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Look Out, Canvas – A Fifth Of TVs Will Have Internet In 2010

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Project Canvas, the BBC’s proposed connected-TV EPG standard, is facing a couple of challenges next year…

Not only has the project been delayed from 2009 to late 2010 by the regulator’s request for a more detailed proposal (meaning it won’t get to piggyback the launch marketing of Freeview HD) – many of the very same TV makers that the BBC is trying to convince to use Canvas are busy actually selling tellies with their own built-in internet services…

More than 20 percent of flat-screen TVs shipped in Europe next will have internet connectivity, Futuresource estimates in a new report – that’s 15 million sets, nearly a tenth of the installed flat-screen base.

In other words, if Canvas is green-lighted by the BBC Trust in the next few weeks, by the time it launches, it will be competing with existing internet TV devices that already offer video-on-demand and other selected web services.

2 Responses to “Look Out, Canvas – A Fifth Of TVs Will Have Internet In 2010”

  1. jameshealey

    Even in the new world of shiny, digital media, its the same old story: content is king. All the TV manufacturers are trying to elbow their way into the content market by offering IP-connected TVs with “exclusive” content, but it is hard to imagine that the Canvas team are quaking in their boots.

    The group behind Canvas, and there are similar broadcaster-led projects being R&D across Europe now, control the content that consumers want to watch. Consumers have already shown that third-rate professional content is not of interest to them – see the demise of Joost in the UK. Will consumers really buy an IP-connected TV, and not purchase a Canvas box, simply because Sony et al will offer them a weather app and a VoD service full of 1970s TV shows? Unlikely…

    Sure, the BBC might be ‘forced’ to give its iPlayer service to all the manufacturers due to its public service remit, but we think it a safe bet that this will not happen until well after Canvas has launched. And other commercial broadcasters are likely to support their own ‘product’ rather than help boost the revenues of TV manufacturers.

    The TV manufacturers are entering this market because they see it as an opportunity to differentiate their products from the low-end Chinese branded plasmas/LCDs which are killing their margins. The ability to offer ‘services’ is a high-margin business and will drive some extra revenues, but these same manufacturers have shown a limited ability to offer decent online software solutions for their MP3 players. Would a TV service really be any better? We’d suggest that these plans will have very little impact on Canvas-type products. However, rather helpfully, the TV manufacturers’ expensive marketing budgets will help educate the consumer about the ability to watch catchup and VoD services via their TV…

    James Healey, Director of Research.