"Far from trying to block the development of these open standards, we have offered to work commercially with Canvas to explore mutually beneficial ways in which we could incorporate them as a self-contained service in the next generation of Virgin Media set-top boxes.
The Canvas consortium has rejected the opportunity to incorporate Canvas into the Virgin Media customer experience, insisting that if we want to use their standards we must also accept that the entire Virgin Media entertainment service be accessed by our subscribers via a Canvas-imposed interface, including the Canvas channel listing and search facility. This "shop window" to services would be entirely controlled by the joint venture partners and would allow the Canvas partners to give preference and prominence to their own channel content above that of any other content provider.
At this point, Canvas starts to look less like a set of genuinely "open" standards and more like a fully-fledged competing distribution platform from which established pay TV operators are effectively excluded, along with other innovative platforms offering a differentiated user experience, such as the PS3 and the Xbox. Unless we accept the Canvas consortium's conditions, people who want both Canvas and a pay TV service will have to buy two set-top boxes. Far from simplifying the digital world, Canvas will complicate it."
June 14, 2010
Virgin MD on Project Canvas
Interesting piece by Neil Berkett in today's Guardian, regarding the proposed Video on Demand project Canvas. Here's some of what he says - the full article is worth a read though.