back to article BBC, ITV gang up on YouView with 'FreeView Connect'

The BBC and ITV look set to cut YouView adrift, backing a new TV distribution platform they've developed called FreeView Connect. This has long been rumoured in the UK industry, and now Digital UK – which is backed by the two channels together with Channel 4 and Arqiva – has confirmed they're looking at it. According to …

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  1. Piro

    First time I've ever heard of "YouView". So there's that.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      I always thought you had to buy YouView from TalkTalk or BT to be able to use it properly. I didn't think you could just walk in to Curry's and plug it in at home without being on BT or TalkTalk. So Piro's comment makes sense.

      1. HollyHopDrive

        I did walk into Curry's and buy one on a humax freesat box a couple of months ago and I like it. Bit peeved if they muck it up now.

        I don't mind spending 200 on a new box every 2 or 3 years as i wont subscribe to skys overpriced tish and it more than pays for itself in comparison

        1. Justa

          Why did you do that? £45 is the going rate for the boxes on eBay, it's awash with them.

        2. Wilseus

          "I did walk into Curry's and buy one on a humax freesat box a couple of months ago and I like it. Bit peeved if they muck it up now."

          That's extremely unlikely. With a couple of exceptions such as Channel 5, Freesat boxes receive exactly the same FTA transmissions from exactly the same satellites as Sky Digital does.

          Remember that all the BBC, ITV, "4" channels, "5" channels and many others are free to air on Sky too.

    2. Grease Monkey

      "First time I've ever heard of "YouView""

      I'm deeply impressed that you've managed to avoid all the advertising.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Grease Monkey

        He aint the only one. I havnt seen it either. I dont see why he got downvoted for not seeing an advertisement campaign. When I used to have sky I would skip all the adverts. Havnt watched adverts for ages. Occasionally when I do see them I get reminded why I skip em.

        1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

          Re: @ Grease Monkey

          It was discussed in depth for years by El Reg.

        2. Grease Monkey

          Re: @ Grease Monkey

          @codejunky do you walk/drive past billboard ads with your eyes shut?

      2. monkeyfish

        Does anyone know if you can buy a subsidised one and then bugger off to another broadband company with the youview bits still working? Been meaning to get the in-laws to ditch talktalk for a while now, but if they can get a cheap PVR first it would be useful.

        1. Skoorb

          Of course you can get a free one and then change broadband providers; you just have to remember that pesky minimum term contract termination fee for your broadband...

  2. JeeBee

    YouView was a dead duck as soon as it was revealed it would be a £200+ set top box.

    Since then there have been a ramp of cheap media players with iPlayer and 4od installed - ITV Player often lagging. The cheapest is the £10 Now TV device that is subsidised by Sky I believe, but I don't think there is any obligation to buy Sky's premium content on the device.

    Of course the problem is that all of these catchup channels have their own separate applications and UIs. ITV Player's often being the worst (a web portal with a terrible interface, at least on the PS3). Sadly the other half needs to watch Coronation Street on catch-up after the nipper has been put in bed and thus we have to suffer the terrible UI and PS3's screen saver kicking in, which doesn't happen in the native PS3 iPlayer and 4od apps.

    So Freeview Connect needs to deliver a single, consistent, usable UI. I suggest they make use of the current excellent iPlayer UI and extend it to host catch-up TV and archive TV from the other channels.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      So Freeview Connect needs to deliver a single, consistent, usable UI.

      Or - a single, consistent, usable API.

      1. rcaller

        Re: So Freeview Connect needs to deliver a single, consistent, usable UI.

        See TAL the open source TV Dev framework from the BBC

    2. Test Man

      "ITV Player's often being the worst (a web portal with a terrible interface, at least on the PS3)"

      There's no "at least on the PS3" about it - it's terrible whatever platform you use and in whatever incarnation.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        FAIL

        It's terrible whatever platform you use and in whatever incarnation.

        The bandwidth never seems to be adequate either. I don't use it very often but I think I used it for one of the Marchlands episodes and was very unimpressed. All the rest manage a pretty respectable version of HD (Sky's is astonishingly good especially since it runs at about 800kb/s - way better decoders?). ITV player has just never been very good.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Sky's is astonishingly good especially since it runs at about 800kb/s - way better decoders?

          Sky has the great advantage that they download to disk, and play out locally from there, so maybe they can avoid some of the forward error correction that real-time streaming needs for reliability? If a Sky box gets a corrupt packet it can just ask for a retransmission, no problem if that means a few seconds delay, they don't need all the overhead of data to do "live" correction..

          Just a guess, though.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge

            Sky has the great advantage that they download to disk, and play out locally from there,

            Not entirely. I mean, yes, it fills an initial buffer but after that you can watch while it's still downloading. In my case (67Mb/s connection) it's typically ready to watch in a few seconds. From memory each programme occupies 1GB of disk space per hour.

    3. John H Woods

      @JeeBee

      PS3 screen saver can be controlled in settings menu.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RIP Youview

      Bit miffed, I got a YouView box through BT and it is a great platform. The UI outclasses Roku, Sky, Virgin, Play TV, etc...

      The biggest issue is the on-demand section it doesn't support much and takes months before new things are added. Without Netflix, plex, etc... you end up needing a second device. I don't need yet anouther competing standard just everyone to seamlessly support the existing ones.

      I bought a couple of Roku's. With a Plex server connected to a TV tuner (provided through a TVHeadend channel). I get it all in a £40 Roku 1, sure the UI isn't as pretty and the easy search features aren't there.

      But I would have liked them to fill YouView out over the next few years and start embedding it in TV's. I figured it was the smart tv platform of the future.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never did get the 200 squids initial cost

      It didn't make sense then. Now that Now TV will provide you with a little box for 25 squids, it makes even less sense Now!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never did get the 200 squids initial cost

        Youview box is a PVR not just a set top box AFAIK. Comparing apples with oranges.

        A friend has an HD one & it'll record iPlayer to HDD now (not sure of other web channels).

        One way to get around lag.

        Also being able to record a series to HDD is handy, rather than trawling interactively for fave progs.

        Friend found iPlayer on Youview stalling, but Sony Smart TV iPlayer implementation worked fine, and that was on BT Infinity. So software could do with a bit more polish. Guess like everywhere, their devs have been shrunk.

    6. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      It's ironic

      When the BBC were touting Project Canvas, they wanted to fix the UI so that it would appear the same on all devices. The device manufacturers, understandably, kicked back, as it did not allow them to differentiate their offerings.

      This meant that there were fewer people prepared to make YouView boxes, with the result that those you could buy were expensive. And because they were more expensive, it allowed the ISPs to offer them as part of their package as a benefit that people could not get anywhere else at a reasonable price.

      What is needed is a style guide that mandates some of the UI, but allows manufacturers the ability to add some function to differentiate the product. This may encourage cheaper systems. A sub-£100 internet enabled freeview catch-up box would be very attractive to me, but I'm not paying £200 or switching my ISP. If I can buy a Blu-Ray player with internet connectivity for £70, adding a freeview tuner, replacing the Blu-Ray drive with a 120GB disk and modifying the firmware would put it somewhere close to the £100 mark.

      I doubt this is that the BBC et.al. have in mind, though.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: It's ironic

        It doesn't need a fixed UI across all devices, just one that is fixed for all channels on a particular device. It's ok to learn a new UI each time you buy a new box, but not very usable to have a new UI for each channel on the same box. That said, the Roku is cheap, and at least the remote doesn't have a million tiny buttons, unlike my TV/PVR.

  3. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Please checked your facts

    1. 'spent' not 'spendt'.

    2. Freeview Connect has been in the Freeview specifications for three years that I know of and by definition is open to all manufacturers.

    There are fees for access to documents and test suites from the DTG but these are reasonable.

    There is no manufacturer exclusivity.

    1. Anthony 13
      Happy

      Re: Please checked your facts

      1. 'spent' not 'spendt'.

      'Please checked your facts'? Hmmm, it's not 'Graudian' either...have you got some meta-irony thing going here?

  4. That's it man, game over man, game over!

    Love my youview

    Having come from Sky to a subsidised youview from BT, which included infinity and line rental for about £35 a month have to say i am well chuffed. Less so at the news that it will not be onwardly developed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love my youview

      Me too. It's a pretty good product. Nice UI, records no problem and the new internet channels work pretty well. I got mine free (or low price?) through BT as part of Infinity, so price doesn't bother me.

      There are some dodgy moments, like hangups and slowdowns. That shouldn't happen on a box like this. And there is *still* no LoveFilm (despite early promises), which by now probably means that it's never going to happen and we'll have to wait to see what Amazon (or Netflix) decides to do.

      What worries me most is that it's not particularly clear what the development rate is for YouView right now. It doesn't seem to be improving at a massive rate. If there are politics with current providers & competition (Sky, LoveFilm) and now even with "friends" at the BBC & ITV, it doesn't bode well.

      1. DRHowells

        Re: Love my youview

        Lovefilm has never been 'promised'.

    2. bluest.one

      Re: Love my youview

      I don't think there's any suggestion that YouView will stop being developed, just that TalkTalk and BT will have to pick up the slack as the BBC, ITV and C4 retreat, since they are the main beneficiaries of the platform.

      YouView might pick up some new ISP investors.

  5. Toxteth O'Gravy

    Being free-to-air doesn't make the advertising-funded ITV a Public Service Broadcaster, shurely?

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      A Public Service Broadcaster is one that has public service obligations; the funding mechanism and presence of adverts isn't relevant to the definition.

      It's about things like the amount of news programming, including local programming (though given the way ITV has been diligently jettisoning that, perhaps it shouldn't count as a PSB), and also childrens' material too.

      Historically, heavy regulation meant the only broadcasters ( BBC, ITV and then C4) on the airwaves all had some public service obligations. As alternatives have proliferated, those original incumbents have been granted certain things (like mux capacity, guaranteed EPG positions) in return for maintaining those obligations.

      There was a suggestion a couple of years back that ITV might be considering walking away from its PSB obligations, though that seems to have come to nothing; they probably just wanted to persuade Ofcom they should rip up their local news operations a bit more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I would love ITV to leave, its not like they broadcast anything of any worth...

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      ITV 1 is a public service channel. The other ITV channels are not.

    3. dogged

      Oh Toxteth, you were just Kibozing for Nigel then. Admit it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a bunch of Linuxers are running the show and forking everything left, right and centre.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      forking is old hat

      and you can now also choose from "gorking" (the more popular gnu version), "rorking" (Redhat's customization of "gork"), or even the Ubuntu "sporking" (no, you really don't want to know). Do try to keep up with us linuxers :-)

      Hmm ... and what was it that the BSD crowd call their version?

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: forking is old hat

        <snip>

        "Hmm ... and what was it that the BSD crowd call their version?"

        They call it Dom (as in dominatrix).

        Now do these things work with them there foreign Johnny I.P. addresses? I live abroad far from floods, English politicians and a tax system that takes my money but would never give me anything back if I was in extremis.

        Interestingly, the BBC and ITV have just died in Southern Europe due to a change of satellite. It does not worry me much as I am a polyglot but it appears to have outraged the geriatric letter writers in my little corner of the world.

  7. ElNumbre
    Go

    The symbol

    Just as in the same way that + has come to mean 'has a record function', perhaps there needs to be a 'catchup via the internet' symbol, for example Φ. So if you have a freeview Φ or freesat Φ you know that you can use it to iPlayer or 4player or STV player to your hearts content.

    The complete renaming of platforms with similar functions only serves to confuse and scare the general populous.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Lamont Cranston

    Maybe the BBC et al. should work on the marketing of YouView,

    rather than throwing out what appears to be a perfectly workable platform? Having seen YouView running on my inlaws' BTVision, it'd be something I'd look for when replacing my current PVR. I can't see any benefit to them developing another, identical service.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe the BBC et al. should work on the marketing of YouView,

      Although nothing has really been announced about this new service, thinking logically, at present Freeview and YouView can reside in the same box, however, they are two different beasts.

      What I suspect the BBC et al are actually going on about is better integration of Freeview and YouView/connected services. An example would be to enhance the Freeview BBC Red Button functionality so that it can give access to on-line content.

      1. Lamont Cranston

        Re: Red Button

        Sounds reasonable, I suppose. My current box can display freeview channels that are delivered through the ethernet port, so I can't see that it would be a big stretch to have the Red Button point to one of those channels, rather than a "regular" freeview one.

        Of course, this then borks the Red Button for anyone without an internet-connected freeview box!

  9. Xyra

    A shame, I like YouView

    It would be terrible shame if ongoing development stopped for YouView. I'm one of the few who have actually bought a YouView box directly (albeit BT branded but otherwise almost identical to the Humax box. Bought from currys on offer for £150ish quid whereas the humax brand sat next to it was well over £200.)

    I don't have BT or TalkTalk or NowTV so can't comment on how good those are, but the free-to-air stuff is great.

    I find it very reliable, good quality (although SD output sometimes is not quite on par with my previous box). The recording timings have been bang on and never had one missed. The UI is quite nice although sometimes less than instant (probably due to pulling everything over the internet as you rather than pre-caching). It would be nice if there were more pluginable channels (Roku style) but otherwise I would highly recommend it.

    It's far far better than our previous boxes and has just worked flawlessly since we got it just after Christmas. The android app which allows you to set recordings remotely is handy as well (don't know if any competitors offer that?)

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: A shame, I like YouView

      I concur - I am also an unsubsidised YouView owner - I bought it soon after release having moved into the only house on the street Virgin Media did not serve (thereby rendering my Tivo box useless). I've been really impressed - the UI is logical, the unified search is brilliant, and it picks up all the new Freeview HD channels without issue. You are right about the occasionally less-than-instant response, but it's no worse in that regard than Tivo was when Iast used it.

      It is a shame more services haven't been forthcoming - NetFlix would be a nice addition, but I have a PS3 plugged in alongside so it's not a massive issue for me.

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Management

    Is BT or TalkTalk doing something to the platform that BBC or ITV don't like? Apparently the TalkTalk boss is currently in charge of YouView according to Wikipedia.

    Enquiring minds, etc...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Management

      Yes. BT and Talktalk are making money out of it via their additional services. And the olde worlde BBC don't like it.

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Management

      They're not promoting it as an ISP-neutral platform.

  11. Silver

    Say what?

    As one source told the paper: "YouView was meant to be the champion of the next generation of free-to-air, but the involvement of the internet service providers means that it has become a pay platform. YouView isn't the champion of the free; it's the home of the pay."

    If you're going to put a twin tuner and 500GB+ hard drive into a product, you're never going to get it to a price where it can be the "champion of the free".

    Having said that, my parents walked into John Lewis only last week and picked up a 1TB Humax FreeView box for 250 notes. After the initial outlay, I don't envisage they'll be frequenting the "home of the pay" any time soon.

    Not to mention that, compared to Sky's cheapest offering, they'll have recouped their investment in 10 months and be just over £450 better off after two years.

  12. John Styles

    Oceania is at war with Eastasia, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia

    I read last week that ITV Player is going on NowTV - Sky and ITV having signed a deal promising peace in our time. At 10 quid for the box it was a bargain and the UIs for the different services are more or less OK.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Fantastic!!

    Youview is too expensive for a connected TV receiver, we need a free version of the Sky NowTV box, something cheap that does free/bbc Internet telly and is secure so they can stick the broadcast channels over IP as well without licensing issues.

  15. Don Jefe

    Starting Grid

    Does anyone want to go out on a limb and guess why there are no snowmobiles on the starting grid of an F1 race? What's that? Sand? No.... Good guess, but all F1 races aren't in the desert. I'll just tell you. It's because such a thing would be really fucking stupid.

    You don't race completely different things, you don't eat an orange and complain that it isn't topped with cream cheese and filled with raspberry jam or compare dentists to gynecologists. You also don't compare public resources with private commercial endeavors. It isn't that one is 'superior' to the other, it's that you can't compare radically different things with any sort of validity.

    You can make assessments about which thing is the best suited for a given purpose, but you can't compare them directly. People try all the time, but it never works out well. All those paths lead directly to the pastures of the Spherical Cow where nothing acts in ways that reflect reality. Sure, people like those kinds of comparisons, they give people a feeling of control and lots of numbers to twist up inside spreadsheets, but it's all fiction. You don't actually need real data for those sorts of things. Get a bag of 20 sided dice and just go to town.

    Market analysts are the worst, because they not only get numbers to play with, they get to craft little narratives for each number. They get to pretend they get to make those types of decisions in real life, instead of their university friends. If it wasn't a job, such behavior would be a big warning sign that something is terribly wrong with those people.

    Moving on, here are just a few off the cuff examples of invalid comparisons that affect our daily lives:

    - Temperature readings from old, inconsistent devices vs new devices and methodologies. Permanently derailed any hope for useful public debate about climate change.

    - Apple vs Samsung business comparisons lead analysts, reporters and consumers into bottomless pits where logic and common sense die, slowly. Their businesses are as different as they could be. You can compare some of their products head to head, but not the companies.

    - Army (x) vs Army (y). This one is a really big deal, and has likely impacted your life directly, or the events that led to your life anyway. Number of troops, types of weapons and tech, logistics, etc... Don't mean shit if anything more than aggravated capitulation through destruction is your goal. That's why rice and goat production falls during 'modern' wars. The farmers have to leave their rice paddies and goat paddocks long enough to rout invaders who come with exponentially more and vastly superior everything's.

    - GDP vs individual wealth. Even the bassackwards Confederate States of America knew using GDP as a comparative metric was worthless. In fact, nearly all economic indices crumple when used in unweighted calculations. Cost of living is down, inflation is at the minimum and inventories are down!!! Huzzah!!! Oh yeah, we took the costs of energy, food, housing, transportation and medical care out of the calculations.

    Blindly toss a pencil over your shoulder and it's guaranteed to land on at least one wholly invalid comparison (web page hits anybody?) that somebody is trying to validate. It is one thing to make apples vs donuts comparisons when you don't know any better, but it doesn't take a statistics supercomputer to tell you the only things you can compare are how two wildly different things are different from one another, you can't put then in a cage and fight them, without cheating and it being boring as shit anyway.

    When you hear business types make invalid comparisons it is 100% certain they plan to come out swinging with dizzying methodologies and the darkest Macumba of formulas to hide their failures behind. Look for yourself.

    Watch any open (or at least not completely scripted) townhall/Q&A type meeting and 'the guy' taking the questions will knock down invalid horse vs spanner comparisons in .00034ms because he knows they're 100% useless things. He might even smack the person who asked around a little with a clever retort. They know better than to get sucked into a debate on two incomparable things. That O'Riely guy from RyanAir and that ambulatory gym bag of hallucinogens from Overstock are the only two people I can think of that would even bother to get into something like that. If they come at you with something like that it's because their other hand is sneaking up your wife's dress and is going to steal her eggs as well as her necklace while everybody tries to figure out how putting 5,000 live tigers inside a blimp is going to reduce the price of breakfast cereals.

    TL;DR - When business people and politician types make tulips vs methylene chloride comparisons just start moving towards the exit and hope your friends/family/coworkers can get out as well before you block the doors from outside a set fire to the building. Sometimes the cleansing fire is the only way to stop some creatures.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Starting Grid

      <snip>

      "TL;DR - When business people and politician types make tulips vs methylene chloride comparisons just start moving towards the exit and hope your friends/family/coworkers can get out as well before you block the doors from outside a set fire to the building. Sometimes the cleansing fire is the only way to stop some creatures."

      Hmmmmm. Well I do not see such a huge difference myself. For example if the tulip in question was a Bamford tulip then a comparison with dichloromethane ( methylene chloride ) would be valid if it was appertaining to fuel types etc.

      Err. Is there not a Kitty cat F1 snowmobile race? Guess what one might find on the starting grid of such an event?

    2. windy_miller
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Starting Grid

      What

      The

      F***?

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Starting Grid

        I'm convinced our auto-modding system has a sense of humour and lets stuff like that through for the sheer insanity of it.

        1. Don Jefe
          FAIL

          Re: Starting Grid

          Well, damnit. I bitch at people all the time about making careless mistakes because they are tired/hungover/sick. I have failed to heed my own advice and just go home. In fact I believe I shall go home now and I will wallow in my embarrassment for at least a few minutes.

          I read that article twice and I put YouTube in there instead of YouView. Christ. No wonder the article didn't make any sense. It was such a great rant too! I should delete that entire thing, but I will leave it there as a monument to my shame. Jesus, how embarrassing.

          The Fail icon is for me.

          1. bill 36
            Pint

            That was a great rant

            Nothing to be ashamed of but you're obviously stressed. Have a beer!

            I fancied a similar rant last week when the BBC & ITV switched satellites to 2F thereby cutting off most of Europe but then i thought, i'll need to watch the news on Al Jazeera and RT now and what the Brits have just achieved is to cut off one of their best propaganda routes into the minds of a lot of foreigners.

            Then i read somebody saying, "bout bloody time" the expats stopped getting the BBC for nowt. Thats as maybe but it completely misses the point. I know many people all over Europe, not Brits, who enjoyed the UK content for a variety of reasons.

            The only winners are going to be the VPN suppliers and P2P telly companies many of whom are already on the game, especially in Holland and Russia.

  16. Grease Monkey

    There was talk not so long back that BT would eventually convert all BT Vision boxes to YouView. Bet that won't happen now.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're right

    I got a BT You view box a year ago and have just cancelled the service. It is most definitely treated as a way for them to extract more cash out of you with their on demand services and I hated it. They are now chasing me to return the equipment to them by texting me every week and sending me emails. However, having actually read their terms and conditions I know that the box belongs to me so having given BT £49 for "installation" = £5 a month for a year I now own a half decent 500Gb HD PVR for not very much money.

    I still don't really enjoy the You View experience though. I think it was having Alan Sugar involved that put me off initially. Then finding that a lot of the catch up stuff couldn't actually be caught up on (not sure why) and then having the end or beginning of lots of recordings chopped off or having lots of recording failing despite having a really strong signal. Meh...

  18. Lallabalalla

    Humax freeview box

    I have the old SD one which still gets used for SD broadcasts - I've been wanting the HD YouView one for some time as being HUMAX it's probably the best of them - but what's put me off is not the price, it's the many many crappy reviews on Amazon, which make it sound like a far inferior product to my old SD one. 3 minute startup time? Yeesh.

    So I bought a Sammy "smart" TV and it has all the player apps anyway. So who needs it?

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: Humax freeview box

      The startup time from cold is embarrassingly slow, but you can just set the "eco mode" or whatever so it goes into a standby state rather than turning off and it comes back on again in a few seconds. Although its probably drawing a little more power it's not getting warm or anything so I doubt it's significant.

      Edit: The main benefit over smart TV apps is that it maintains the ability to record stuff off the air and keep it in perpetuity. Programs seem to stay on iPlayer for about a week (or a week after the end of the series) so there's quite a few things I would have missed otherwise. Some programs never make it to iPlayer (rights issue presumably).

      Also, ours is full of "Peppa Pig" and "Sarah & Duck" which is easier than trying to explain to a two-year old why her preferred program might not be available on-demand this week.

  19. Nifty

    the only platform for me ever is...

    A laptop and VGA cable connected to TV seems to be the only flexible way to kick back and catch up on all 4 main channels if you don't lock yourself into that £200+ PVR with Youview. But the PVR wont stream or catch up on channels abroad, which is what I need for language practice. So a laptop it is.

  20. MrXavia
    Linux

    I hate set-top boxes

    Seriously they pain me, why should I buy a TV then have to get a box? that is why I don't have sky.. My TV has a Satellite receiver built in, it has one of those card slot things in the back for pay TV, yet I need a sky box if I want to watch Sky? so sorry but I will watch FTA Satellite rather than pay for adverts and one maybe 2 shows I would watch...

    For catchup, why can't I download a YouView app to my TV? I can watch iPlayer, ITV, Channel4, Channel5, netflix, Flixster etc all on my TV, yet YouView, this 'standard' is not available as an app, that to me is a BIG fail for the service...

    I want all my TV available On Demand, from a single interface.. as it is, iPlayer & 4OD are pretty much the only ones I use, very very rare ITV has a program I would watch On Demand.

    1. dogged

      Re: I hate set-top boxes

      I'd rather like to get YouView on my XBox. I don't see why it's not possible - it's not like there aren't cheap USB TV tuners around. The iPlayer et al apps already exist, even for the XBone (which, incidentally, should be even better able to cope with a USB tuner because it has a "full" Win8 install as well as the gameOS and is essentially a PC under the fluff).

      Okay, I haven't got an XBone yet and won't until the price drops and the game selection improves but seriously, why not?

      If Satya Nadella is reading this (i expect he likes a good laugh at ignorant commentards as much as anyone else) sort it out, would you?

      1. Richard 81

        Re: I hate set-top boxes

        @dogged: I'm sure it's possible to port YouView to the XBox, but MS would still want you to shell out for a Live Gold account to use it.

        1. dogged

          Re: I hate set-top boxes

          @Richard81 - that's fine, I already have one of those.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I hate set-top boxes

      Funny old world - I dislike TV's with built in tuners etc., they seem so pointless to me, because once you've used a PVR (eg. Humax) and external speakers, you realise just how limited the built in stuff is..

      However, like you, it would be nice for the off-the-shelf media platforms to be a little more user extendable through downloadable app's.

  21. feanor

    Oh good. Yet another TV service I can't use due to the shit state of what is laughably described as "broadband" in this country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But then broadband has always been a bloody silly way to distribute broadcast TV. Ground transmitters, but even more so satellite and, in a few areas, cable are the only sane ways.

    2. Richard 81

      If you can receive a terrestrial signal, and so can get freeview at all, consider yourself lucky. I don't live the the sticks either; I live in a city in a block of flats with no aerial and signal on portable aerials.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember boat users

    We need to keep terrestrial, some of us watch TV's on our yachts and we obviously cannot use broadband.

  23. Drummer Boy

    I must admit, I got a BT box as part of a contract renewal, for the £49 install fee, and I like my little YouView box. I don't use any of the BT Services, but for freeview HD it's great, as a PVR is pretty darn good, and the integrated EPG for catchup and realtime services works well.

    It is frustrating that all the different catchup TV services use a lot of different apps, but what the heck.

    My only gripe, to make the box perfect (for me) is that it needs a streaming media app to connect to my NAS full of movies!

    I've tried other boxes, such as WD TV Live, and even on these not all apps/catchup TV stations are available on all boxes.

  24. Sirius Lee

    Good

    I like Freeview. Why can't I get it on my laptop? TVCatchup used to deliver a version of Freeview but after losing their court case last year now it only redirects to the site of the channel. And usually the content that is being broadcast free over the airwaves is not available on the channel's site. Not the BBC of course but ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 (or their spin-offs) do not appear to show the content being aired on Freeview. Why is that? Have I missed something? I don't want catch up, I've no interest in recording anything (miss a programme on Freeview? just wait an hour and you'll see it again and again and again...).

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