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UK YouView Broadband TV Service Moots Multiplatform Expansion

Monday, Jul 29th, 2013 (1:10 pm) - Score 1,065

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.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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