YouView’s Catch-Up TV Service Comes to U.K. Later This Month for £299
It’s taken over two years to arrive, but YouView’s TV catch-up service is finally coming to the U.K. later this month. The £299 (approx. $468) set-top box brings together the streaming services from the U.K.’s biggest TV and broadband companies — including the BBC, BT, ITV, Five, and Channel 4.
It’s likely those partners will grow rapidly, too. YouView said at today’s launch event in the U.K. that over 300 content partners have expressed their interest in the service, and other catch-up services including Sky’s Now TV and STV are already in the pipeline. YouView is also encouraging other content providers to register their interest from today.
YouView will initially be available via a set-top box built by Humax, but a BT-branded alternative is expected to arrive later this year. There’s also a possibility that as the service grows, it will be integrated into Smart TVs — just like Freeview HD has.
As a Brit who has used many of these catch-up services at one time or another, I must say that YouView sounds like a great idea. But in reality, it could struggle to find success in today’s market. AsThe Next Web notes, YouView’s two-year wait has allowed the likes of Sky and Virgin Media to launch attractive catch-up services of their own, which can also be accessed via mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
There is also the issue of that £299 price tag, which will likely prove to be YouView’s biggest problem. With many of these catch-up services available for free on Internet-connected devices like computers, mobile devices, consoles, and Smart TVs, how many people or going to spend £299 for a box that simply puts them all in one place?