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.