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YouView 'launch event' to take place next week

Hush-hush pre-launch trial begins today

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YouView may be about to finally go public with its would-be IPTV platform standard. It has scheduled an announcement next week and is today kicking off a in-home trial of the service.

Next week's event looks set to reveal the timetable for YouView's launch, presumably timed to coincide with the summer's Olympics coverage.

While Humax, for one, is said to be demo'ing a YouView set-top box at the announcement, Broadband TV News reports, hardware won't be shipping for "several weeks", strengthening the claim that YouView will not go formally live until July or August.

In the meantime, YouView will be made available to members of the public through a large pre-launch trial programme, which begins today, sources familiar with the test run have told The Register.

Triallists are forbidden from telling anyone about their experiences and must not give visitors even a glimpse of YouView in action, though fellow members of the set-top box equipped household are allowed to watch, apparently.

YouView provides a common, Linux-based hardware platform for catch-up TV services, including BBC iPlayer. Like the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV are also YouView backers, as are ISPs BT and TalkTalk, who hope to use the platform to host commercial video-on-demand services.

The platform was originally due to be launched in 2010, but technical difficulties and arguments between stakeholders ensured that and later deadlines were missed.

Two years on, BBC iPlayer, the dominant catch-up service by a very large margin, is now available in a wide variety of smart TVs, set-top boxes, games consoles, smartphones and tablets, many of which also host other IPTV offerings. That makes YouView's 'one box, many services' rather less of a unique selling proposition than it once was. ®

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