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UK YouView Broadband TV Service Moots Multiplatform Expansion

Monday, July 29th, 2013 (1:10 pm) - Score 1,064

The popular broadband internet based video-on-demand and catch-up TV (IPTV) service, YouView, looks set to expand beyond its current approach of working with ISPs (e.g. BT, JT and TalkTalk) to bundle special set-top-boxes and adopt a more multi-platform approach.

The platform started life as a Joint Venture project between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 5 (Five). But the current partnership agreement is due to end in March 2014 and as a result talks have already started to focus on what YouView’s future direction should be.

According to the FT, more than 400,000 set-top-boxes have been sold (mostly through ISP bundles) and at least some of YouView’s major shareholders now want to see the platform expand onto other devices (e.g. integrated into TV’s, Smartphones and Tablet computers). The addition of more content is also a consideration (take note that BT and TalkTalk already include their own commercial TV content).

A Source told the Newspaper:

The multi-device strategy such as connected TVs is important in particular to the broadcasters. It has started as a TV set-top box but will evolve into a much bigger platform for us all to use.”

Apparently the discussions are said to have been friendly, which contrasts well with the more volatile reports that surfaced prior to the sudden March 2013 departure of the groups former Non Executive Chairman, Lord Alan Sugar (here). So far YouView has been unable to find a replacement for Sir Alan and as a result the founder of TalkTalk, Sir Charles Dunstone, continues on as his temporary successor.

It’s interesting to note that TalkTalk last week confirmed plans to launch a budget YouView box that would have no built-in recording (PVR) facilities. This would make it cheap enough to offer alongside their entry-level Essentials broadband and phone bundle. The new zapper box is expected to surface by the end of 2013. Now if only they could add decent WiFi support.

Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar Correction Bot says:

    March 2013 has already gone! Unless you are stuck in the past?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Sorry, typo, it’s 2014 of course.

  2. Avatar sam says:

    They need to have the full channel line-up like virgin media and let people to sign up for which individual channels they want without having to pay your isp. If they did this and made it a proper iptv box then it would succeed, at the moment it is just a glorified freeview hd box.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      Thing is – I’m not sure how many of these they can actually sell without ISP bundling. Because these things cost over £250 to buy. Which is presumably to subsidise said ISP bundling. Without that, the number of these boxes in use would probably be close to nil. An exaggeration perhaps, but maybe not far from the truth.

      I’d be interested in a box which has more choice of on-demand TV, our Smart TV has certain apps built in, but not for instance ITV, C4 or C5 on demand.

      But I’m not sure it’s worth £250; I can’t see these things flying off the shelves at that price point and it’s certainly not a competitor to a Cable/TIVO setup.

  3. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    I will shortly be experimenting with a Roku+Plex, partly because I’m a cheapskate, partly because I’m only interested in iPlayer rather than the rest of the YouView providers.

  4. Avatar Mark says:

    Im shocked youview is still going, who in their right mind either pays £200+ quid outright for a set top box or monthly subscription for basically freeview + iplayer?

  5. When is the BBC/ITV Archive getting released on Youview? That is what people are waiting for!

  6. Avatar ethel prunehat says:

    This YouView stuff is confusing from a consumer’s perspective. For example, Talktalk offer “free” Youview, but the premium bit they’re offering for “free” is different set of channels than you might get from another service provider. Surely SPs shouldn’t all be selling different things under the name YouView?

  7. Avatar Mel says:

    I think you mean Departure 🙂

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Corrected, thanks Mel.

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