Posted by Joe Kinchin,
Aug 17, 2012
Now then, I’m willing to admit to becoming ever so slightly baffled with endless amounts of gadgets and services that are now available to watch what’s on the “box”.
Lord Sugar it would seem is not so exasperated by this proliferation of the market and so has decided to dip his finger into the rising pie. In partnership with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT and Talk Talk, the collaboration have got together to bring us YouView, billed as the missing link which finally brings TV and the Internet together. The set top box comes with an interface that allows the viewer to watch broadcast television as well as the content on iplayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 . The service allows programmes to be watched in HD along with the holy grail ability to record and rewind live TV and is available to purchase for £299.95, which gives some people the convenience of all the services along with free view channels without the on-going costs of a monthly bill.
Now although baffled I reckon this does sound somewhat familiar. An internet enabled TV device sounds pretty much like a Smart TV to me except without the use of the wider web. Taking into account that that the majority of TV’s sold within stores now are internet enabled I would ask the question of why not just put that £299.95 towards a new TV or even the Google set-top box which is £100 cheaper (see Rami’s blog piece for more info).
The other reality of this launch was that it was meant to be two years earlier when this kind of technology was not so common. The reason behind this delay could be considered a pertinent one when taking into account the US flop of Google TV where the technology failed to come up to the mark. However although now it would seem the Youview interface and user experience has met that simplicity quality gage that we all seek when relaxing in front of the TV, I personally feel it has indeed come two years too late.
Considering all the other options available within the market such as Smart TVs, Google TV, Apple TV and even my PlayStation (or your X box or your Aunties Wii) which is connected to a TV and has access to most VOD services, this has just become another cluttered market rather than one monopolised by the simplicity of the far superior service. Released two years earlier and YouView could of taken significant steps ahead of the competition, released now and to me it seems like just another band wagon jumper.