Canvas Specs: Audience Measurement, Web Apps, Linux On-Board

Project Canvas connected-TV boxes and televisions will report viewers’ consumption of linear broadcasts, on-demand shows and apps to their providers.

That’s one, scant line to come out in over 200 pages of draft basic technical specs the BBC has finally published for its connected-TV joint venture, three months after it declined paidContent:UK’s Freedom Of Information request to see the specs.

The specs concentrate on mandatory system standards and delivery of TV and video, and are intended for system architects, but lack detail on just how Canvas will implement an “app store” they refer to. There is also no mention of how Canvas will support conditional-access payment systems.

But this is a first draft. Here are the key points we are picking out… (see the BBC’s earlier initial and fuller proposals).

Standards and languages

Canvas is looking at supporting HTML4 and “a subset of HTML5 (draft), including Web Forms, Web Storage and

It’s considering supporting Flash Player 10.

“Devices shall be built using the Linux operating system with either glibc or uClibc” (libraries of the C language).

Apps and widgets?

There will be a “Web Apps” section, available via a remote control key.

Canvas will have a Core UI consisting of its main menu and EPG, plus “Content Provider Applications: This type of application is produced by Content Providers and can take the form of VOD portals, web-style apps, widget overlays (as supported by the relevant presentation technology) etc. A successful connected television platform will have many such applications.”

“Content Providers applications are the responsibility of content providers to provide. Such applications will be launched from the Core UI. This could be as a result of direct selection of the Content Provider application itself, e.g. listed within an