Project Canvas announced in UK as YouView

After a long run of ups and downs, Project Canvas will be coming to the UK in early 2011 with a set-top box called YouView. Project Canvas is a joint venture by the UK’s major TV channels and a few other companies involved in media distribution and Internet services.

YouView will be a subscription free set-top box which will only require an Internet connection to work with any digital TV. YouView will allow users to watch any TV shows from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 and SeeSaw via their respective online catch-up services, all within one user interface. There will be the option to watch HD programs and even buy “pay TV” programmes and films.

YouView will be an “open environment” which will allow “content providers, device manufacturers and application developers to participate in [their] TV revolution”. It will be possible for any content provider to create their own portal sites which will be accessible on YouView. There are likely to be many different set-top boxes for YouView from a range of manufacturers. It’s also possible, in the future, that the whole experience could be integrated into TVs without the need for a separate device. As YouView is an open environment, it will be possible for developers to create their own features within YouView to allow, for example, social networking integration, different search providers, music services, alternative video providers, etc. There is a small amount of information currently available for developers but much more will be released soon.

Other features of the set-top box include the ability to record live TV, browse the TV guide (past, present and future) and search for programs and actors. It's not yet clear when YouView boxes will be available in retail stores or their expected price points. YouView simply states the box will be available in 2011.

The website describes the service as “brilliantly simple, and simply brilliant. YouView will be everything TV should be”. YouView has a Twitter account, @YVTV.

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18 Comments

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I was interested until I spotted the "live tv" part - as someone who had to pull a tonne of legal rhetoric on TV licencing, to get a refund / prove I don't need a tv licence - let's just say I'd love to see how people could explain operating one of these without a licence.

HiroProtagonist1984 said,
I was interested until I spotted the "live tv" part - as someone who had to pull a tonne of legal rhetoric on TV licencing, to get a refund / prove I don't need a tv licence - let's just say I'd love to see how people could explain operating one of these without a licence.

You dont need to plug it up to an aerial you can just use the catchup part.

thealexweb said,
No monthly subscription = win

Why would there be a subscription its basically a freeview recorder with all the catchup services that are for the most part free to view the last weeks worth of TV under one menu system.

As long as they allow 3rd parties access to the API for its streams its a good idea. I don't want this box, I have it all on my HTPC already, but I would like access to the free catch up streams

djpailo said,
Bad Idea. It will kill the weak copper line infrastructure.

How will it, the people who are going to buy this are the people who are currently watching programs from all the different and seperate video platforms on their PC, they will just move from the PC into the living room.

Not only that but this box is a freeview box with the IPTV stuff built in so you will be able to watch and record normal TV and use the "youview" to catch up on stuff you have missed.

Richard Hammond said,

How will it, the people who are going to buy this are the people who are currently watching programs from all the different and seperate video platforms on their PC, they will just move from the PC into the living room.

Not only that but this box is a freeview box with the IPTV stuff built in so you will be able to watch and record normal TV and use the "youview" to catch up on stuff you have missed.

Are you saying no one new will buy this box? I just think they need to sort out the phone lines before doing something like this.

djpailo said,

Are you saying no one new will buy this box? I just think they need to sort out the phone lines before doing something like this.


Of course they will but not in the capacity that you are thinking of, plus its an actual recorder why would they need to use youview if they can record it from an over the air transmission, no ones going to buy this box just for limited live IPTV potential.

djpailo said,

Are you saying no one new will buy this box? I just think they need to sort out the phone lines before doing something like this.

The phone lines aren't a problem, most people at the moment don't ever see the limitations of ADSL. Besides, that has nothing to do with the purpose of this box. If demand increases enough, then BT will be forced to upgrade the network, or everyone will just move to the likes of Virgin Media.

Kushan said,

The phone lines aren't a problem, most people at the moment don't ever see the limitations of ADSL. Besides, that has nothing to do with the purpose of this box. If demand increases enough, then BT will be forced to upgrade the network, or everyone will just move to the likes of Virgin Media.

BT are upgrading them slowly ... see BT Infinity. Fibre to the cabinet.

bushbrother said,

BT are upgrading them slowly ... see BT Infinity. Fibre to the cabinet.


Even in areas with FTTC, there's only space for ~1/8th of the lines to be supported in the cabinets.

djpailo said,
Bad Idea. It will kill the weak copper line infrastructure.

Let's hope so. Hell, if large amounts of people suddenly lost access to the internet, maybe we'd see some infrastructure upgrades.

djpailo said,
Bad Idea. It will kill the weak copper line infrastructure.
The YouView site states that the TV comes through the aerial connection and the IP stuff plugs in to your broadband via etherent. Therefore, there will be no extra stress on ASDL than usual IP traffic.

I think this is great, just what the British public have been waiting for.
On the price front, don't forget when FreeView boxes come out they were all over £100

Nice, if the price is sub £100, I'll probably get one.

Not too keen on the name, 'Canvas' sounds better to me, but I guess 'Youview' is easier for consumers.

The Register seems to think the prices might be £150+
Would be nice if they could release a stream only version for less.
As I've already got Sky+, so no need for freeview + hard drive.