Youview Delayed - Six Months Behind Schedule

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Mediatel is reporting that Youview is to be delayed for six months at least - and it could be 2012 before the UK public sees the interactive platform  and Video on Demand project - backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva, and rejected by Sky, Virgin Media, IP Vision, Six TV, United For Local Television and the Open Source Consortium.

Youview, formerly known as Project Canvas's function is to standardise VOD delivery over broadband for connected TV's as well as bring new content and services options via an applications structure. 

The service, which promises to "change the way you watch TV forever", was due to be launched this summer but a number of technical problems and rumoured disagreements between the partners will mean a long delay for consumers, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

It comes as a further setback for the project, which has had a turbulent past. Project Kangaroo, YouView's predecessor, was blocked by the Competition Commission in 2009.

Sources believe the partners underestimated the technical barriers surrounding the on-demand service, while others have said that a launch date of summer 2011 was an over-optimistic deadline.

YouView has always been fairly vague about an expected launch date, although hoped to launch within the first six months of the year.  The partners now say its schedule is under review.

From the Daily Mail:

YouView is an enhanced version of Freeview, which users will be able to access through a new settop box that hooks up to the internet. It will allow consumers to pause and rewind live TV, watch recent BBC, ITV and Channel 4 programmes and rent films over the web.

Boss Ian Livingston believes that he can lure subscribers from its satellite rival with BT's cheaper pay-TV offering, as well as win over the growing number of Britons eager for pay-TV but unwilling to pay Sky prices.

Similar initiatives exist on the continent with the French and the Germans have been working on a fully Open Source Solution called  HbbTV (Dutch public broadcasters are also using the platform) and NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, has its own hybrid broadcast broadband called ‘Hybridcast’.





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