Have you seen those Virgin Media TiVo ads where Marc Warren boasts of a programme guide that can take you back in time to you watch the shows you’ve missed?
Well a new TV service built around FreeView is about to bring that and much more to the homes of those who don’t want – or have access to – cable.
And, just like Virgin Media’s TiVo, YouView will also provide access to apps, turning your TV into a portal through which you can access a whole array of connected content.
With an expected February 2012 launch, YouView will arrive just a few months after Virgin Media finally bring their much promised software update to their TiVo and with a pretty similar set of features but minus the mandatory monthly subscription, a key advantage which could lure away some sign-ups for the cable company.
It’s not just Virgin who stand to lose from a successful YouView service.
It all goes to plan, YouView is perfectly placed to squeeze the Apple TV even further to the margins and reduce the appeal of subscription offerings such as Virgin’s TiVo.
It also threatens to pose some issues for Sky.
Customers with fast broadband from other providers say they have no intention to switching to slower Sky broadband and dispute Sky’s statements that they limit access in order to ensure the best user experience.
The arrival of a comparable service which is open to customers of all broadband firms is likely to increase pressure on the satellite firm to open up Anytime+.
A year from now, a service few viewers have heard could well be causing major headaches for some of the biggest names in home entertainment.