While it may have taken its own sweet time arriving, YouView doesn't disappoint. Indeed, this first generation Humax box offers the best integration of On Demand and Catch-up available from any platform, and that includes subscription offerings from Sky and Virgin Media. Browsing content is intuitive and the menu system is fresh and inviting.
Of course, where the pay competition maintains an edge is depth and quality of content. It'll be interesting to see how the arrival of Sky's Now TV's VoD service impacts that.
Without Wi-Fi some might argue that YouView's target market will be flummoxed by the prospect of getting online. There's already plenty of evidence that only half the buyers of internet-enabled televisions actually have them connected - it clearly doesn't take much to put off Joe Public.
In truth, a Wi-Fi dongle or better still, a powerline/HomePlug adaptor, is all that's needed to solve this problem, but both could be deemed too daunting by technophobes who flee at the mention of words like 'router' and 'Ethernet.' A second iteration of the DTR-T1000, with built-in Wi-Fi will launch shortly, and for those buyers, that might be the box to wait for.
Caveats aside, what we have here is a forward looking Freeview HD PVR which fundamentally changes the user viewing experience. The game has most definitely been changed.
With YouView, it's often difficult to tell where broadcast TV ends and On-demand Catch-up begins. Picture performance is excellent and it's very easy to use.
The lack of integrated Wi-Fi will cause its target technophobe audience some consternation. This debut Humax box also has some (admittedly minor) noise management issues to resolve.
YouView is breath of fresh air in the PVR market. The user interface is smart in every sense, and overall performance is high. This is 21st century TV done right.