Project Canvas is finally starting to come together. Manufacturers are on board, content partners are queuing up, and it even has a new name. If everything goes according to the plan the service itself will be launched early in 2011.
The BBC Trust then approved Canvas despite opposition from the usual suspects seeking to protect their pay-TV interests.
Project Canvas has now been officially renamed as YouView, as was widely anticipated. The name clearly derives from a combination of YouTube and Freeview, and actually works rather well. The logo, however, makes it look like George Lucas’ next project.
In addition to the name, YouView has now become a company (YouView TV Ltd) separate from its partners. So while the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, TalkTalk, BT, Arqiva, and Channel 5 will be paying the bills, an entity created specifically for the service will be in charge.
More than 40 organizations are now backing YouView, and included in that figure are the tech manufacturers who will actually produce the £200 set-top boxes people will need to access the service.
New YouView CEO Richard Halton told The Guardian:
“It is a balance against pay TV platforms, YouView is for those who decided not to pay [for a pay TV service], or can’t pay… the first core market we are targeting is those homes.”
“For them to have a really fantastic subscription-free option [to access catch-up and VoD content] is as important as basic Freeview was in the past.”
Beta testing of the service is expected to begin in early 2011, with a full launch promised sometime before July 2011.
The only threat to YouView at this stage would appear to be rumblings of discontent from the likes of BSkyB and Virgin Media. Assuming they don’t succeed in throwing things off course then YouView could be cooking by this time next year.
And that would be a great thing as far as I’m concerned, as I’m very interested in buying a YouView set-top box.
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