YouView will today publish the core device specifications that will enable any receiver manufacturer to bring product to market that shares the same underlying technology as YouView itself.
Speaking to the Royal Television Society in London last night (Wednesday) YouView CEO Richard Halton said the specification would give manufacturers all the information they needed.
The disclosures will still require any manufacturer looking to produce a device will need to be licensed by YouView and are designed to encourage common technical standards for connected TV.
At the same time Halton confirmed YouView would also be naming a new batch of manufacturers that had already committed to product development. The new companies are in addition to Cisco, Technicolor and Humax, who have already been confirmed as partners.
“These manufacturers have invested heavily and as fantastic partner organisations they are now focussed onto the launch devices. The challenge is to scale up more manufacturers.”
Halton said that following the announcement YouView would the “go quiet”, going back into the market to develop a device that would be trialled in “thousands of homes” before the end of the year. A public launch is now planned for the early part of 2012.
The EPG will also be released as will a developer API with the ambition of harnessing the skills of those already creating apps for devices such as the iPhone. However, should manufacturers be looking to licence the technology for use outside of the UK, it was likely that some sort of fee would be imposed.
The first devices will be aimed at the Freeview terrestrial market – Freesat is looking to chart a course with HbbTV – but Halton confirmed there had been talks with TV manufacturers. Although Panasonic had developed an IDTV for Freesat, Halton explained that the lead times were longer and the required processing power greater, though with minimal impact on the overall cost.
Addressing the issue of connecting YouView devices to the Internet, Halton said it was unlikely that the use of Wi-Fi would be recommended to start with. Instead YouView would follow the BT Vision route of a direct connection or use of Powerline technology.