YouView has announced a series of updates and upgrades to its digital TV service, including the addition of internet TV channels and the launch of a new Android app.
YouView also revealed the service is now in 400,000 homes in the UK, making it "the fastest growing TV product in the UK". Around 230,000 of those homes are using the TalkTalk YouView box.
This marks the first time that YouView has released concrete figures, some eight months after the service launched with a renewed marketing push.
YouView is looking to major on content and entertainment, not just live TV, and revealed YouView users now watch on average three hours of video-on-demand content a week.
Around 2.2 million video streams are watched on YouView every seven days, with each user watching 27 minutes of VOD content every time they turn on their box.
Internet TV channels will launch on YouView later this summer, with an "infinite" number of channels theoretically available.
These internet channels will launch on the BT and TalkTalk YouView boxes this Summer but should roll-out across other boxes later this year. All channels will appear within the same integrated EPG, in line with YouView's aim to deliver a simple, easy to use TV experience.
BT and TalkTalk will announce their respective internet channels later this Summer, no doubt ahead of the launch of the new BT Sport channels, which will be available via BT YouView boxes.
YouView also finally launched an Android version of its YouView app, bringing the same functionality - EPG, remote record - of the iOS app to Android users.
The iOS app, and soon the Android app, have also added new accessiblity features, such as voice-control, in an effort to make it as easy to use as possible for all users.
The YouView Android app is due out in a couple of weeks.
There were no new VOD apps announced, despite growing rumours around the likes of Netflix, but we were told to expect more announcements along these lines in the coming weeks.
There was still no confirmation of a wifi YouView box either, though a wifi dongle is set to become available (you can already use wifi adapters). YouView suggested a wifi box would go on sale eventually.
A wired ethernet connection is preferred (by us, too) for a more robust internet connection, says YouView.
Richard Halton, CEO YouView said, “We’ve had a great start and we’re delighted to have received such a positive response from consumers.
"We’re already the fastest growing TV service in the UK and now we can see that translating into viewing. Seamless access to content is at the heart of the YouView proposition and we are delighted to announce that internet channels are set to launch this summer as well as the extension of our app strategy to the Android platform.”
YouView offers access to catch-up content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 via its scroll back EPG as well as a library of on demand television programmes, films and radio, bringing record, pause and rewind TV functionality.
YouView is offered as part of broadband bundles from TalkTalk and BT. It is also available to buy from major retailers and independent electrical stores as a standalone set-top box (with no subscription).
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Written by Joe Cox