For those outside the United Kingdom, the ongoing debate over Project Canvas may seem rather obscure and insular, particularly since the standardisation it originally sought to address is being more rapidly addressed by the broader market. The problem is that the real ramifications of the proposed joint venture are not well understood and the partners involved have done little to allay the legitimate concerns raised by many in the industry. After working at the BBC on the launch of online and interactive television services and with manufacturers to help create the undoubted success of Freeview, I have spent many years championing the benefits of broadband and broadcast convergence. The BBC, of which I am a great supporter, is well-placed to help define a new generation of hybrid devices and displays that will bring the internet and television together. It’s therefore disturbing to see that far from establishing open standards, Project Canvas has all the hallmarks of a closed platform in which the BBC is joining with commercial interests to compete with established pay-television operators.