New Canvas= website begins charm offensive

Joint venture Project Canvas, which aims to create a new open standard for IP-enabled TV devices, has launched an official website to improve lines of communication.

The Canvas partners - BBC, ITV, BT and Five - intend to use the website, which can be found at, to publish up-to-date news and information for anyone interested in the project.

The online resource will later host technical data for the consumer electronics industry and software development kits (SDKs) for application developers. A Canvas feed is also now in operation on Twitter.

Over the past six months, Canvas has been roundly criticised for a lack of effective communication with industry stakeholders and the public about what it is actually proposing to achieve.

The BBC =Trust is currently evaluating the BBC's involvement in Canvas, taking into account fierce criticism from Sky that the project will use public money to distort the nascent IPTV market to the detriment of commercial players.

Writing on the BBC Internet Blog, Canvas director Richard Halton said that the new website is designed to be a "neutral space" for communicating about the project=.

Halton said that the Canvas partners have worked hard to alleviate any overriding concerns about the project, and the site is a further attempt to improve the lines of communication=.

Should= the Trust give its approval for the project,= Halton said that his team will start building "the technologies that power the open platform, form the venture, build the user-interface, and start to turn project canvas into a real consumer proposition=".