New box from Humax shows way forward for YouView?

Lbear1Lbear1 Member Posts: 741
edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM in Archived Posts
Humax have just announced a single tuner "zapper" type set top box which includes the backwards "< free time>" EPG. This is essentially the same idea as YouView although the range of catchup and other services is smaller at present since they use a different IPTV protocol.

The HB1000S is more or less the Freesat box they announced alongside the HD Fox T2 (Freeview HD) box in Autumn 2009 but with the backwards EPG etc and without their signature silver ring button. Like the HD Fox T2, it will record to an external hard drive to give PVR functionality (although it took Humax until December 2010 to release the beta version of the recording software).

You may remember the Candyman (AKA Lord Sugar) made a throw away remark that he wanted to see simple YouView boxes for under £100. Well this would seem to fit the bill as the launch price is £99 compared to the launch of the equivalent PVR in their range of about £250 (and still less than the launch price of the Foxsat HD which it replaces as their entry level satellite box).

TalkTalk is believed to be introducing a cut down YV box without recording ability so as ever YouView customers are getting a hobbled box since there is no mention of recording to external media - something long wanted by owners in order to backup the recordings on the YV box hard drive.

At the moment of course "a well known auction site" is awash with secondhand YV boxes, mostly Huawei, for about half the price of the new freesat box so the retail price of a putative YV "zapper" will have to be competitive unless TT ask for a premium for the recording version.

Comments

  • Plastivore2Plastivore2 Member Posts: 65
    edited 12 September 2013, 1:53PM
    I am not sure what you're trying to get at in this article. You are comparing Youview and Freesat with "free time", but these are completely different systems.

    I am not sure how they compare, since Youview revolves around Freeview, so I think the comparison (especially in terms of price) would be more appropriate with Freeview boxes.

    To me, the only benefit of a Youview box compared to a Samsung smart TV (which has all the OD players except maybe UKTV, but also has Lovefilm and Netflix) is that you can chose to play a previous broadcast straight from the EPG instead of looking for it in the player. Unless you subscribe to paid contents from an ISP, of course.
  • Lbear1Lbear1 Member Posts: 741
    edited 12 September 2013, 1:53PM

    I am not sure what you're trying to get at in this article. You are comparing Youview and Freesat with "free time", but these are completely different systems.

    I am not sure how they compare, since Youview revolves around Freeview, so I think the comparison (especially in terms of price) would be more appropriate with Freeview boxes.

    To me, the only benefit of a Youview box compared to a Samsung smart TV (which has all the OD players except maybe UKTV, but also has Lovefilm and Netflix) is that you can chose to play a previous broadcast straight from the EPG instead of looking for it in the player. Unless you subscribe to paid contents from an ISP, of course.

    The point is that this satellite box offers the "< free time >" EPG, which is essentially the same as the YouView EPG with it's backwards links to catchup but without having a built in hard drive.

    Similarly TalkTalk were believed to be starting to issue YouView boxes without hard drives (although this may have changed given there are second generation Huawei PVRs being trialled). YouView have also floated the idea that new smart TVs could incorporate their GUI, again without necessarily having hard drives built in.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Can I just clear up the TalkTalk subject.

    If Somebody signs up to TT's YouView TV service they will still be issued with a YouView PVR. Its just that in 2014 (or possibly this year) people signing up to their BB Essentials package will also get a YouView zapper box included.

    http://recombu.com/digital/news/talkt...
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    There's a picture of it here: http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/09/free...
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    There's very little information about this thing yet, but I've got the impression that it only has one tuner. Is this correct?
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Yes, just the one. I believe they will be offering this new box (not your new one) as an enticement to sign up for the full YouView TV package. Which is a potential BB, telephony and TV market of 4m customers. And thats certainly a heavyweight number.

    http://recombu.com/digital/news/talkt...
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    @Peter Wells

    Is this box the future of YouView? No, absolutely not. As you know, its a Freesat box. And YouView uses Freeview and DTT.

    Secondly, of the 26m Freeview users in the UK, 10m+ of those have both Freeview and a broadband connection. As opposed to the relatively small comparison of the 2m Freesat user base.

    And lastly, users are far more likely to buy/take a YouView zapper box (when they become available), as opposed to a Freesat one. Those are my thoughts, anyway.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    @Peter Wells -

    You didn't acknowledge the source of your original post, which is a post on avforums. Did you write the avforums post? If so can you explain the last line...
    'the retail price of a putative YV "zapper" will have to be competitive unless TT ask for a premium for the recording version.'?
    TT won't be asking a premium because their box will be free with their "Essentials" package. And the whole point of their planned mini box is that it will be a simple version with no recording capability.
  • edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    @Visionman-

    I'm curious about "the 26m Freeview users in the UK".
    Surely every TV sold has Freeview?
    Or does this figure mean that the other half of the country are using Sky as their primary source of TV?
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,656 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    gwatuk said:

    @Visionman-

    I'm curious about "the 26m Freeview users in the UK".
    Surely every TV sold has Freeview?
    Or does this figure mean that the other half of the country are using Sky as their primary source of TV?

    My wife and I have six television sets. How many Freeview users are we?
    Six? (Sets)
    Two? (People)
    One? (Household)

    That 26m may be households.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    gwatuk said:

    @Visionman-

    I'm curious about "the 26m Freeview users in the UK".
    Surely every TV sold has Freeview?
    Or does this figure mean that the other half of the country are using Sky as their primary source of TV?

    Six?!?!
    Do you have them in the loos as well?
    ("How the other half live.")
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,656 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    gwatuk said:

    @Visionman-

    I'm curious about "the 26m Freeview users in the UK".
    Surely every TV sold has Freeview?
    Or does this figure mean that the other half of the country are using Sky as their primary source of TV?

    Well, six in the UK at least, as I'm only counting the sets that can get Freeview.

    But no, none in the loos, or we'd need nine, which is a bit excessive, don't you think?
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • edited 8 January 2015, 3:54PM
    gwatuk said:

    @Visionman-

    I'm curious about "the 26m Freeview users in the UK".
    Surely every TV sold has Freeview?
    Or does this figure mean that the other half of the country are using Sky as their primary source of TV?

  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Just to clarify, it's 26m households. My bad...

    http://www.ukfree.tv/fullstory.php?st...

    Though the figures above are now out of date (eg Sky now has 10m+ users), it gives a rough idea of market share across the different services/platforms.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • Lbear1Lbear1 Member Posts: 741
    edited 13 September 2013, 5:03PM
    Visionman

    Yes it is only one tuner and does not have a built in hard drive. It uses an external one and presumably works in a similar way to the HD Fox T2 in that you can record one channel but watch a second if it is on the same transponder (satellite for mux) and therefore shares the same data stream.

    The "freeview HD+" logo is regulated in the same way that the Freeview designations are. The D book requires two tuners and a hard drive so you are quite correct in saying it cannot be called that. I presume like "YouView" the "< free time >" specs are outside the Digital Television Group testing regime.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Thanks for that, Peter. Sadly, it would appear there will be more and more divergent devices appearing in the future, hoping for their slice of the pie. Which is what YouView is trying to avoid.

    Take the competing platform Freeview, for example (and it is a competing platform). They have chosen to go down the Freeview HD MHEG-IC route, which YouView isn't compliant with. But thats not YouView's fault. As they are not responsible for the Freeview group's actions and nor will they ever be, either.

    But I have a query in regard to the Freetime boxes. Do they now offer a stable platform? Because the launch was horrendous, plagued by some pretty serious crippling bugs. Have these now all been fixed, Peter? And do you have one? If so, whats the functionality and ease of use like, compared to YouView?
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • DM2DM2 Member Posts: 475 ✭✭
    edited 13 June 2014, 2:39PM
    I know that the backwards EPG implementation in Freetime is different to YouView - rather than simply scrolling back in time using the same grid / list of channels, Freetime drops you into a wormhole based on whichever channel you'd had selected in the guide.

    - In other words, if you're looking at now/next for current & future programmes with a highlight on itv / Coronation Street, you'll be dropped into a wormhole for itv catch-up programmes.

    ...All well & good if you're looking for a specific programme from a specific channel, but not so good for simply surfing backwards to see what was on in general last night that you might not have noticed.

    Equally not so good in the scenario where you know that something was on at 9pm on Wednesday and everyone at work was talking about it today, but you can't recall which channel it was on.

    Odd path to take, especially if further channels were to move into catch-up.

    *bleh*.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Oh Freetime most certainly isn't YouView. And the two platforms offer completely different systems and operating GUI's too. I just wanted to know if all the bugs had been fixed. And being a BT Vision user, I know theres nothing worse than owning a box that doesn't function correctly (but now does, thankfully).
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • Lbear1Lbear1 Member Posts: 741
    edited 13 September 2013, 11:32PM
    I gather the (home) networking software is not yet available but "promised soon". Apparently all the standard catchup services (except Dave and Milkshake of course) are up and running
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Have all the bugs been fixed on the 1000S? Or is it still unreliable?
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,656 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    Visionman, you said:-

    Take the competing platform Freeview, for example (and it is a competing platform). They have chosen to go down the Freeview HD MHEG-IC route, which YouView isn't compliant with. But thats not YouView's fault. As they are not responsible for the Freeview group's actions and nor will they ever be, either.

    I think I want to take issue with this on all but the very deepest technical level.
    Freeview would only be a competing platform if YouView, like Sky, had their own completely separate programme distribution mechanism. But they don't, YouView displays Freeview programmes, uses the defined programme stop/start and series mechanisms, and so on.

    As such, they need to keep up with what Freeview are doing, and Freeview are doing Connected TV. But YouView isn't. OK, you are correct that they are not responsible for Freeview's actions, and indeed they don't have any control over them.

    But if YouView can depart from Freeview standards, where are you going to draw the line? Will it be OK if some new mechanism comes into play on Freeview which YouView doesn't have, and we can no longer watch even Drama, let alone the BBC channels, rather than the assortment of God-botherers and oddballs currently available on Connected TV?

    You only have to see the howls of anguish going up because Huawei owners can't record Drama, even though they can actually watch it, to realise that it would be commercial suicide for YouView to go its own sweet way different from Freeview.

    OK, YouView can't be technically compliant enough with Freeview to be able to be certified as a Freeview device. But if the differences ever amount to more than a geekfest, and start to have real practical bearing, as they are doing with Connected TV, great disappointments will ensue.

    YouView simply have to fall into line over Connected TV, despite its current indifferent range of content, or we might as well all pack up and go home.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Good post.

    But I disagree. For the following reasons...

    I didn't say they would never be compliant. But as you know, YouView is a commercial organisation, and atm users are waiting for the following - full blown live internet TV channels from both BT and TT, third party apps, such as Lovefilm and Netflix (or whatever they may be), HD content, and Unicast channels too. These will be YouViews own services on its own platforms (BT, TT, retail and possibly others too).

    And the above (as I'm sure you know) represents an awful lot of development work. So why on earth would YV concentrate their efforts first on third party apps that are nothing to do with YV per se and not their own?
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • redchizredchiz Member, Super User Posts: 5,454 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 February 2017, 2:05PM
    Apologies for only having quickly scanned through this thread, but has anyone mentioned that free time has thus far been essentially ****? The only good thing about it is that it makes the YouView interface seem cutting edge by comparison.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,656 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    Hi Visionman

    Yes, I agree about YouView's priorities, and there are many things more central to YouView's enhancement path than Connected TV.

    But they will need to come back and sweep this up at some juncture, especially if anything compelling tips up on CTV. Somebody dropped a ball here though. YouView knew MHEG-IC was coming, actually specified it for the hardware, but managed to paint themselves into a corner whereby, apparently, it will be inordinately difficult to implement it in their software. That should not have happened - you leave stubs for stuff like that, not dead ends.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • sam1sam1 Member Posts: 1,182 ✭✭
    edited 25 September 2013, 9:47AM
    It's unfortunate that Sugar made that ridiculous boast about YouView "replacing" FreeView.

    I don't think the viewing public is even aware that YouView would like to be considered a rival platform. It's surely just seen as a PVR which provides Freeview channels like other PVRs, but can also get stuff over the internet. And you get one free for signing up with BT or TalkTalk.
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