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YouView Unveiled as the ‘Future of Television’


YouView Unveiled as the 'Future of Television'

YouView is, as we suspected, the official title of Project Canvas, and will be arriving in the UK next year. The service, which will combine the best of Freeview terrestrial TV with iPlayer style delivery, will be available, subscription free, via set-top boxes.

The announcement comes as the seven partners; the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Five, become incorporated as Youview TV Limited. The new company has a website and everything, which can be found at www.youview.com. It can also be folllowed on Twitter at twitter.com/YVTV.

The set-top boxes are expected to arrive in the first half of 2011, and will offer an EPG that goes back 7-days, enabling you to catch up on anything you’ve missed from any of the channels involved. If you’ve ever used the BBC iPlayer, you’ll probably have a good grasp of how it works.

The set-top boxes will enable you to pause the TV, and record a series at a touch of the button – again, if you’ve ever used a PVR, you’ll know how that works too.

"We are creating an exciting consumer brand which will stand for a better TV experience for UK homes”, said new YouView CEO, Richard Halton in a statement.

“Connected TV creates all kinds of creative possibilities, for existing networks as well as local services and new developers of interactive applications. It all adds up to great news for TV audiences. I look forward to working closely with the creative and developer communities to open up exciting possibilities for viewers to discover and enjoy content in new ways."”

Of course, not everyone is as happy at the prospect of the new service, which if it delivers as it promises, should be nothing less than brilliant. Virgin Media and United for Local Television have both lodged complaints with Ofcom, and we understand Sky aren’t too chuffed either.

We’re not sure exactly why but we have a feeling it might be to do with free, vs not free,which we suspect might upset the apple (lower case) cart for some.

Link: www.youview.com


September 16, 2010, 9:49 pm

stuff the complainers, this is the future like mp3 was the future over DRM'd music downloads


September 16, 2010, 9:52 pm

So this isn't a streaming website service like BBC iPlayer? It's just a new Freeview box?


September 16, 2010, 10:10 pm

@Enarca, yes but it can access all the streaming services from the device in one interface, a bit like how some freesat/view boxes can watch live TV and also watch iplayer, so this is the same but the iplayer part has all the programs from all the mentioned channels. (I guess like hulu is in the US but on our TV)


September 16, 2010, 10:51 pm

@Enarca this is basically (as far as i know) like an iPlayer client with freeview PVR built in, and other providers apart from the BBC making their content available as well. I imagine it will also be made available to the TV makers as part of their built in Internet capabilities as well as in standalone set top boxes. Like Freesat and Freeview are standards for providing live content, this seems to be a standard for providing catchup and on-demand content.


September 16, 2010, 11:05 pm

@Enarca: It's streaming, PVR and live Freeview integrated into a single box. Nifty.

But then, the website could have told you that.... http://www.youview.com/

While I'm all for progress, as a consumer I really want every service to be integrated into a single box. Sky, Virgin, Freeview, all of it - that's the ideal. It's ironic that a system designed to bring these services together leaves me wanting so much more...

Neil B

September 16, 2010, 11:11 pm

two words; happy days.


September 16, 2010, 11:11 pm


3) ... You just plug your aerial or satellite dish, and your broadband, into the box, and then the box into the TV. (Without the Internet connection, you&#8217ve basically just got a Freeview box.)


September 17, 2010, 12:35 am


Thanks to all for confirming that :). Unfortunately, I find this rather disappointing since a BBC iPlayer type streaming service would have been much more useful. (for me anyway)


September 17, 2010, 1:05 am

So should have called it YourView. Stops it sounding like they've just copied youtube plus any confusion to go with it, {"Put it in on youview, no you fool - youview not youtube"} as well emphasising our increased level of control over what we want to watch.


September 17, 2010, 1:58 am

I think this is excellent news. Up to now, you've only been able to get iPlayer on Freesat. I'd be tempted to switch to Freesat from Virgin, once YouView is released, and maybe save a few pounds. I hope the new YouView boxes have wireless capabilities too.


September 17, 2010, 1:15 pm

I'm a little disappointed that this is simply ANOTHER STB. I had the impression that we were going to see this service built into TV's and accessable from a browser on the PC.

If it only goes back one week then surely it's not even a replacement for 4oD or iPlayer either, which hold content going back far further.

And the real killer... Is this HD ??? For some reason that doesn't seem to get mentioned.


September 17, 2010, 1:24 pm

The FAQ appears to confirm there will be some HD support / content, but doesn't say what or in what quality.

I repeat again though. I really don't want another STB. One for Sky is enough. As this won't give me everything that Sky does then this is pretty useless to me :-(


September 17, 2010, 1:56 pm

Hopefully they release a wifi version. The days of cables wondering around the house are gone... I hope.


September 17, 2010, 3:03 pm


iPlayer is on BTVision boxes as well as catchup services from the other channels.

99p a programme for anything other than BBC iPlayer though, too expensive IMHO.


September 17, 2010, 6:23 pm

As brilliant as iPlayer is, and YouView sounds, 7 days catch-up is quite restrictive. Demand Five currently allows you to catch up over a whole series and in some cases goes back even further with previous series (e.g. The Gadget Show).

Will this ability be lost once YouView launches.

Will services like iPlayer and Demand Five continue when YouView goes live? (I don't imagine so.)


September 17, 2010, 7:42 pm

I would guess that the individual services would keep going. Youview is for TV attached devices and for building into TVs I think as opposed to computers. Also if you take say Freesat as an example of this kind of product (for non IPTV) it provides a common interface, branding and equipment standards for the contact providers, but you can still get a generic DVB-S receiver that gets the same channels without any freesat branding (OK not a great example I'll admit). In the same way I would suggest you would be able to get the same IPTV services off Youview just that youview is a commmon interface branding and standards for them. Also I cant imagine the BBC dropping iplayer as the branding is already so strong. I had imagined that like say Samsung Internet TV Youview would have channels one of which is iplayer, one is demand five etc etc.

I agree that 7day catchup is a bit limiting. I would hope it would be up to individual content providers as to what they provide. So on the 4OD channel you could get everything that is on 4OD.

All I can find in support is :

"That means you&#8217ll get the digital TV you love, plus BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand Five and SeeSaw, all instantly available on your TV, through one simple set-top box. "

Which suggests individual branding of services will be retained.


September 17, 2010, 8:48 pm


I hope you're right.


September 18, 2010, 5:36 am

A new era of television, indeed. What better way to persuade us than having a still of Strictly Come Dine with Me Factor plastered all over the promos? What happened to 'Content is King'? Anyone who hasn't already seen Stephen Fry's fantastic lecture for BAFTA on the state of British television should do so, by going to their YouTube channel.


September 18, 2010, 4:28 pm

This is good news, although I really don't need another set-top box. I was hoping (rather naively) for a web-based service, rather like an expanded iPlayer.

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