YouView has begun trials in the UK, and thousands of test set-top boxes could be live within the next month or so, according to reports.
The last we heard, the TalkTalk CEO said the much delayed service will launch before the summer is out, by September in other words. But perhaps the trials progressing quickly could mean we might see YouView arrive a little earlier than thought.
YouView was initially known as Project Canvas when the idea first became public back in 2010, and it’s a video on-demand service supported by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Arqiva and TalkTalk.
According to a report in the FT (via the Telegraph), YouView is now to begin trials in 350 homes across the UK. The YouView set-top box offers Freeview, with on-demand and catch up services such as iPlayer, ITV Player and Lovefilm.
Apparently if this initial alpha trial goes down well, then thousands of trial boxes could be pushed out inside the next month.
The question is whether YouView is still relevant any more. Back in 2010 the project certainly was, but now there are ever increasing amount of smart TVs with all these services on board anyway. Or people get them on their games consoles, for example.
YouView’s service will have to be pretty polished indeed, but even then, given the massive delay, it isn’t too difficult to imagine that the set-top box will struggle to make an impact in 2012 priced at around £200.