All for one, one for all
An observer might reasonably suggest that companies which disapprove of YouView should simply leave its content providers to their own devices and instead compete on the strength of their own channel offerings and technical advantages.
Unfortunately, the output of the BBC and ITV remain among the most-watched programming in the country, and the cable and satellite companies are unwilling to lose that material, for which they currently pay handsomely.
Virgin's logical course of action would be to join YouView and thereby influence the development of the platform and prevent its public-service content from being limited to internet distribution. The BBC Trust, the Corporation's governing body, recently said it believes syndicated BBC material should go solely through iPlayer, which appears to mean the web, YouView and nothing else.
Virgin isn't the only company concerned about competition. Sources close to the company allege that the company has been discouraged from joining YouView by members who want to both keep their syndication fee cake and eat it too, and by those who fear the presence of Virgin, BSkyB or both will hinder their ability to steer consumers toward their own pay TV offerings.
YouView participants deny this, and paint a picture of universal IPTV harmony that competition-averse rivals want to scupper.
Ofcom has been asked to investigate YouView, but the UK broadcasting and communications regulator has refused to do so, saying that until YouView's platform is complete, the technical specifications, access provisions and the commercial terms defined, it has nothing to judge.
It may not need to, in any case. Arqiva this week all but put a 'for sale' sign over SeeSaw, which risks becoming redundant when YouView launches, unless it can licence a lot more content from sources other than the UK's terrestrial broadcasters, all fellow YouView members. Arqiva's need to find "an investment partner" for the project suggests it's unwilling to bankroll such acquisitions alone.
Separately, insiders have claimed YouView's mid-2011 launch date is over-optimistic because it's proving too hard to integrate participants' existing systems. They suggest it could be a further six months before the organisation is ready to tell content providers and equipment makers how they can use its technology. With consumer interest in online content increasing rapidly - BBC iPlayer had 145m view requests in 2010, up from almost 90m in 2009 - they may choose not to wait. ®
IPTV UK: failure to launch?
Re: Virgin Media is now Sky
To set the record straight, BSKyB does not own Virgin Media. Sky acquired the Virgin-owned channels, not the company itself.
...YouView care how you get the data to your local system? Data is data. Suck it down as you see fit, your local client (whatever that may be) just has to be smart enough to buffer far enough ahead. I call "FUD" from Virgin.
They may be worried about people storing the content and want it all DRM'd to heck. Well, I have news for them. By-passing DRM of that nature is a piece of piss and all it does is irritate the hell out of people who would otherwise behave responsibly and push them towards illegal avenues.
Does it do Porn?
History has repeatedly shown that one of the quickest and most-effective ways to accelerate the adoption of a technology is for it to provide quick and easy access to a diverse range of quality porn.
Unless "YouView" addresses this sector, it's doomed to failure.
[I'm sticking with my Bloomberg subscription - my porn begins with $$$$$]
> The lack of stuttering alone is worth paying for
I get no stuttering on iplayer.. But then I get all my data via get_iplayer, and stream it across my LANs with sshfs.
If the BBC hadn't been so hostile towards Linux users - all 600 of us - at the start, we'd never have had these tools written. So maybe Ashley Highfield isn't quite the penile stump we all claimed he is.
 I lied. He is.
For once, self-interest == consumer choice
" Virgin portrays its beef with YouView as an attempt to stand up for consumer choice, but it is clearly motivated by self-interest too. If catch-up services remain separate and incompatible, Virgin's ability to combine them for a price is more attractive than it would be if there were an alternative, free-to-access unified service. "
To be fair, Virgin are in the right here. Virgin's On Demand system is vastly superior to broadband iPlayer, and people currently find that a service worth paying for. The lack of stuttering alone is worth paying for, and the difference in video quality is night and day.
Capitalism is build on consumer choice, and YouView does threaten to take picture quality out of the equation, commoditising video on a compromised, compressed quality level.
As everyone's investing so heavily in SD, now seems a bit of a silly time to start throttling the video bandwidth unnecessarily.