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BBC Television: “IPTV is at the heart of our plans”

Heart of Auntie

Halton insisted that the BBC is throwing its weight behind IPTV not only because of the success of the iPlayer, but also through the massive impact it has had through Virgin Media’s cable service,” added Halton.

“For the BBC we are putting on-demand and internet connectivity absolutely at the heart of our broadcasting.

“We’ve also taken steps to move this from the PC to the television set, and not surprisingly we’ve had audiences adopting IP delivered content to the television set even more so than to the PC.

“The BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media only launched in May so it’s been around for most of the year but already represents over a quarter of all the BBC content provided by IP.

“When you bear in mind that Virgin Media’s service is only in 3.5 million homes in the UK this is an extraordinary achievement.”

Limiting innovation?

TechRadar asked Halton if there were fears that by setting standards in the fast-moving world a Project Canvas box might actually end up quashing innovation by nailing things down too early.

“I think that that nature of standards in this space means there has to be respect for the fact we don’t have an engineering business, we’re not making money from it so there is no interest in setting a high specification or making it over-specified. So the Project Canvas specifications have as light a touch as possible.

“Secondly [we need to] set standards in a way that don’t try to determine technology outcomes.

“I think this industry has been successful because it is constantly innovating technologically and setting standards in a way that set expectations of functional requirements rather than trying to pick winners from the technology space which is a terribly difficult thing to do.”