YouView to be launched next week

YouView will finally see the light of day next week with a press briefing scheduled for Wednesday morning (July 4).

Working set-top boxes will be on display from the manufacturer Humax, but plentiful supplies of any receiver are not expected in the shops for several weeks, meaning YouView will miss any sales boost from the London Olympics, while it continues to undergo market testing.

Cisco and Technicolor have also previously committed to production of set-top boxes for the hybrid service.

In addition to the 70 digital channels available from the Freeview service YouView is offering the last 7 day’s catch up, plus series recording and thousands of programmes on demand. BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 will all be available.

The project, driven by broadcasters BBC, ITV and Arqiva, together with the ISPs BT and TalkTalk, this week put a cap on the number of participants in the second stage of its trials after an “overwhelming response”.

However, there remains uncertainty as to YouView’s potential take-up, amid many competing connected devices.

Yesterday, at a Westminster eForum event, Sony’s head of corporate public affairs Adrian Northover Smith, reiterated the company’s desire for a single European standard in HBBtv. “In comparison for the mass market it [YouView] is not so important and the public service broadcasters have concentrated too much of their effort on that and not on the TV set”.

Northover Smith said the industry would be better for a coordinated approach.