How to use YouView
The digital switchover may be complete, but there’s an even bigger shift in the way that we receive television on its way.
YouView is a new partnership between all four mainstream terrestrial broadcasters and three internet providers to take TV off the air and put in online.
That’s right, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV have teamed up with BT, Arqiva and TalkTalk to produce an IPTV/ (Internet Protocol Television) service which brings all the channels and catch up options, like iPlayer and 4OD, into one unified hub.
It is to online viewing what Freeview was to terrestrial broadcasting – and will likely spearhead the change in our TV habits forever.
The BBC already receives around 190 million programme requests per month for iPlayer content, mostly via desktop computers and laptops and increasingly from mobile phones, and the purpose of YouView is to make on-demand services like this as easy to access from the big screen as they are from the plethora of small ones already using them.
Critically, there’s no charge for the service. It’s completely subscription free. So long as you’ve got broadband, you can get YouView.
YouView makes on-demand TV simple, because everything is integrated into one single programme guide. Rather than flicking between menus for catch-up TV, you can scroll back a few hours from where you are and start viewing programmes you’ve missed in a single tap of the remote.
At the moment, the only way to access YouView is with a dedicated set top box – BT’s Vision PVR and TalkTalk’s Plus box will automatically receive YouView services. If you have a different Internet Service Provider (ISP), then third party set-top boxes like the DTR-T100 from Humax will connect you.
To receive YouView all you need to do is connect your YouView box to a TV aerial and broadband and switch on:
- YouView recommends a minimum broadband speed of 3Mb/s and you can check your speed with their app – watching on demand and catch-up programmes will however count towards any monthly broadband data allowance you may have.
- Next, connect an ethernet cable to your Youview box and your router.
- Connect your existing aerial cable to the aerial connection on the back of your YouView box. Then connect your box to the TV using an HDMI cable.
Future plans for YouView include browser-based access from any PC. The key to YouView’s online success, though, is its compatibility with traditional TV services. The same YouView box will also include a Freeview tuner for access to the full range of digital TV channels for live viewing.
So with YouView you get the best of both worlds, as YouView makes online and Freeview TV operate as one.
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