The first week of July has been fairly muted for #DigitalVoices though there’s been plenty of headline grabbing stories. ACTA has been soundly rejected by the European Parliament and the UK Government is asking for your thoughts on the Communications Data Bill.
Aside from that, this week has seen the launch of YouView, BT making its 330Mbps FTTP avaialble to other ISPs and the arrival of 4seven, a new catch-up TV service from Channel 4.
Here’s what got you lot hitting up the comments over the last week.
The big story of this week was the launch of YouView. After much gossiping and guessing about its eventual release, it was finally unveiled to the world.
Opinion is split on the Humax DTR-T1000, the first YouView set-top box which is perhaps overpriced for what it is - a service aimed at bringing Smart TV to the masses.
Commenters described it as “rubbish” and asked “How is this different to Freeview+HD boxes that have on demand capability?”
Over then, to nerdic, who seems pretty excited about the potential of YouView’s impact on the market:
“It has a full operating system, so it's more capable of behaving like a full computer, albeit one that's a fairly locked box. It runs Linux, so it can basically grow to support any concept your current home computer can handle. Its initial specification is aimed at controlling it via a remote (rather than a keyboard/mouse), but this will probably change in the future. In theory a youview box could handle any software that Linux can run, so it could become people's primary desktop PC in the future - though the current specs are aimed solely at television related services...
...We'll have to wait and see how open to developer's youview becomes. In theory it could eventually amalgamate all the current broadcasters into one box for on demand delivery as well as live channel viewing over the internet...
Expect TV-centric apps to appear first (search for TV episodes, youtube etc) and games like Angry Birds later.The level of interaction/on demand you get with Freeview+HD is very very minimal compared to what Youview will (eventually) provide. Youview is Freeview+HD on steroids.
Youview seems very cool to me - though the initial boxes are, perhaps, a little expensive (as with most new technologies).”
We’re with nerdic on pretty much all of his points; we think that it’s early days yet and the price of the first box is perhaps too high. But YouView shouldn't be overlooked as a Johnny-Come-Lately Freeview clone.
But Lord Sugar mentioned during the big launch that he expects to see £99 YouView boxes hitting the shelves in the future. So there you go; YouView will come in all different shapes and sizes in the future.
Ofcom’s debate on which network will get which slice of 4G rolls on and on but so does the prospect of people losing Freeview, with no solution in sight.
Like many commenters Mike’s not terribly chuffed about the prospect of 4G barging in on Freeview’s broadcast frequency. Nor is he satisfied with the proposals to mitigate it.
“So basically it’s going to cost £188 per household affected which will be footed by the private companies. Do we really think it will cost that much more to distribute and fit filters? I hope not.”
Mike seems to be in favour of an over-the-top solution, eventually ditching Freeview altogether and getting our TV piped over the internet.
“I have BT vision and can watch lots of things across the internet and SkyGo as well... it makes sense. Just dump all the TV technology and make its solely available on the internet and increase our internet quality then we can watch it on so many more devices. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE BACON ITS TIME TO MOVE ON!”
Tarasmum isn’t having any of it either:
"How much longer are we going to have to put up with this sort of thing?? Just when you think you have a good TV with freeview, it all goes pear shaped. Not all of us want (or can afford Sky), particulalry the elderly (God help them by the way - more technlogy to confound them), so what do we do now if we lose our signal? Fork out AGAIN that's what, or else never watch TV again!"
Morningstar chipped in with:
“The government does not have any money - does this mean the Dave & George are going to dig into their personal fortunes for the good of the taxpayer ? No ? I guess what they mean is that the taxpayer will fund business requirements so that the profit from the 4G licenced networks do not have to bear the brunt of paying for the disruption they themselves require. (I am not anti business - but I am anti taxpayer having to pay for it !)”
Morningstar says he/she’s not anti-business but don’t tell that to Jol21 from the next story...
Armchairnavigator seems a little confused. At one point, he/she seems to be advocating direct action “id be down the mobilephone masts with my hacksaw straight away” but then says that “i dont watch tv because its rubbish so i guess 4g proprieters have nothing to fear from me.”
Well that’s that settled then. Let’s all not watch TV anymore because it’s just a load of rubbish.
Mystery firebrand commenter The Realist has ruffled the perhaps patriotic pinions of Jol21 with his comments from last week.
Responding to The Realist’s comment on Margaret Thatcher hobbling BT’s fibre plans during her tenure, Jol21 reasoned:
“The nation that voted for her 4 times and kept her in power for 11 years, it amazes me the people who criticise this lady, yes she made mistakes but in 11 years can you honestly say you never made the wrong investment or choice in partner or career. If she was so bad why did we keep voting for her and could you do better, if so look forward to seeing your manifesto at the next election.”
The story of BT’s RABIT system continues to prove a popular one. Perhaps fans of the system which helps cops capture cable criminals will be pleased to know that BT is loaning its RABIT tech to other ISPs on a three month trial period.
We’ll be back with more comment chatter next week with Digital Voices.