Monday, 24 September 2012

The YouView box - what a waste of our money

The big broadcasters have come together to launch the YouView box in time for Christmas. Gawdelpus what a waste it is.

Connected TVs are cheaper and do more. Connected TVs start at £100 while the YouView box is £250.

With the YouView box you only get access to catch-up from channels such as the BBC and ITV. With a connected TV (and most TVs sold this Christmas will be connected) you get all that plus much, much more. You can get access to services such as LoveFilm, Netflix and Hulu, and you get YouTube, the daddy of them all. You get none of that with YouView.

This is a desperate attempt by the broadcasters to hang on to their viewers. More than that - it's a desperate attempt by these channels' executives to hang on to their jobs. YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Facebook and the rest show what people want to watch - and you would have seen little of it on traditional television in the last twenty years.

The channels on YouView have survived because they have a monopoly. All they have to try to do is produce TV that's slightly better than the other channels on YouView (even the name is a tribute to YouTube). All that is changing.

Happily, Samsung and others are advertising their connected TVs hard too. Let's hope their ads are good enough to persuade the public away from YouView.

BBC and ITV executives may hope that YouView is enough of a walled garden for them to keep their jobs. It's not a garden. It's a museum for networks that will soon be extinct, whether or not they produce this protectionist rubbish, which they did mainly at licence-payers' expense.

They have had a generation to waste the opportunity that television presents. Don't buy YouView and you will get better TV.

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