Hulu hitting the UK in September?


The Hulu that they do so well over in the States could be coming to the UK in a deal that would bring 3,000 hours of US TV to our virtual shores. The free to view VoD service is looking to buddy up with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in providing an internet platform where all their content can be viewed together in exactly the same way the Kangaroo couldn’t.

But there is a but – two, actually, if I write it like that. There’s issues with how Channel 4 and ITV wish to hold their advertising inventory around the player for their content and, with the Competition Commission lurking round the corner, there’s a horribly familiar feeling in the air that yet another good thing for the consumer could hit the bricks.

I was just about to say that Sky is bound to have a whinge about it, just as they did with Kangaroo, but maybe not so this time. Hulu is backed by News Corp, and News Corp owns Sky. So, maybe this thing does have legs after all.

Still a hell of a lot of teasing out of agreements to do in terms of rules and regs as well as the advertising issue, doubtless, but, fingers crossed, we might actually get what we want this time. Just a shame we needed an American company to come in and sort it out for us.

(via Telegraph)

BBC teams up with ITV and BT for "Project Canvas"


Following the utter failure of Kangaroo, BBC and ITV bosses have put their heads together and come up with a different strategy. They’re launching a public consultation on a proposal for a IPTV service that they’re calling Project Canvas.

There’s not a whole lot of detail available yet, but it appears that the companies want to put together a set-top box service that’ll deliver television (in HD), a PVR service, internet access (to YouTube and other sites), and some sort of electronic program guide to it all. Sounds messy, but then so did Kangaroo.

The partners hope that it would cost in the region of £100-200 for the consumer, and a 2010 launch is aimed at. The BBC says it’ll contribute £6 million to the project over the next five years, out of a total of £16.6 million that it’ll need.

Don’t know about you, but I’m perfectly happy just plugging in a PC to my TV and using that to watch YouTube or iPlayer as necessary. Why would I need a set-top-box to do the same thing? As with many things, I think the key will be in the implementation. If it’s done as well as iPlayer, it’ll be wonderful. If not, it’ll be an expensive waste of time.

Zattoo offers 30 days of free broadcast quality terrestrial TV via Internet


Zattoo, the live TV streaming service that launched back in April, is running a special Christmas promotion where all registered users can get free access to broadcast quality versions of four main UK terrestrial channels plus one digital channel.

For thirty days from today, live BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and BBC News 24 will be streamed at 576×528 pixel, 1.5Mbps bitrate via the Zattoo service…

BT to update its Vision boxes for HD… by 2009


BT has announced that Pace Group will build its next generation of BT Vision digiboxes featuring a more powerful processor, better energy efficiency, and hard drive capacity able to store around 80 hours of standard definition video content.

It will continue to offer IPTV functionality, for delivering Video on Demand and interactive functions, and could also offer high definition video, hence the more powerful processor. The new boxes likely won’t be available until some time next year…