After an almost never-ending series of delays that have seen the service slip from an original 2010 release date, the IPTV catch up service YouView will now finally launch in July.
The set-top box will cost £299 from John Lewis, Comet, Amazon, Argos, Tesco, Richer Sounds, Dixons and Currys, with subsidised versions from partners BT and TalkTalk following later in the year.
YouView will connect up to the internet over a broadband connection, and offer catch-up services from the BBC, Five, Channel 4 and ITV, as well as Sky’s new Now TV on-demand platform. It’ll also offer live TV coverage.
“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.”
Though the inclusion of Sky’s massive catalogue of content through Now TV is a real boon for the service, in the years since YouView’s conception competition in the market has increased dramatically. Practically all games consoles offer on-demand streaming, not to mention tablets, while even standalone devices like Google TV and the Roku boxes already offer lots of what YouView does.
“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.”