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Ofcom weary of BBC's proposed set-top box

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 27 Apr 2009 13:44 User comments (6)

Ofcom weary of BBC's proposed set-top box The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the independent regulator and competition authority for the communication industries in the United Kingdom, could eventually derail the BBC's proposed new set-top box project, dubbed "iPlayer in hardware". The regulator wrote to the BBC Trust outlining several concerns it had about the new project and their consequences for competition.
"Commercially-led propositions which seek to compete with Canvas should not be unfairly prevented from accessing BBC content," it read. It also has concerns about technical standards, user interface (EPG), the BBC's partnerships with other broadcasters and program quality standards.

Project Canvas is a Linux-based box that attempts to update Freeview with PVR functionality, web access, IPTV and other features. It won't be manufactured by the BBC, but the broadcaster wants to set a specification that other broadcasters can use. It's also promised not to aggregate content for the box, or give preferential treatment to BBC content in the Canvas spec.

The BBC Trust has yet to determine whether to let the BBC proceed with the project. "There is a danger television viewers could ultimately be divided into two groups - those with internet connected functionality and those without," the BBC's Richard Halton told IPTV World Forum in February. "The BBC would like to ensure that, as before, there is a choice in TV between those who wish to take a subscription and those who don't."

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6 user comments

127.4.2009 17:59

Quote:
"There is a danger television viewers could ultimately be divided into two groups - those with internet connected functionality and those without,"
those who have freeview and those who don't
those who have satellite and those who don't
those who have cable and those who dont

an internet connection is their for those who want it, and for ofcom to say I can't have iplayer in hardware because some others choose not to is wrong

228.4.2009 2:43

Down with set-top boxes! (see my post in safety valve)

328.4.2009 14:15

What the funk. So OfCom are trying to block the Canvas a Linux machine that EASILY hooks up to a TV and can access iPlayer because they think it will be the only system able to wire into a TV and play iPlayer.

Regardless of the fact you can already access it on your Windows HTPC and your PS3

Surely this in itself is anti-competition against open source systems.....

424.5.2009 12:43

Ofcom "weary"? Is Ofcom really tired of the BBC's proposal for a set-top box, or is it merely treating the proposal with due caution (i.e., is being wary)?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Sep 2009 @ 4:20

59.9.2009 12:49
modthebox
Inactive

holy crap on a stick

I have been watching i-player on a original modded xbox with xbmc for about six months now and i think its playback is better than many video on demand systems on the market and the best thing is it cost me less than twenty notes all in.

610.9.2009 4:17

I've got two old XBOXes in the house, both soft-modded with XMBC, and they only get used as media players. It'd be great if the BBC stuck XMBC on a box with a DVD tray--effectively an unbranded XBOX (but with more RAM)--and put that out. It would certainly Murdoch where to shove his crass commercial dross. They'd still need to provide something that grannies could use though.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Sep 2009 @ 4:18

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