New software updates are being rolled out for the UK’s connected TV platform YouView, starting with the Humax-built boxes and moving out across all boxes over the next couple of weeks.
Highlights of the software upgrade include surround-sound capability, faster start-up times, grouping of recordings, the ability to select a start point when playing a recording, new skip functionality for both recoded and live TV (if paused/rewound), and the ability to hide and restore channels in the YouView guide.
Those YouView boxes which are connected to the Internet and have not been switched off will be updated automatically overnight starting from October 30th, although as it is a phased update some boxes will get the automatic update sooner than others.
After missing several launch dates and being referred to communications regulator Ofcom several times, the YouView boxes were officially launched last July by chairman Lord Sugar.
While some commentators speculate that the project may have missed its opportunity, most reviews of the boxes themselves are highly complimentary, praising their ease-of-use, clean interface and performance.
YouView boxes combine linear television channels via the ‘Freeview’ DTT platform with over-the-top content from a range of sources, including the catch-up players from all the main UK broadcasters, and Sky’s OTT service ‘Now TV’.
The new boxes are now available from a range of outlets, including retailers such as John Lewis, and ISPs BT and TalkTalk have also now launched their own customer packages.
The partners behind the project (broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, ISPs BT and TalkTalk, and broadcast services firm Arqiva) launched their first ad campaign last month.