UK’s Project Canvas opens up as YouView

The Internet TV standard consortium headed by BBC – previously known as Project Canvas has announced their consumer brands as You View. From next year UK viewers could be hooking into this online TV service.  BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Talk Talk, BT and Arqiva are the seven partners of YouView. Richard Halton, who had headed up Project Canvas, was confirmed as CEO of the new YouView service.

According to Halton YouView combines the best TV with on demand services and internet content. He added that YouView will change the way we watch TV forever. A website has been setup at www.youview.com.

YouView features will include a program guide that goes backward as well as forward. This will enable people to easily see what’s on now alongside everything they have missed in the last seven days. Along with that YouView set top box will offer personal video recorder so that viewers can pause live TV or record an entire series. YouView viewers can even search program genre wise or as per interest or locality, including films, sports or new content from the internet.

According to kip meek who was appointed as the chairman in August YouView will assure next generation TV for UK viewers. YouView set top box will be for a one off-fee with no contract. However, viewer will need broadband connection to enjoy range of on-demand and interactive services.  YouView is also planning to introduce application store to give viewer new type of services and level of interactivity along with their programs.

Regarding availability there is no firm date commitment, just an aim for the first half of next year. The non-profit YouView platform will not stipulate a single form of purchasing for content, leaving it up to producer.  YouView will be able to detect its location form its IP address, or even a post code which will be entered by viewer.

Pioneers of Internet connected TV market are padding up for great battle, as Google’s own TV offering is lined up to launch in USA. Apple turned its TV set top box offering into iOS powered streaming that can be extended to support application in future.

One area of concern about YouView openness is around its approach to net neutrality. BT, one of the share holders is trying to build and sell a content delivery network, and would like to see content owner pay it for guaranteed delivery in high Definition. BT also hopes to include much content in its own BT Vision area of the platform, a subscription service, which could make the economics of free or ad-sponsored streaming video difficult for many content owners. The competing interest of seven stakeholders can play a role of greater threat then any external threat. Virgin Media and Sky have something to say as the former offers connected TV services, video on demands for years; they both are having an on-going complaint over the new service logged with regulator Ofcom.

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