YouView has confirmed what most people in the industry already suspected, that the hybrid platform has been delayed until early 2012, missing the key pre-Christmas selling reason.
Describing its statement as an “update on launch timings”, YouView confirmed it would have a product in trial by the end of this year with a full consumer launch now planned for early 2012. It had originally been expected that YouView product would make its debut in the early summer with a DTT PVR.
In recent months there had been growing anxiety that YouView would not meet its earlier targets amid rumours of shareholder disagreement. Then in December CTO Anthony Rose left his post with former Accenture senior consultant Sef Tuma brought in as head of technical delivery.
“Our focus has always been to deliver a product to consumers that is right, but not rushed. Creating a truly open TV platform that will bring consumers increased choice has required significant technological innovation. Our timings for the launch reflect the scale and complexity of this project,” said YouView CEO Richard Halton.
There had been growing anxiety among manufacturers that planned product ranges might be delayed while they wait for YouView to receive its final go-ahead. But YouView today reminded the industry that as an open platform it will allow any manufacturer to build a device using its underlying technologies, regardless of whether they intend to do so under the YouView brand.
This provides a potential upgrade path for set-top boxes deployed with broadband capability. Already a number of such products exist in the UK market, such as the ADB i-CAN Freeview HD receiver, and the Humax HDR-FOX T2 launched using the ANT Gallio Platform.
The number of such boxes is expected to increase over the next few months with the introduction of the MHEG-Interaction Channel.
YouView has also confirmed it will shortly publish its core technical specifications for launch, a move welcomed by the Digital TV Group. This represents another positive development in UK Connected Television following the DTG’s release of the draft version of the technical specification for UK Connected TV products and services (D-Book 7) in December 2010″.
The organisation said it remained on track to release D-Book 7 version 1.0 in March 2011.