YouView, Britain’s newest digital TV service, will finally launch next week.
Developed by the BBC, ITV TalkTalk and BT, YouView will use broadband to deliver on demand content in addition to the broadcast (linear) Freeview channels.
Content providers such as Netflix and Sky’s NOW TV will be able to offer their services to users on flexible terms.
The boxes will record programmes and will feature a backwards EPG linked to catch-up services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.
Although YouView will offer access to Freeview channels it is not replacing the popular free TV service and existing Freeview boxes and TVs will continue to work.
Yesterday the service contacted the first wave of public beta testers who will provide feedback on the service ahead of a full launch.
Media invites for next week’s event have gone out, inviting journalists to see Chairman Lord Sugar and CEO Richard Halton unveil a “product announcement”.
It’s believed the event will be limited to providing product and service details rather than providing a fixed launch date. YouView have so far failed to respond to enquiries.
The service was first expected to launch in 2010 but shareholders have found the technology more difficult to deploy than initially expected.