Freeview 'considering IPTV services'

Monday, December 7 2009, 14:05 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

Freeview has revealed that it is currently working with the Digital TV Group on future technical specifications for IPTV services on the platform.

Last week, Freeview HD began technical transmissions ahead of a full commercial launch in spring 2010. The service has been made possible by a world-first adoption of the DVB-T2 standard and MPEG-4.

Speaking at the technical launch, Freeview managing director Ilse Howard said that the next step for digital terrestrial television would be "from digital TV to IPTV".

Howard explained that consumer research has indicated a strong interest in online services, such as video-on-demand, being made available around the existing Freeview proposal.

She acknowledged the ongoing discussions around joint venture Project Canvas, which aims to create a new technical standard for IP-enabled TV devices.

However, she also pointed to the forthcoming arrival of Arqiva's SeeSaw platform - built using technology from the collapsed joint venture Project Kangaroo - and the 2010 launch of Sky Player on IP Vision's Freeview service.

"So I think that in due course IPTV will come to Freeview and we are working at the moment with the DTG to look at the technical specification about how that comes to the DTT platform," she said. "But ethernet is already built into the specification so it should be relatively future proof."

Last week, Canvas partners BBC, ITV, BT and Five launched an official website to publish up-to-date news and information for anyone interested in the project.