ISP TalkTalk has reiterated its expectation that YouView, the would-be UK standard IPTV platform, will launch this coming Spring. The company's CEO, Dido Harding, told investors today that initial work getting customers to understand what YouView is all about has begun, laying the groundwork for consumer trials of the service. …
The original plan for Project Canvas nee YouView was that it would be available at the same time as the switchover really got going late November 2009 or slightly more realistically (LOL) in Spring 2010 when Freeview HD products became available.
Instead they may launch it before the end of the switchover if they are lucky.
In terms of likely commercial success for the platform it is pretty limited. The set top box/PVR market is tiny compared with the TV market and the retail position of such products is almost non existent with virtually no products connected to TVs and those that are are almost never demonstrated.
Youview has two potential opportunities. The first is if a slimmed down (disk free) profile could be developed and included in a major brand's TVs (Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic) which I don't think is tremendously likely because it is so UK specific and they all have their own UI's and platforms already.
The second opportunity is the amount of support the telcos may give it as a managed network set top box. BT Vision has about 700,000 subscribers but I wouldn't expect them to make the massive investment to transition all of them to YouView devices but it will be interesting to see what business model they proceed with. TalkTalk doesn't yet have any TV subscribers I believe. These telcos may believe that their current internet users will flock to YouView devices but I don't see it being a strong enough pull to draw people in without good offers.
My expectation is that Youview will never catch up with the reach of internet platforms offered by Samsung or Sony TV even in the UK not to mention the XBox and PS3 which will lead to it not being the clear target for content so I don't think it will sustain a substantial content lead.
You may notice that I don't discuss how well designed/advanced/clever it is. That is because I don't think it matters even if it is brilliant, the commercial opportunity really isn't there.
They have the old Tiscalli TV customers still I believe.
There is a massive pent up demand from telcos to launch IPTV services in the UK, but because of the lack of a defacto standard in the UK for catch-up services from the broadcasters and because there hasn't been a pay VoD service of decent quality and scale to appeal to consumers to drive anything.
The introduction of YouView may provide a mechanism for the IPTV market to standardise, grow and include all of the PSB content. BT & TalkTalk will adopt YouView and considering the legacy that both companies have I am sure they will have an interest in pushing a new technology. TT has struggled to leverage any value out of the VNL assets so far but YouView may allow them to finally get some return on investment.
I can say for certain that the proposition is technically different enough that it stands out along side other products.
Old Home Choice TV customers, and Tiscali TV customers are still hanging around. But nothing has changed since the Tiscali TV days; same channel line up, limited HD content, noncompetitive pricing etc (http://help.talktalk.co.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/501/), they've been putting all their efforts into YouView development. I don't know how well that's going to work out for them though.
And according to http://www.talktalk.co.uk/service-status/, it went down from 04/02/2012 01:26 until 05/02/2012 03:24. Oh dear.
Lovely, but what about IPv6?
Nice to hear about YouView. But what about IPv6? Content is great, but there is still the issue of how we are going to be able to access it in the near future.
When are TalkTalk going to roll out IPv6?
They've just recently acquired a load of addresses in the 2.* range specifically to put this off as long as possible. They are not going to be the first people to touch this. No TalkTalk provided consumer end routers have ever had the ability to cope with IPv6 packets.
To be fair to them, no UK ISP that uses BT Openreach services have been able to do IPv6 until recently anyway, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/10/21cn_ipv6/ and http://aaisp.net.uk/news-ipv6.html
Just wondering what's gonna be different about this service, apart from the fact that its going to be delivered via the internet?
And what about content? If its going to be the same regurgitated we already get on freeview, freesat and cable, why would anyone want to pay and subscribe to this service?
I hear the STB will also cost £200 upwards to install.
I feel it s going to be another disaster and a non starter.
Means a lot of stuff not able to be currently broadcast because of lack of spectrum can now be available. Plus its an open platform that anyone can join.
Hopefully Sky will show the F1 channel soon as its up an running, but more likely next year. Either way, it would make it a must have purchase for me. That and some lesser known IPTV offerings would be very welcome.
The boat's left
Is this still going? How much license fee cash have the BBC plundered on this ego project?
@Joseph Lord do you work for SKY or VM by any chance? you seem to know a lot about YouView's history but f'all about what YouView is all about
YouView is Freeview with catch-up and PVR with no monthly subscription (Blu Ray and media streaming too hopefully)
unlike SKY or VM where most pay a fortune to watch 90% freeview and catch-up (Why do you think SKY and VM were against it?)
The only program I will miss when I cancel my SKY subscription is A Game of Thrones, but I'll only have to wait a year to buy or rent the Blu Ray (or maybe download it via an app on YouView)
No currently independent but I used to work for Sony
What I'm doing now is some iPhone development - see http://itunes.com/apps/humanfriendlyltd for my little lists app currently free and just updated to support the iPad, some contract development and I'm also available for consulting on TV and connected TV issues. I worked in Sony Europe TV Product Planning and Service Development.
I'm a big believer in connected TV, and Freeview. I don't subscribe to VM or Sky but use Freeview HD recorded on MythTV box and streamed straight to the TV over DLNA. Occasionally I watch live on the TV. I also use the iPlayer and Lovefilm services on the TV and recently Netflix on the PS3.
For most content providers launching on connected TV products the scale is critical and the Freeview/Freesat HD PVR for £200+ market is tiny compared to TV market. I don't have access to the GfK figures but I would be surprised if it was 10% of the size of the IDTV market. That means that even if YouView takes over the entire market AND doubles the size of the market the scale is still going to be much smaller than Samsung's connected TV sales alone. If Youview had launched as originally planned it could have taken advantage of the switchover and actually got a headstart but it is probably already behind by >1,000,000 devices sold and probably 400,000 device connected to both Samsung and Sony separately.
If you want a Freeview HD PVR and some streaming media just get yourself one and get a Sony or Samsung Blu-ray Player for Blu-ray and streaming media. Or a PS3/XBox if you really need ITVplayer and 4OD. Netflix is another good reason to go for the PS3 option or Samsung.
If you are shopping for a new TV solution now the Sony KDL-40CX523 is at as little as £360. This is for a 40" FHD TV with Freeview HD (including the ability to record if you add a hard disk) and it already comes with iPlayer, Lovefilm, Demand 5, Muzu, Mubi, PPV movies, Youtube (including HD) and it has DLNA . Youview boxes are going to be competing with this and better in 2012.
I know of a lot of people
who are waiting for this to get hold of free HD content.
What HD content are they expecting?
Freeview HD already has BBC1 HD, ITV HD, Channel4 HD, BBC HD. IPlayer already has HD, and Youtube has HD for free.
Five and Channel4 both declined the fourth HD slot on Freeview HD having accepted the Sky exclusivity money. I don't think that you will get much if any extra on Youview at least for free. And things that do become available will probably also be available on other platforms like Sony and Samsung.
Netflix has good HD content but is cheap rather than free.