40 manufacturers respond to Canvas call
By Julian Clover
Published: September 10, 2010 06.32 Europe/London

Hybrid venture Project Canvas has issued a robust defence of its plans, declaring that it had received support from more than 40 organisations. The BBC backed venture, that also counts ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Five as its shareholders, said they represented a broad range of consumer device manufacturers.

It followed the August call for expressions of interest from manufacturers to produce a Freeview based PVR. The first devices are expected to be available during 2011. The next stage of the evaluation process will be completed by the end of the month.

“For us, this is a great endorsement of our open approach to working with industry partners,” said Richard Halton, director, Project Canvas. “Consumers need the assurance that they will get the best experience, whatever device they buy. This industry engagement programme will ensure that high standards of quality will be deep rooted throughout all of our supported products. We look forward to working with further manufacturers as we roll out more phases of this programme.”

Canvas has received a barrage of criticism, led by Virgin Media and Sky, but also including the manufacturer IP Vision and most recently ULTV, the UK local television association.

Early concerns from the trade as represented by the Digital TV Group (DTG) have now largely subsided. Technical documents that Canvas was once said to be withholding were yesterday published on the Project Canvas website.