YouView arriving in July
4th Jul 2012 | 08:43
IPTV boxes in stores by end of month
YouView will launch in the UK in July – with the IPTV service arriving in stores by the end of the month.
YouView is hoping to do for television through a broadband connection what Freeview did for digital television, with all of the major terrestrial broadcasters numbered among the partners in the project.
The service will offer on-demand and catch-up services from the likes of the BBC, Five, Channel 4 and ITV through a broadband connection. The service also boasts Now TV, Sky's new on-demand service.
"This is a great moment in British television," said YouView's Sir Alan Sugar. "I had something to do with the launch of Sky television and Sky+ and I have to reiterate why I am involved [with YouView].
"When one looks back I want to say I was involved in this."
The first set-top boxes will priced at £299 but heavily subsidised versions from partners TalkTalk and BT are expected this year which may make the cost significantly more attractive to consumers.
TalkTalk has confirmed that it will be outlining its own version at the end of the month, telling TechRadar: "TalkTalk will announce it's proposition on 26th July."
"YouView will be available from high street retailers in the next few weeks and from broadband providers in the coming months," a statement from YouView said.
The first retailers to offer the boxes will be John Lewis, Comet, Amazon, Argos, Tesco, Richer Sounds, Dixons and Currys.
YouView, formerly known as Project Canvas, was originally slated to appear in 2010 - when it would have been a remarkably fresh and exciting product.
However, a litany of delays and problems delayed its arrival until this month; and the service now faces competition from not only the likes of Google TV and Apple TV but perhaps more significantly the rapidly expanding and feature packed offerings from Sky and Virgin Media.
BT recently sealed a deal for some Premiership football, which will doubtless prove a draw, but it remains to be seen if the service can win over the British public.
The arrival of NOW TV from Sky on the service is a significant move - with Sky's service bringing a wealth of premium content to the service.
"We know there's growing demand from UK consumers to access high-quality pay TV and internet-connected devices provide an innovative new way to help satisfy that demand," said Simon Creasey, Director of NOW TV.
"We will launch NOW TV across a wide variety of platforms and devices to make it as easy and convenient for customers to access some of Sky's best content.
"We're excited about distributing our content on YouView and in giving current free-to-air homes a fresh new choice."
Richard Halton, YouView's CEO, added: "YouView is committed to providing the very best content and we've had over 300 expressions of interest from potential content partners.
"We're delighted that NOW TV and STV will join the line-up."
YouView confirmed that despite "interest from 300 content providers", outside of the broadcast partners only NOW TV and STV have signed up to the service so