system using proprietory software, while a complete clone copy of this data needs to be broadcast for Freesat as the two near-identical EPGs are incompatible and need to be broadcast side by side. This, of course, being the reason for the Freesat interactive being a piss-poor clone of its better Sky version.
Perhaps if there were standards to be followed, stuff would just... you know... work. Well, in theory. :-)
That's the spirit!
A British consortium shouldn't attempt to lead in this sector because - when they inevitably fail (even if they succeed) - it will curtail the plans of foreign cartels such as NewsCorp and Sony to sell us cheap devices made in China...? That's the spirit!
Re: That's the spirit!
If you need to rig the market so people can only choose boxes pre-approved by the broadcast cartel, then by definition, you have a rigged market.
A better solution might be to let the market decide.
TVs are computers
Adopting Canvas just means giving TVs UK-specific firmware. Which they have to have anyway. It will however stop TV makers foisting their shitty walled gardens on us. Feels like mobile phones all over again.
Be a shame if this locks out home theatre PCs & Macs though. How long till it's reverse engineered and bolted into MythTV?
I too can't see the problem
As long as everything **IS** available on reasonable terms, then I can't see why having one standard setup should be a problem. Lets see, the market has done so well up to now - that's why it's so common to watch Sky on your own choice of equipment (such as built into a TV) ... oh hang on, that doesn't happen does it ?
Freeview came along as a "box" originally, so why didn't the doom-mongers proclaim it would never appear integrated in a TV ? But now there are few (if any) TVs available that don't have Freeview built in. Freeview HD (and Freesat, and Freesat HD) are all in the same situation ... all require a licence and have to conform to a UK-specific set of standards, yet they are all appearing built into TVs.
The key thing is that the specs should be available to **ALL** on reasonable terms - and that has to include open-source 'vendors', someone else has already mentioned MythTV.