YouView is different because it builds on the existing Freeview+ system, which offers a consistent user experience and programme data regardless of who makes the box, coupled with the near seamless integration of other services, such as BBC iPlayer and catch-up TV services from ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five.
What’s more, the open platform allows other broadcasters to get involved for a relatively small investment, which means you’ll be seeing Sky’s Now TV service and most likely services from Netflix and/or Lovefilm.
Another new feature of YouView is being able to go back in time, a facility that isn’t quite as out of this world as you might think. With a connection to the Internet, it makes perfect sense to allow access to already broadcasted content. YouView simply makes things easier to find by allowing you to scroll back through the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) and watch things that have been and gone.
You can, however, also search for programmes in a more traditional way – without interrupting your viewing.
It’s this attention to detail that should make YouView a success, even if the initial box is quite an investment at £300 with just 500GB of storage – not much for all of the content you might begin to download or record from the many different sources.
However, YouView isn’t about a single device and there will be other devices to come besides the first offering, with more storage options and the possibility of integration within future televisions. BT and TalkTalk will be offering variants of the launch box for its customers, with the option to get the box for a discount as part of a telephone/broadband subscription.
YouView – Key Specifications
|Broadcast TV||Freeview + Freeview HD|
|TV on Demand||Yes|
|Catch up TV||Yes|
|Apps and Games||No|
|USB port to play media||No|
|HD support||Yes, up to 1080p|
|Music/Movie Streaming Services||Yes|
|Remote viewing of content||No|
|Other||EPG with ability to scroll back a week through programme data, launch of Sky Now TV confirmed and more services to follow.|