There are, believe it or not 600,000 Freesat users in the United Kingdom. In the run up to Xmas there will be a renewed awareness campaign for the free-to-air satellite cousin of Freeview (the free-to-air via your TV aerial digital service).
Freesat owners will be getting an early Xmas present with the arrival of the BBC iPlayer service for Freesat boxes that can connect to the Internet. Mostly this tends to be for HD boxes that already have the requisite ethernet socket.
Also a small number of (OK two) locations will be enabling HD content for Freeview itself as the first generation HD capable Freeview boxes go on sale. Expect to see existing non HD set top boxes and PVRs drop in price as old stock is cleared.
Meanwhile the BBC trust has been told that Project Canvas, the joint venture between BBC,ITV, Five and BT to bring on demand content to viewers via suitably enabled TV sets and Internet enabled set top boxes will likely cost more than £115 million in the first fours years of its operation with £17 million recouped via revues the service will bring in at the end of this period. Questions remain as to what extent ITV and Five would be in a sound financial position to afford the estimated £25 million a piece that they’d be required to put into the funding pot.
Project Canvas has been a contentious undertaking in that it allows non-public service broadcasters to become partners with the bbc which was not the case when originally conceived. BSkyB would be welcome to provide services on the platform but cannot become a partner in the project.
Canvas also has to walk carefully in the shadow of the now defunct Project Kangaroo which proposed a consolidated video on demand (VOD) platform with content from BBC Worldwide,ITV.com and Channel 4’s 4OD which was planned to launch in 2008 but was eventually blocked by the competition commission this year.
Related articles by Zemanta
- BBC’s Project Canvas could reach 3.5m homes by 2014 (telegraph.co.uk)
- Charge for iPlayer, says ex-BBC chief (guardian.co.uk)
- Video-on-demand converts ‘shifting away from traditional TV channels’ (guardian.co.uk)
- BBC spends nearly £1m on unapproved Project Canvas (telegraph.co.uk)