TR: The big talking point at the moment is Project Canvas, what are your thoughts on this?
SC: We actually took part in a consultation process, and have provided some private feedback.
The core idea [of Project Canvas] is actually quite good. We have always wanted Blinkx to offer a TV-like experience and since we started the business we have wanted that to be a reality.
The problem is that there are so many players in the eco-system when it comes to TVs. There's the people that make the set-top boxes, the ones that make the TV sets… there's so many companies, each with different motivations and points of view that it is really hard to put something together.
We got to a stage in our plans where we thought that we would have to build the entire thing ourselves, including opening and LCD factory in Taiwan, to get Blinkx into the TV market. We felt it would have been easier than getting 20 people to agree on one thing.
TR: And now you are with Miniweb...
SC: That's one of the reasons that we have gone with Miniweb, as they actually have a decent chunk of the process sorted out, so we can therefore get plugged into it.
So, saying all that, Canvas ought to be a brilliant thing. If they can pull it off and define a good solid standard for a web-connected set-top box solution in the UK, then it is great. Everyone will know what they are building towards.
We would all have to compete to be a part of it – us against other search providers – but at least we will all know what we are doing. With that in mind, Blinkx supports Project Canvas.
The only question is: how much control will the founding partners – BBC, ITV, BT – have in the process? To what extent will they try and control a standard?
In some areas, it will be great but there are rumours that the BBC want to control the entire User Interface, and I don't think this will be a good idea. Although the iPlayer has a decent interface, it is not the be all and end all of user interfaces – it needs to be open.