On the day that YouView is set to launch, Connect TV has got its defence in first by publishing Futuresource data showing that almost every home will be able to receive its service by 2014.
The over-the-top provider works with the majority of Freeview HD devices sold for reception of the terrestrial platform. Unlike YouView, which requires its own receiver, Connect TV runs on the existing MHEG-5 middleware. It broadcasts a mix of sports, foreign language and news channels from Racing UK, Sports Tonight Live, CCTV and French, Greek, Polish and Turkish programming from the Vision TV Network. A further 10 channels are due online this autumn.
According to Futuresource there are currently 9.9 million set-tops and IDTVs capable receiving IPTV, rising to 24.2 million in 2014.
“This research by Futuresource is great news for us,” says Phil Walder, Managing Director, Connect TV. “It shows that almost all UK homes will have a TV or set-top that’s Freeview HD compliant, and therefore able to access our connected TV channels, by the end of 2014. That’s good news for us and also good news for the UK consumer, as it means that they will be able to access advanced connected TV services without purchasing additional hardware solutions.”
Walder is positive about his big budget competitor: “YouView is good for us, as anything that increases the number of HD Freeview boxes in UK homes increases the number of people able to access our services.”
However, the drivers for YouView will surely be the presence of the catch up services from all the major terrestrial broadcasters. At present this is something only YouView can offer.