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Internet TV service YouView finally launches in Britain

The YouView service enables users to catch up on their favourite TV programmes from channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five, up to seven days after they were originally aired.

YouView also ensures that viewers don’t miss a single moment of their regular shows by offering a facility to pause and rewind live TV.

The project was initially set for a 2010 launch, and some analysts have argued that the two-year delay may hamper the service’s chances of success.

YouView “better late than never”

Speaking to the BBC, Ian Watt, from Enders Analysis, argued that the launch was “better late than never” before going on to highlight the benefits of the service.

“For players in the telecoms space such as BT this move represents an attempt to level the playing field with Sky and Virgin Media. They can piggyback the success of Freeview and offer lower cost entry points into the pay-TV market, providing an opportunity to attract more subscribers than they had been able to do with products such as BT Vision.”

The service will be available via a set top box costing a staggering £299. The cost is asking a lot of customers, but Alan Sugar, the non-executive chairman, has said that this may drop to a more affordable £99 over the next few years.

YouView  access

If you do decide to splash the cash on YouView, you can access it either through an ISP as part of a broadband package, or with a set-top box.

ISPs including TalkTalk and BT have already confirmed their backing for the scheme and are set to reveal the details of new packages soon.

Plans are also in the pipeline for several leading companies to offer similar services.  Sky is set to offer Now TV product offering access to movies, sport and entertainment while STV, Scotland’s ITV franchise, also has plans to launch a service giving access to on-demand content.

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