YouView, the latest standard of subscription-free digital TV launched today at the London Film Museum. A fitting venue perhaps for a new product that’s promised to be the future of TV and, pending the launch of Now TV, movies on-demand as well.
In this demo we get taken through the basics of the YouView EPG, browsing for live shows and calling up content from the BBC iPlayer.
Note that during the playback of Blackout there’s a rather cursory parental advisory check – it’s possible for parents to restrict access to post-watershed and adult-rated shows with a PIN code if they wish.
We liked that the menus which letterbox the top and bottom of the screen don’t interfere with most of the action, meaning you can do things like search for other programmes without interrupting what’s on the screen.
Speaking of search, we’re shown how easy it is to look for shows on YouView. Thanks to a smart Google Instant-style feature, YouView starts searching for programmes based on just a handful of letters.
First impressions of YouView are overwhelmingly positive. Things we weren’t keen on is that fact that the search function currently only looks for content available in the libraries of the catch-up service providers; it doesn’t let you search for current or future broadcasts.
Loading on-demand content wasn’t slick 100 per cent of the time, though internet connections at press events like this are rarely what you’d call reliable or consistent.
We also felt that the remote, though functional and easy to navigate, didn’t feel amazingly comfortable or premium, which given that this costs £299 is a little galling. That’s just how it felt to us mind.
Have a look at our video and let us know your thoughts in the comments.