Project Canvas Wants Device-Making Partners… Fast

Project Canvas, the open-standard internet TV platform backed by UK terrestrial broadcasters (BBC, ITV and Channel 4) and telecommunications firms (BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva), has publicly invited consumer electronics hardware manufacturers to express their interests in developing Canvas-compliant devices with a target of bringing them to market by the year 2011.

With a launch date scheduled for next year, Project Canvas is understandably keen to secure a strong core of partnering manufacturers not only to provide consumers with a wide variety of choices, but also to help with finalisation of the common-standard technical specifications to be submitted this month to the Digital TV Group (DTG). So far Humax, Cisco and Technicolor have signed up as “Innovation Partners”, with up to 9 companies including LG, Broadcom, Intel and Sagem reportedly interested in becoming “Device Partners”.

To promote consumer adoption of Project Canvas, the number one priority in terms of product development is a dual-tuner digital terrestrial television (DTT) personal video recorder (PVR) that is internet-connected, although the consortium will also accept proposals on other hardware categories like internet-enabled TV (IETV) and set-top boxes. If everything goes to plan, the Canvas devices will either be sold through retail outlets, or as part of a bundle together with broadband internet packages.

Electronics manufacturers interested in becoming Canvas Device Partners are asked to demonstrate their experience, technical qualifications, resource commitment, product strategy, market reach, innovation and operational logistics in a 26-point brief by email to the Project Canvas programming team before the closing deadline of 5pm on 25 August 2010.

The number of Device Partners to be engaged by Project Canvas will initially be limited by the resources available to its programmers and engineers. From the brief, it appears that preference will be given to manufacturers with wide market penetration, and successful experience in developing and deploying Freeview and Freesat set-top boxes (STB) and digital video recorders (DVR); or delivering web content via Internet TVs or hybrid consumer devices.

Source: Project Canvas