ITV, BT Join BBC’s Project Canvas, Teaming For Open VOD IPTV

ITV (LSE: ITV) and BT (NYSE: BT) are teaming with the BBC to work on an open industry standard for on-demand TV over broadband to the living room – the latest example of a partnership approach to VOD.

They are essentially signing up to Project Canvas, Erik Huggers’ grand idea for a common VOD IPTV standard on set-top boxes that allows all content makers to add their shows and widgets. But today’s announcement isn’t referring to “Canvas” as the trio are reluctant to push another “project” name out there, following Project Kangaroo and’s latest redesign task Project Penguin.

The trio want to create “new generation of subscription-free devices, carrying free to air channels and a huge selection of on demand TV services like iPlayer and ITV Player”. In theory, that could open the door to other platforms like Joost, Babelgum and Vuze being available on the same living room TV set – approaching the holy grail of unified internet TV. It would be open to “all public service broadcasters, device developers and other ISPs”.

The partners want a wider number of partners by launch. When will that be? Huggers told October’s Mipcom: “Say a year, a year and a half, if everything