Project Canvas: What is it all about?

How much will Canvas cost?

The BBC's ideal is that you buy your Project Canvas box for a one off fee, plug it into your television and broadband modem and then have a decent IPTV service.

But, because of the nature of IPTV, and because the BBC wants to 'democratise the television', allowing people to put their own services, tools, TV streams and video on demand on the basic platform you could end up being able to 'bolt on' or subscribe to premium services.

Huggers drew analogies to the iPhone and its celebrated app store, saying: "[Apple] created a world where it was the whole concept of the App store."

"Now, I don't think they had expected themselves that there were going to be 50,000 apps available, but what iPhone did was democratised access to computing in the hand and suddenly applications developers and service providers could very easily get access to millions of consumers.

He also commented: "I believe Canvas has the same power."

And it's not just web tools and software; Sky has expressed an interest in being on the platform – and presumably bringing its paid-for internet VOD service Sky Player (and access to its premium sports and movies) with it.

Blurry iphone shot of a mock-up canvas screen. squint a bit, it's there

PROJECT CANVAS: A blurry iPhone shot of a mock-up Canvas screen. Squint a bit, it's there...

So what kind of things will I be able to watch and do?

"For a one-off payment and no monthly subscription you'll get the Freeview TV and radio channels you know and love," says BBC's promo.

"There's catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer, 4OD and so you won't miss your favourite program again and on top of that there's a whole wealth of on-demand and archive programming to tap into.

"…and if that wasn't enough, Canvas also opens you up to a whole universe of web content - from the latest clips on YouTube to using your favourite social network to share video with friends and family – the digital world is your oyster."

Plus, expect apps from the likes of LoveFilm for on-demand movies, Sky offering premium subscribed services and on-demand, and the Microsofts and Sonys of this world potentially offering channels and, possibly, interactive tools like the Premiership collaboration shown at the Xbox Sky Player launch.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.