back to article YouView: 'Public service catch-up telly should belong to us alone'

British broadcasters' telly-on-demand services should be exclusive to YouView set-top boxes to make the hardware more attractive, said YouView's chief - according to industry sources. YouView is a venture backed by the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5, telcos TalkTalk and BT, and TV transmission company Arqiva. The partnership's set …


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  1. K
    Thumb Down

    I think they are losing the point..

    Removing peoples choose is not going to fix this and in fact its likely to piss the public off... On top of that, Why the f*ck would I buy a YouView box when I can watch the OnDemand stuff on my XBox, PS3, PC, Sky Box and Virgin Box (Also I get other features from these!).

    The best thing YouView can do its get it self embedded with TV manufacturers.

    1. Joseph Lord

      Re: I think they are losing the point..

      > The best thing YouView can do its get it self embedded with TV manufacturers.

      It would be the best thing they could have done but...

      The way Youview is set up this is VERY unlikely to happen on a large scale with any major TV manufacturer. Been there, had that discussion when working for large TV manufacturer. If they had defined it at a different level in the stack as more of a service definition/higher level application API it might have been plausible but Youview define the hardware and then they manage the middleware and UI so having a Youview mode or a Youview function in the TV isn't possible.

      Key problems include:

      1) Control of UI is passed to Youview not device manufacturer so the manufacturer

      - Can't differentiate on UI

      - Can't add features (or certainly can't control their presentation to users)

      2) Hard disc required (in Youview spec)

      - No space/too expensive/too short lived for inclusion in TVs.

      3) Accepting binary blobs from Youview

      - Including software updates

      - Requires management and testing on an ongoing basis for every product.

      - Has to deal with new hardware annually

      4) UK only

      - In a world of global products

      - All the other points are creating massive workload for UK only products and therefore small volumes.

      5) Manufacturer doesn't get revenue share with service providers.

  2. Enrico Vanni

    The Genie is Out the Bottle

    iPlayer is on every piece of hardware from 3rd party STBs, to tablets, to games consoles, (and if the other channels have any sense they will follow suit). If it was to disappear tomorrow, replaced with the message 'Sorry, you'll need to buy a YouView box' the backlash would be enormous. Even suggesting this move is a shot in the foot for the brand.

  3. JimmyPage

    Do they ?

    "But the four broadcasters also punt these catch-up services to rivals Sky and Virgin Media, who bundle the services into their broadband packages. "

    really ?

    Because of a snafu'd TiVo series link (it failed to realise that "Part 2" of Derren Brown followed "Part 1") I was forced to try and watch if THE DAY AFTER on catch-up. Nowhere to be seen. So obviously I downloaded it. A call to VMs customer service revealed that it's the broadcaster, not VM who decide what appears on the VM catch up.

    1. JimmyPage

      Re: Do they ?

      Bad form to follow one's own post, but this is really starting to get on my tits ...

      VM make a big marketing point about getting iPlayer, 4OD etc etc. Then the second any of their customers complain (read their forums !) you get this mealy mouthed "iPlayer problems are down to the BBC, 4OD content is controlled by Channel 4" and so on).

      So what *exactly* is the point of paying Virgin ?

      Reminds me of the Fawlty Towers scene where the guests go to complain, only to have Basil complain more ("You think I don't know ? You're just staying here, we have to live with him.")

    2. DJ Smiley

      Re: Do they ?


      So what is quoted is in fact correct - VM have no control over which content is provided to you, they just push the service down their network.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmmm

        In which case they shouldn't charge for it, or make it a selling point.

        1. Mike Brown

          Re: Hmmmmm

          your honestly saying that unless a company actually makes a product they shouldnt adertise its features or abilites?

          Giffgaff cant advertise any product as they piggy back on O2? Appletise cant say that there product contains apples, as they buy them from suppliers and dont grow them themselves. Samsung cant advertise the fact that the s3 uses android as that is made by google?

          I think you may need to rethink that argument

          1. P. Lee

            Re: Hmmmmm

            All those companies are responsible for what they sell, even if they are reselling.

            Personally, I'd suggest that the beeb switch from streaming to a private iplayer-only torrent and offload the bandwidth and technical costs. If iplayer geo-ip checks the other clients it connects to, it can shun non-uk addresses or share a version with adverts. If people want to go illegal and snip out the ads, they will have done that from a native uk recording anyway, so there's no loss there. They could also provide proper series/episode information so PVRs can pick things up properly, again, offloading requirements. I can see why the commercial companies might not do this, but there's no excuse for the bbc.

            1. leexgx

              Re: Hmmmmm

              iPlayer and sky did do that for an short time with there download versions of tv programs, they stopped doing that after some time as the software was buggy and there was no way to limit the upload speed

        2. leexgx

          Re: Hmmmmm

          VM on demand services are VM systems not BBC or related content, so when it cant start paying the video its VM thats at fault not BBC or related channel content provider (we are talking about the VM tv cable box here)

          if your talking about streaming again norm for VM any way its local network issues that make Streaming impossible or the buffer game (there TV ad ****** me off so much about no more buffering, my ADSL 1mb connection can play youtube no issues, then my 100mb can between the times of 4pm and midnight, same for on-line games as well)

  4. M7S


    Next they'll be demanding that broadcast signals carry something to stop people using their own PVRs/DVRs (or whatever the term is this week).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sphericals

      Macrovision ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You view were too late to market, done!

  6. Lamont Cranston
    Thumb Down

    YouView probably would have worked really well

    as branding, with a defined set of standards, as FreeView does. Bringing it to market years after world+dog has numerous ways of accessing catch-up TV, then demanding to be the exclusive carrier of the service is not just a slap in the face for the viewing public (already got an STB, net-connected Blu-ray, and SmartTV? Tough, now you need a new box), but also an admission of their utter failure to do anything remotely useful in anything resembling a timely fashion. Wankers.

    1. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Re: YouView probably would have worked really well

      YouView should have been an IPTV specification for UK broadcasters, allowing for catch-up and Live TV, perhaps with some UI requirements attached (but not enough to scare off the manufacturers). Then all manufacturers could have implemented it their own way, and take-up could have been as good as Freeview.

      Personally I have no interest in it as my terrestrial reception is awful, and I suspect I'm not the only one.

  7. AndrueC Silver badge

    I can't see ITV being pleased. Restricting part of their service to 'freetards'(*) instead of being available to 'people with more money than sense who actually pay to watch TV'(*) doesn't sound very sensible. The BBC might not care but commercial operators live and die by 'bums on seats' and I bet one Sky subscriber is worth several non-subscribers in revenue terms.

    (*)I'm in the latter camp in case you're wondering. Not that I watch adverts anyway. I PVR :)

  8. Arachnoid
    Thumb Down

    iPlayer may well be bundled into many devices right now as its a good way to get a foot hold in the market but if they decide to increase their revenue stream from zero to cover their costs then it may well change to a pay per view stream.Right now other people are making money selling the service as part of their hardware so why shouldn't the BBC claw some of this back?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the YouView UI Patented?

    Specifically, the idea of going back in time in the same UI as the normal EPG?

    I had a plan back when DTB capture cards started becoming available to do exactly this, but all at the home. It's not that difficult to build a machine capable of streaming 6 multiplexes onto local storage and from then it's a question of what is the best way to index the content and present it to the user. A time-reversal UI was the simplest way I could come up with of presenting it with a few minutes thought. I'd also considered live playlist-style database queries, all fairly simple stuff.

    I never built one though, I decided I didn't value TV enough to pay for it all :) Just wanted to make the point that the UI shouldn't be considered to be anything that someone sufficiently motivated couldn't come up the basic idea in a few minutes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is the YouView UI Patented?

      I agree it's obvious, the first time I tried to look for an old program on my VM box I just tried to scroll the guide backwards, was disappointed it didn't work.... was even more disappointed when I found there was only a limited selection of channels in the 'catch-up' menu....

  10. Chris Church

    I have BT Vision at home and as far as I can tell the YouView box is an upgrade of that. A few more catch-up/on demand services, an HD Freeview receiver for FreeviewHD channels and 5.1 Dolby surround. At present there are no sports channels (Sky Sports 1, 2 EPSN) and they have adverts on the catch-up channels (not BBC obviously).

    I don't think making the catch-up exclusive to YouView will make any difference at all. If Sky and Virgin don't have it then people will just watch it via an app or other device. The number of programs on the catch up services on apps and devices seems to be less than what you can get from the channels websites directly anyway!

    Normally the catch-up is seen as an extra perk and not a selling point anyway. The trouble is that YouView is trying to sell the extra perks as a primary service and at this point in time with the market saturated with all the devices that can use them it will not be the big thing they want it to. That said, if they managed to stop Sky and Virgin using it you wouldn't suddenly get all their customers buying YouView boxes anyway!

  11. Mike Brown

    Wah wah wah

    we have no USP. So give us one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wah wah wah

      Yes, it seems the penny has dropped and they've realised that no one is going to buy their boxes just to get catchup which they can get elsewhere. So they take away the elsewhere option...

      I can't see this ever happening. Pass me my hammer, there's only a couple more nails for this coffin.

  12. PC Paul


    If I read it right, YouView have now been in touch to say the whole story is a load of sloblocks and never happened?

    So what's the true story?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Update?

      We trust Andrew's sources are accurate, but we're always happy to give both sides of a story a fair airing.


  13. LinkOfHyrule

    And to add my update - didnt notice that first time round... oops...

    ...You still fail anyway! Hahahaha

    YouView Indeed!

  14. LinkOfHyrule

    The bloody cheek

    So these wiseguys have crap sells of their over-priced, late to market, set-top box that's just guna end up in a third world landfill site anyway, and their solution is to demand that I can only watch idiots on Dragons Den via iPlayer on their box and not through someone else's box!? The bloody cheek!

    YouView - urm no I don't, but YouFail!

  15. Alan Brown Silver badge

    There are other standards

    But they're "not invented here" - even if the rest of europe is adopting 'em and making the UK look silly.

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