YouView: we want to be Freeview for the connected world

YouView - delayed but that is a good thing
YouView - delayed but that is a good thing

YouView is hoping to become Freeview of the connected world when it launches in 2012, believing that the delays the service has faced will make for a better product.

Richard Halton, CEO of YouView, explained to the DTG Summit this week that he wants YouView to have the same impact as Freeview when it arrives, offering a simple way in to a difficult-to-understand technology.

As Freeview did with digital TV, Halton believes YouView can offer subscription-free connected TV to the mainstream.

"YouView wants to be like Freeview," explained Halton, "which had a single idea that has been embraced by audiences.

"We want to be Freeview for the connected age."

Worth the wait?

YouView announced in February that its service would be delayed until 2012, but Halton believes that this delay will be better for YouView in the long run.

In his DTG keynote, and speaking publicly for the first time since the delay announcement, he highlighted existing products that were delayed before coming to market – the PS3, iPhone, Bing and the iPlayer – and said that it's better to have more testing than releasing a product early that isn't up to scratch, but he did reveal that they already have a near-finished service.

"The product is ready and there will extensive trials of it in 2011," Halton explained.

"We are taking the time to get the product right, with a full consumer launch in early 2012."


Halton also noted that YouView had completed "the first phase industry engagement" and the next phase was releasing a document that would sit alongside the industry specification for connected TV, D-Book 7, and will comprise the 14 documents it has already released to manufacturers.

This will be happening in April, with Halton explaining that the document was based on crucial feedback the industry has given YouView.

"We have listened to feedback and what we have found that we need to understand more about the device specification.

"We understand that some developers may not want to use our design spec so we will be publishing the developer API as well, so devs can take a look at that.

"The YouView technical spec will be released 14 April and it will cross reference with the D-Book."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.