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TalkTalk recruits for YouView pre-launch trial

YouView has broken a four-month silence as TalkTalk starts to recruit customers for a closed trial of smart TV service.

TalkTalk is promoting YouView through its user forums and offering the new service to subscribers who contact its customer services, says Marketing Week.

The large-scale user trial will see broadband subscribers issued with set-top boxes designed to pick up Freeview HD over-the-air and connect to YouView’s extra broadband services.

TalkTalk told Recombu that its staff are taking details of potential testers but that no date has been set for a widespread trial to start by the YouView partners.

YouView

YouView tweeted: “We’ve had a tweet break over the winter months, now the sun’s out we’re back…And as we gear up for trials in the coming months, we’ll have more news to share.”

The basic YouView box will be a Freeview HD recorder with twin-tuners, but it will have an Ethernet connection for accessing on-demand video and information over broadband.

The service is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva, with Lord Sugar in the chairman’s role.

YouView has not made any public statements since its entire marketing and PR team were laid off in November 2011.

TalkTalk announced a small user trial in January and it’s currently expected to launch in May, with BBC director-general Mark Thompson announcing it would be operational by the Olympics.

It has now also re-opened industry consultation on the user interface where viewers will be able to select from TV channels, catch-up TV, recordings, search, and on-demand services.

BT and TalkTalk will both offer exclusive on-demand content to their broadband subscribers, and this will appear more prominently on their user interface.

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