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By: MarkJ - 16 September, 2010 (12:07 PM)
youview uk set-top-boxuk youview broadband internet tvThe controversial Project Canvas joint venture, which claims to have developed an "open standard" for delivering subscription free broadband ISP based UK internet TV services (e.g. BBC iPlayer, 4OD etc.) directly into homes via special set-top-boxes, has today been given the official name of YouView.

The service is supported by several major broadcasters and ISPs, including the BBC , ITV , BT , TalkTalk , Channel 4, five and Arqiva. It is set to launch during the first half of 2011. Both BT and TalkTalk have already revealed tentative plans to adopt the technology, although details remain scarce.

YouView's Officially Appointed CEO, Richard Halton, commented:

"YouView is a brilliant new subscription-free TV service which combines the best TV with on demand services and internet content. I am delighted to be leading the team who will make it a reality and think it will change the way we watch TV forever.

We are creating an exciting consumer brand which will stand for a better TV experience for UK homes. 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."

YouView will introduce an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) that will enable people to see what's on now alongside everything they’ve missed in the last 7 days, including programmes from broadcasters like the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and five, which already have an on demand offering.

The Set Top Boxes (STB), which are expected to cost around £100-£200 and include Freeview TV channels, will also add a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) feature so that viewers can pause live TV or record an entire series at the touch of a button.

Viewers will also be able to simply search for the kind of programmes they like by genre, interest or locality, including films, sports and new content from the internet. Plans to offer an applications store will also give viewers new types of services and levels of interactivity with their favourite programmes.

YouView boxes will be available for a one-off fee, with no contract. They may be offered at special rates as part of new or improved broadband packages. However, as we reported again this morning, YouView is not devoid of problems (here).

UPDATE 14:25pm

In related news the BBC Trust has offered to freeze the TV Licence fee at £145.50 for the next two years, although it could still rise in 2012/13, especially with the "super-fast" broadband efforts to consider.
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