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Freeview Connect coming to disrupt YouView

by Mark Tyson on 11 February 2014, 21:52

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A), TalkTalk, BBC, ITV, Channel 4

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A new TV distribution platform called Freeview Connect is being created in a joint effort from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in a bid to create a universal catch-up service with hopes that it will become an industry-standard technology.

Freeview Connect will allow users to access BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD services from a singular app platform and it will be available on all connected televisions once the service launches.

The new alliance was formed to get their associated catch-up TV services on all smart televisions as dissatisfaction has grown with BT and TalkTalk's use of YouView as a paid subscription vehicle. According to the Guardian, Freeview Connect aims to become "available as standard on smart TVs", a move in part "sparked by the hijacking of YouView by pay-TV partners BT and TalkTalk." Industry watchers can note that of the one million set-top YouView boxes in homes only around 3 per cent were bought unsubsidised at retail. However the new smart TV standard of Freeview Connect, run by not-for-profit firm Digital UK, doesn't longer require a YouView or any other kind of set-top box to watch.

"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," said a TV industry expert speaking to The Guardian.

With estimates that more than three million homes will own a smart TV by the end of 2014, the broadcasters felt it important to create their own place in the industry and not be tied to any particular hardware or broadband providers.



HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

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I remember a few years ago them all trying to get together to make a one stop portal where you could catch up on all the popular channels. This was blocked by Ofcom iirc.
The terrestrial channels are not exactly the “Champions of the free” either, with the BBC license fee and the now constant 15 minutes per hour ad breaks all running at the same time whichever non licensed channel you are watching.
What rubbish about Youview. I got it through BT as it was the cheapest way (12 months at £5 a month = £60 vs £200 for a box at retail - no brainer really). What they need to address is the cost of the boxes…
I think you've worked out the manufacturing cost of a YouView box - £60 max.

NowTV dongles provide a lot of the functionality mentioned for a tenner (no obligation to buy Sky services even though they subsidise it) already. But within separate apps. YouView does have that funky EPG into the past concept, although I fail to see how useful it is really compared to a decent catch-up TV player application like iPlayer currently is (or nearly is, depending on the platform you are using).
sykobee
I think you've worked out the manufacturing cost of a YouView box - £60 max.

NowTV dongles provide a lot of the functionality mentioned for a tenner (no obligation to buy Sky services even though they subsidise it) already. But within separate apps. YouView does have that funky EPG into the past concept, although I fail to see how useful it is really compared to a decent catch-up TV player application like iPlayer currently is (or nearly is, depending on the platform you are using).

Trust me. Its so much better than vanilla iplayer etc. Just find your program in the EPG and hit a button or alternatively just search. All the content from all the catch up services is searched (Which is helpful when you don't remember which channel showed a program). Saves switching between the different ‘apps’ which makes it feel much more integrated. Also don't forget youview boxes are also a 500Gb PVR which for £60 is a bargain…