YouView - the soon-to-be-launched joint venture video platform backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva - promises to 'change the way we watch TV forever' and Ocean Blue Software is convinced.
'What's not to like?' says Philip Evans,director of Ocean Blue. 'YouView promises to give viewers all the plug-in-and-watch simplicity of Freeview, plus the UK's leading Internet catch-up and video on-demand services through one simple set-top box. It's a user-friendly solution for those who love TV but don't want to pay a subscription fee. I think it's a great innovation."
After a shaky start that included a challenge from the Competition Commission, YouView now looks set to launch in the first half of 2011 and for the first time ever viewers will see their on-screen programme guide going both backwards in time as well as forwards.
What do you need?
To access, YouView customers will need to buy a YouView set-top-box and have access to the Internet. YouView will have High Definition (HD), a limited choice of pay-TV channels and on-demand programmes.It is also a personal video recorder, so consumers can pause, rewind and record live TV whenever they like. All the usual parental controls, plus some exciting new accessibility features will also be included to ensure YouView is made accessible to as many people as possible. Ocean Blue is working with their Asian set top box manufacturer to develop a full solution, to be released early 2011.
Accessibility is one of our key goals here at Ocean Blue and we have been working closely with the RNIB to produce software that enables the visually impaired to enjoy television more than is currently possible. We are in full support of the YouView standard for which we will be announcing our own software solutions in the near future. For example, our very own 'app store', Treasure Box, from which consumers can download audio books, music, quizzes and films, and link to local community information will be available through the YouView set top box. Bringing apps to linear television is something YouView CTO Anthony Rose is particularly keen to deliver as a way of helping viewers identify content on their Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV (HbbTV) extensions.
European DTV Standard
HbbTV is becoming the new European Digital TV software standard and future versions of You View may also allow the use of HbbTV applications, which will allow for conformity across Europe. Ocean Blue has developed an HbbTV solution, working with Opera, which provides the technology for set top boxes and TVs to access the Internet
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