Thursday, January 21, 2010

Canvas Outjumps Kangaroo

Project Canvas has been well managed (what else would you expect from a very capable industry veteran such as Eric Huggers, who was simply wasted at Microsoft ?).

Carphone Warehouse/TalkTalk have very sensibly delegated their tech development to this consortium. And I now have little doubt that Canvas will be good piece of middleware. The number of parties involved gives it critical mass and ensures its success.

However, I do object to using millions of pounds of my money to promote this PSB initiative (even if the commercial broadcasters are also contributing something), especially since it was intended as a platform, not a delivery system. The BBC is now becoming Intel and promoting 'Canvas Inside' to the benefit of technical partners such as Humax. Freeview never obtained such support and this part of this initiative stinks of commercialism that the BBC shouldn't touch. They will, I predict, regret this more than anything in their history. Spending £40m on burying commercial middleware providers is obscene and all those involved will regret their involvement in taking an overinflated public broadcaster into a position that destroys all commercial broadcasting in the UK. Obviously, the fallout will not be immediate, but there will be public enquiries on this one in the future. Unfortunately, the moronic EU's 'Television Without Frontiers' directive (or the AV Directive, as I believe it is now called) just supports this type of idiocy . The likes of the BBC, Murdoch and Google are laughing all the way to the bank.

The BBC Trust in its everlasting naivety has been conned again. All together now: ‘ah, bless...’. When will we stop appointing Miss Marples and Sir Somethings to this Board that is singularly responsible for shaping British media.

They recently advertised for members (or is it trustees ?) and I entertained applying, but then quickly realised that I am far too un-establishment to ever be given a job by a quango.

So, Kangaroo was clipped (although it might reappear as Seesaw, God bless...). Hulu is knocking on the door and Canvas is allowed to run roughshod over anyone who created IP around video delivery technology in the UK (the BBC Trust might understand the arguments around content, but they are utterly clueless about technology).

So, let’s sack the the BBC Trust and disband OFCOM, appoint some people who understand media and especially the future of media, and make them responsible for the BBC, Google and the current OFCOM as well as the companies they now hamper, and also regulate overseas media on a level playing field.

As we head into a general election no political party is really willing to tackle the issues facing our media. The Tories are sickeningly tied to Murdoch and Google. Labour is just clueless, and the LibDems, well who cares about wannabies (even if they could field Clegg as PM, Kennedy as Home Secretary, Ashdown at the FO, Cable (my personal hero) at the Treasury, and how about Lumley at Defence ?).

But then again, Kangaroo was a dream ticket too...