The UK’s online TV service, YouView (formerly Project Canvas), has started alpha testing in 350 homes, which if successful could lead to a move to a larger beta trial across thousands of homes within four weeks. YouView is essentially an online evolution of the hugely successful Freeview digital TV service, with the added functionality you’d expect with connected TV service including apps, catch-up and DVR services.
YouView has been jointly developed by the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 5, with Alan Sugar playing the role of non-executive chairman. The project has encountered
Aside from the fact the project is backed by the BBC, one of the platform’s main draws will be the pricing and flexibility. The box is expected to sell for approximately £200, which will be a one-off charge that will provide the user with free access to the UK’s mainstream channels. However, if users would like to add pay TV services to that they will be able to do so, although at this stage YouView haven’t confirmed which services are going to be available.
One notable company who won’t be involved is Sky, who have chosen instead to go it alone with Now TV, an internet TV service aimed at people who aren’t willing to sign up to the full Sky offering and are looking for a more flexible a la carte service.