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YouView launch date questioned

Technical issues, cost concerns hindering roll out, say moles

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YouView may have been forced to put back the release of its IPTV platform by six months, it has been claimed.

The issues: technical hurdles and concerns over the cost of the endeavour, unnamed sources cited by the Daily Mail say.

The upshot: it'll take YouView longer to put its platform in place than originally anticipated.

YouView's official timetable calls for a summer 2011 launch, but the organisation has said that date is not fixed in stone.

It's job, after all, is not an easy one. It is backed by seven key stakeholders - the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, SeeSaw owner Arqiva and TalkTalk - all with existing IPTV platforms. Working out how to get those systems to talk to each other - or even building an entirely new framework from scratch - will take time.

It is the nature of such projects that early appraisals are optimistic, and completion takes longer - and costs more - than originally anticipated.

When complete, YouView will unify the likes of BBC iPlayer, BT Vision, 4oD and ITV Player, and provide a specification hardware vendors can use to build an app that will deliver all these services to their kit.

Likewise, other content providers will be able to sign up and feed their services through YouView safe in the knowledge they don't need to enter into separate deals with the makers of every playback device they want their content to be presented on.

Success, you might think, would depend on an early release, but such is the gravitational pull of the participants - BBC iPlayer alone had 145m view requests last month - YouView will be hard to ignore, whenever it debuts. ®

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