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Partners to bring broadband to the TV


The BBC, ITV and BT today are joining together to work as partners to promote a common industry approach and consumer offer to deliver on-demand TV over broadband.

The initiative is open for all public service broadcasters, device developers and other ISPs.

The proposals, which form part of the BBC Executive’s wider partnership proposals, would see the development of a standards-based open environment for broadband connected digital television receivers.

It would support a wide range of content providers and could be promoted by all Internet Service Providers, with the aim to involve a wider group of partners by launch.

This would mean a new generation of subscription-free devices, carrying free to air channels and a huge selection of on-demand TV services like iPlayer and ITV Player, as well as the potential for films, shows and interactive content from a range of other providers in standard and high definition.

The plans are subject to BBC Trust approval and public consultation.

Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC, said: "Audiences tell us that they want more services through their television set. I am pleased that the BBC is working with industry partners such as device manufacturers, ISPs and other content providers on proposals which will bring real benefits for consumers.

“We are building on a history of collaborating with and supporting the industry in research and development which includes NICAM stereo, Teletext and Freeview.”

Michael Grade, Executive Chairman, ITV, said: “This proposal will bring catch-up from the PC to the TV set in your living room, and all for free. This makes convergence a reality. It will also future-proof our free-to-air platforms, Freeview and Freesat. We are delighted to be working with the BBC, BT and other ISPs to bring this idea to fruition for viewers.”

Ian Livingston, CEO, BT, said: “Television and broadband are a compelling combination. Together they can offer live TV along with an unrivalled choice of on demand content and interactive services. It will mean that you can watch what you want whenever you want on your television. We are looking forward to working with the BBC, ITV and other internet service providers to support an open standard for the free to air market in the UK.”


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