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Sony says no to YouView

Telly maker not keen on 'Freeview for IPTV' scheme

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Sony will not support the UK's would-be IPTV standard, YouView, the company's UK chief has revealed.

Speaking at the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference in London yesterday, Gildas Pelliet, MD of Sony UK and Ireland, said the company will not plug YouView into the Bravia Internet Video service built into many of the firm's TVs and Blu-ray Disc players.

YouView was to have debuted this summer, but the release date has slipped back to 2012 - it's said because of disagreements between supporters over the platform's technical specifications.

It finally published its Linux-based set-top spec earlier this year.

Last month, Technicolor, now a brand of French set-top box maker Thomson, quit the YouView, leaving the 'Freeview of IPTV' with only six partners who've said they'll make kit equipped with the technology.

Sony's stance is a bigger blow. Sony has been at the forefront of consumer IPTV, building core technology into many of its Bravia TVs and BD players for more than a year now. It was one of the first firms to integrate BBC iPlayer into televisions.

If there's a flaw in Sony's IPTV offering, it's the poor selection of content - justified because BIV is for a "global audience", according to Sony spinners - for every BBC iPlayer or Lovefilm there are plenty more YouTube wannabes, sportswear ads masquerading as content, and obscure German news channels.

YouView might have provided Sony with a way to expand not only the quantity but the quality of IPTV content accessible through the giant's tellies. Clearly Sony doesn't think it will. ®

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