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YouView catch-up TV service has launched
Wednesday 04 July 2012 10:36:18 by John Hunt

Today is the official launch of YouView, although the service is not actually available yet! Devices will be available from major retailers by the end of July, including the likes of John Lewis, Amazon and Currys. The two service providers who are part of the project, TalkTalk and BT will also be launching packages based around YouView in due course, with TalkTalk set to announce their proposals on the 26th July, the day before the Olympics start.

The YouView set top box is said to "transform how UK viewers consume TV", although that claim is perhaps a little behind the times due to the plethora of devices that already intertwine the Internet with the TV. It does bring some advantages over those existing devices however, as the catch-up TV services of all the major terrestrial channels are included - BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. It will be available in two ways- as a standalone product sold in shops and also through TalkTalk and BT who are expected to integrate it with broadband packages and also provide additional content (think BT Vision). It's expected to include dual tuners which will allow users to pause live TV and record up to 2 channels at once.

Users should be aware that any data used through the service will count toward any monthly broadband data allowances. YouView recommend a minimum of around 3Mbps (the bits claiming 3MBps are assumed to be a typo!) which could add up quite quickly - 2 hours a day, 5 times a week could come add up to nearly 30GB a month.

"It's with great pleasure that we announce that YouView will be available from major retailers later this month. Our intention with this simple–to-use box is to provide extraordinary TV for everyone, with on-demand services combined with TV channels with an opportunity to search back an entire week to catch what they've missed. It's a whole new way of experiencing TV."

Lord Sugar, (Chairman) YouView

Comments

Posted by FlappySocks over 4 years ago
£299 for the set-top box. Cant see it selling at that price. If you take the Freeview element out of it, it's just a Raspberry Pi with a remote, and some software. Where is Netflix and LoveFilm?
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
I have all the catchup services already on my PS3 so it can't even claim it is unique in that feature.

It is last to market seriously overpriced compared to all the other boxes and devices so why do we want this thing?
Posted by EnglishRob over 4 years ago
So I'm a bit confused about the box. It says it supports HD, but does it support Freeview HD transmissions (i.e. does it have DVB-T2 tuners in the box) or is the HD stuff only available over the on-demand services?

I suppose if it had Freeview HD compatible tuners then at 300 quid it's not too bad (hard drive size dependent). Also suppose if it's subsidised via an ISP it might appeal to someone like my dad who doesn't want Sky, can't get Virgin but wants a HD box.

Rob
Posted by GeorgeLloyd over 4 years ago
I find it hard to understand what the point of this new box is. My Blue Ray player has these facilities apart from recording by my freeview box can record.
Posted by ukp62 over 4 years ago
EnglishRob, it supports freeview hd over the air and supports hd over iptv.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
There is a market for this. Not everyone has a computer. Not everyone who has a computer wants to watch TV on it. Not everyone that has a computer has the leads and expertise needed to hook it up to their TV. Not everyone who has the computer, and the leads, and the inclination can actually be bothered to do it.

There is a lot to be said for having it all dealt with by one box sat under TV and permanently connected to it.

It is a bit pricey but then it's a Humax. They usually produce very good kit.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
Oops. Of course if they don't already have a computer the box doesn't do anything that any other Freeview PVR doesn't do. Still it might just be an excuse for someone to get broadband even if they don't use it for anything except TV/films.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
And that market can already get devices for £150 to £180 that do Freeview HD, internet, catch-up and some even add a blu-ray player in the price.
Posted by zyborg47 over 4 years ago
£300 for a glorified PVR, even taking account of the HD tuners that is still expensive. my digital stream was half that price.
If you want catch up T.V, then maybe it will do ok if the price is lowered with a internet package. I still think it have arrived too late to be honest, no doubt Bt and Talk Talk will make use of it to lock people into super long contracts


Posted by Dave_m29 over 4 years ago
I think the unique selling point is all 4 catch up TV services in one box integrated with a HD Freeview PVR. Although other products offer catch up TV services this is the only subscription free service that offers all four catch up services. (Other than that the PS3 is the only box that plugs into the TV as all four but it isn't a PVR/Freeview Tuner). Admittedly it's not as ground breaking as it would have been if it had launched on time :-) and I would image it's only a matter of time before all four catch up tv services become available on other set top boxes and smart tv's.
Posted by acpsd775 over 4 years ago
@Dave_m29 although the ps3 can be turned into a free view PVR with the play tv addon although i dont think its HD you can pick one up from 15-50 quid on ebay lol
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Freeview HD - how many HD channels are there these days?
Posted by searcher100 over 4 years ago
I now have the connection to use this service and enable me to kick the sky package into touch. And not give them any more money. So TT start packaging it out "NOW"
Posted by mbailey over 4 years ago
Seems strange they announce the launch as 3 weeks ago they started to collect names for a larger trial. Have they decided to skip the trial and go straight to product launch now?

I agree with the others £300 is too much.

I am waiting to see what pricing BT come up with for this.
Posted by emhar over 4 years ago
I would probably get it if it was £50 but it's still nice to see a commercial product that delivers internet tv content for free. I found another interesting website, TvAly (http://tvaly.com) that streams content from the cloud, but it makes the experience live.
Posted by emhar over 4 years ago
To correct the previous post. The tv aly website is now Tvphoon (http://tvphoon.com)
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