Nevermind 3D, Could This Be The Connected-TV World Cup?

Verdicts may not be expected until next week on the BBC-proposed Canvas connected-TV standard – but home electronics makers are already bringing such devices to market, and this summer’s soccer World Cup in South Africa could be the boost the technology needs…

Yesterday, whilst exploring Sony’s PlayStation Home virtual world, I noticed an in-world ad for World Cup on-demand video Sony (NYSE: SNE) will be bringing to its Bravia line of internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players.

Today, Sony is press releasing the project, which offers classic World Cup clips from yesteryear, stories from the competition and football films for download.

Okay, these archive clips are hardly going to be enough to mean big-time adoption for Sony Internet TV. But it does show that Sony is preparing to ally the features with the year’s biggest global advertising event, and that is likely to plant connected-TVs firmer in consumers minds than they are currently.

Sony Internet TV also offers YouTube, Demand Five, Lovefilm and other video partners.

This is everything the BBC set out to stop when it devised Project Canvas, a way to harmonise what was the looming prospect of electronics makers introducing varying, competing methods of VOD and internet access to their tellies.

But the Office of Fair Trading is not due to rule on Canvas’ possible competition effect until May 19, the BBC Trust must then offer its final conclusion and, after actual implementation, Canvas-compliant boxes and TVs are unlikely to appear until late this year or early next.