New TalkTalk TV app released

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TalkTalk have released a Beta version of a new app for Android devices.
It presents the TV guide in a quite different format from your YouView box. With the advantages of a touch screen and rapid scrolling this is a very different experience.
It offers the ability to create reminders and add items to your Watchlist. This means you can browse the various programme listings and add these notifications while you are away from home.
When used at home it operates as a "second screen" enabling it's various features to be used without disturbing your main TV viewing.
(It's an interesting indication of the kind of facilities that could be developed in future to provide a wide array of second screen functions.)
This first version does not include remote record setting but this is "coming soon".

The current features are:
TV Guide: With full 7 day forward and backwards TV Guide showing what's available to catch up on your YouView box.
TV Reminders: Set reminders for your favourite TV shows with 30 minute warnings before the broadcast begins, sent directly to your phone or tablet.
My Subscriptions: Once you sign in on your home WiFi view the listings for the channels you are subscribed to and create your own favourite channels list.
On Demand: View the listings for all on demand films and TV shows available in the TalkTalk Player.
Watchlists: Create your own personal wishlist of on demand TV and Film which automatically syncs with your YouView box in the TalkTalk Player.
Trailers: Watch trailers for the latest films on demand.
Cast And Crew Linking: Find more shows available now from your favourite actor or director by selecting their name on screen, then add to your Watchlist.
MyTV: View what you've added to your Watchlist and what reminders you've set.
Homescreen: Select the home icon to view a selection of TV highlights.

Features coming soon:
Remote record including series record.
Social media integration.
Support for 10" tablets.

You can find more information and download it here: http://tinyurl.com/oeolka7

gwatuk

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  • quite excited

Posted 7 months ago

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stormy

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Pity Youview are not doing this for the mear mortals without TalkTalk. Although interestingly does it still not allow an EPG search?

Roy

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Also for the demi-gods who walk only with iThingies.

Do I hear the unmistakeable sound of the boot shifting to the other foot here?

gwatuk

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There's another thread running at present about YouView's apparent lack of response to preferences expressed by their customers.
I feel that this may be part of a general concern about the current lack of progress.

So I'm really surprised at the lack of response to this thread about the release of the TalkTalk TV app.

I'm a big fan of the ideas behind a "second screen" - ideally a tablet app offering remote control, lots of presentation options for the user guide, creation of future events (recordings, reminders, watchlist etc), links to webpages about the programmes, access to background information (Google, Wikipedia, IMDB etc), social media interaction (Zeebox, Twitter etc) and more.
And all benefiting from a high-res screen with touch control (instead of a clunky old remote).

TalkTalk are showing the way here and I think this is a significant demonstration of progress, I just hope that YouView are developing the same ideas for all YouView users.

Roy

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Your target audience needs to be active on NotSatisfactory here. Slice 1
Your target audience needs to be on TalkTalk. Slice 2
Your target audience needs to have an Android device. Slice 3
Your target audience needs to be happy using a minuscule screen, instead of the support for tablet-size devices 'coming later'. Slice 4

Apropos of YouView developing this or something similar, I do rather wonder if this app has been on TalkTalk's private YouView wishlist for a long time with nothing being done, as YouView are very little more responsive to TalkTalk than they are to us, and TalkTalk have finally lost patience and done it themselves?

Peter Wells

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This looks like it has some functions that the YV app does not have however rather annoyingly you have to have a TT account in order to set it up. Not suitable for non-TT customers who have purchased a Huawei box from "a well known internet auction site".

gwatuk

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What a "bummer"!

Steve Archer

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I am pretty sure I can managed with the YouView released app lol, now I need to find away of stopping a teenager using series record, funny init when we had Sky the daughter did not record anything, now she records a lot of stuff

Peter Wells

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Ah, but this would have been an ideal solution for those of us with both a Humax and Huawei box - or anybody with two boxes - so that, when TT update it, you can program a recording remotely without it going to both.

churchwarden

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"I just hope that YouView are developing the same ideas for all YouView users."

You are an optimist, Gwatuk.

This app demonstrates what can be done with good design, encompassing features that show they have really thought about just WHAT the customer wants. When the "coming soon" features arrive, it looks like it will be superb. The YouView app provides the basic bare minimum to satisfy a need to be able to say there is one, nothing more. Would anyone put money on the YouView app being updated to include the features provided by the TalkTalk app. anytime "soon"? Sorry to sound a bit jaded, but high initial hopes for YouView have been rather dashed, and I have found it better not to hope for anything any more.

gwatuk

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Good to see someone else sees the potential for this.

gwatuk

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Just to bang on a bit more about "second screen" developments...

Channel 4 has just launched a second screen app for your tablet or smartphone. With 4Now, you can join in with top shows - including Educating Yorkshire - with polls and quizzes, interviews, character info, live Twitter feeds, bonus footage and play-along games - and a heap of stuff we haven't even thought of yet! It's early days - even the name is still to be finalised.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/4now/......|

These are the kind of ideas that YouView should be thinking about.

gwatuk

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This is also relevant to the direction in which Channel 4 are moving...
http://www.tvbeurope.com/ibc-content/...

Roy

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gwatuk

Before putting the icing on the cake, it is better that it not still be half-baked.

gwatuk

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Well if you want YouView to finish the cake why not let someone else think about the icing: http://willneale.com/2013/06/25/youvi...

"...I guarantee that amongst the thousands of third party developers out there, some of them would produce apps so stunning that people would never want to leave YouView."

Roy

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Presumably these third party developers would have got together and built the central server and software that the YouView box remote record feature needs?

And as I've said before myself, also sounding like broken record, whatever one of those was, publishing a developer UI sets the YouView software in stone at a rather lower level than its current stage of development would be comfortable with,

gwatuk

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If that was the case surely this implies that TalkTalk are foolish to have invested in their own app?

Roy

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As far as I can see, but please tell me if I'm wrong, this app interacts with purely TalkTalk software at present, on TalkTalk's servers, and doesn't actually go anywhere near your YouView box, except perhaps via the TalkTalk Player, for which YouView must have given TalkTalk an API.

When if offers remote record, it still won't go anywhere near your YouView box, but will interact purely with the central YouView server that is used for the YouView remote record app, For which I'm sure YouView have published an API, but only to its partners, not to the whole wide world.

Or do you think I am wrong in some particular?

gwatuk

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No Roy your analysis is exactly correct, (Grrrr!)
But the app is going to offer remote record, at which point the YouView central server interface will have been "set in stone".

How does this business of enabling third party access actually work?
Presumably there has to be a bit of software in the box that is "listening" to the outside world via the network interface. And this has to recognise a request for a "pause" instruction or whatever. So this bit of software is sitting between the outside world and the inner workings of the box. YouView would have to publish a list of commands that this bit of software could recognise.
But this doesn't have to be completely comprehensive. Surely the basics could be enabled - channel selection, "transport" controls (sorry about my ancient mindset), selection of recordings from "My View" etc. Then, at a later time, when YouView develop some radical new feature (e.g. creation of channel favourite lists) this could also be enabled for third party access just as soon as YouView are happy that it is completely stable.
What I'm really trying to say is that I don't see how opening up the box to third party control inevitably inhibits its further development.

However I suspect that this is just an academic discussion - all the signs are that YouView want to operate in their own private little world.

Roy

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To have a listener, the YouView box box would have to act as a server, which would mean an open channel through your router to the outside world, which the black hats might be able to access as easily as you, with a little bit of work.

YouView avoid the security risk this presents by having the box poll; for updates, it wakes up and goes looking for them at a defined time every night, instead of having an update knock on its door.

It's somewhat less efficient, but much safer,

We have the same situation with the remote recording app; your box checks in with the central server every so often to see if there are any record requests it should take on board. That's why it has to be in Low Eco mode for this to work; in High Eco mode, it would have to drag itself from its deep slumber so often it wouldn't really be in High Eco mode any more.

This is very much less efficient than if the YouView box had a listener, but again, safety is paramount. I believe.

A listener that stayed behind your firewall and only listened to local addresses might be OK; this must be how the iThingy remote for my TV and my bluray box work, as this can't be done by the device polling for stored requests.

And I note that the TT app can do a few things more when it's on your wifi network than when it's outside it, which makes me think the TT software on your YouView box may have a local listener.

But the only way the TT app can talk to your YouView box is via the TT Player and whatever that is able to do, via whatever APIs YouView and/or Huawei have exposed for its partner to use here, from the TT Player.

redchiz

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Do I hear the unmistakeable sound of the boot shifting to the other foot here?
TalkTalk offer a range of mobiles exclusively to their own customers. Their range does not include the iPhone, so that may well explain their decision to develop for Android only, which is heavily represented in their catalogue.

redchiz

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A question. It says on Google play: "Optimised for the following devices..."

Does that mean "will only work on..." or something else which I don't understand?

Roy

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Probably means "We've tried it on......", and possibly means they have programmed round some things these particular devices were doing badly, wrongly, or not at all.

On any other Android device, it will fit where it touches...

gwatuk

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Good news!
Just found this regarding the YouView app:

"Later this year both versions of the apps will be updated to offer remote control features, enabling smartphone and tablet owners to use their devices to search for content and control core box functions."

(http://www.seenit.co.uk/youview-annou...)

(churchwarden you are a pessimist!)

churchwarden

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LOL - a pessimist is an optimist with experience, Gwatuk....

gwatuk

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That has the same ring to it as "...ah well, we were all socialists when we were young..."

Hmmm... I wonder which of us has been around longer?
As a reference point I've established that Roy, another of you wise old birds, is about ten years older than me, and he's definitely "been around the block a few times". :-)

Roy

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I shall greet that opinion with 'owls of protest....

Roy

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Also, apropos of that May 30 Seenit piece that you disinterred, you are politely enjoined to measure the accuracy of it in terms of what it speculates about things that should have happened by now, and what has actually happened in that time.

And then extrapolate that level of accuracy to those predictions that have yet to come to fruition.....

Roy

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NB: is the above a screen grab from the Parliament channel? :-)

churchwarden

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I have no problems with you believing me to be the youngest of the three of us, but just let's say my bus pass is getting a bit dog-eared......

Roy

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Yes, my old one was, but my new one is still shiny :-)

gwatuk

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I have a few years to go before I'm eligible.
So I'll respectfully defer to the wisdom of my senior co-contributors.
But I'll hang on to the optimism if you don't mind. :-)

gwatuk

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Also, apropos of that May 30 Seenit piece that I disinterred - I'm not at liberty to explain this (and this is not a wind-up) but you might be pleasantly surprised if, in due course, the article turns out to not just be speculation.
(Another reason why I'm currently optimistic.)

churchwarden

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“It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.”

Roy

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gwatuk

The deadline for some of that article's predictions has long come and gone without fulfillment :-(

sam

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Additional Video on Demand portals will also be added later this year, and the company said it would announce specific partners “ in the next few weeks.”
Wasn't that Dave? with UKTV being the specific partner.
It is widely expected that these will include either Netflix or Lovefilm. Music on demand service Vevo has also expressed an interest in joining the platform.
"Widely expected" is a phrase devoid of information. The reference to Vevo may be based on a passing reference to YouView made by Ric Caraeff last January:
Caraeff also outlines an opportunity on internet-connected televisions and set-top boxes, naming Sky, Virgin Media and YouView as potential partners. “You’ll see at least a dozen of those new platforms this year from us,” he says. “We have a lot that we’re cooking for the year.”

http://www.cityam.com/article/man-wil...

Roy

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Portals? Partners? I see no plurality :-(

sam

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I think that's what seenit is referring to, though. The YouView press release announcing the UKTV tie-up appeared a few weeks after the seenit article:
Multi-award winning media company, UKTV, has signed its first direct agreement with on demand TV service YouView to provide seven day catch-up services for its popular free-to-air channels Dave, Yesterday and Really.
http://www.youview.com/news/2013/06/2...

sam

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Capablue perhaps providing the plurality

http://www.capablue.com/content/uktv-...

sam

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Leaving only the speculative mention of Netflix/LoveFilm as apparently the only matter about which gwatuk could be "not at liberty to say". Correct me if I've missed something.

I feel at liberty to predict that neither NetFlix or LoveFim will come to retail standalone YouView boxes later this year.

gwatuk

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Sam, I was actually specifically referring to "the apps will be updated to offer remote control features". I have reason to believe that YouView are working on this.
The seenit article was reporting a formal press briefing held by YouView.
So I think that the various "predictions" were about developments that YouView at that time felt confident were going to happen.
However this statement is probably seenit speculating on the future, not YouView:
"It is widely expected that these will include either Netflix or Lovefilm..."

sam

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gwatuk - thanks for the clarification. Yes, Piers posted somewhere in the forum, after the BT launch, confirming that they were working on adding such features to the app. I remember it, but can't find it. I'll have another search.

sam

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Found it.
Piers (Official Rep) 2 months ago
Hi sam. No encouragement needed! We're starting to build YouView app and box remote control features right now and you'll see something on both iOS and Android by the end of the year.
http://community.youview.com/youview/...

gwatuk

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Good! That wasn't the source I was quoting, so it does add some credibility to this.
As I've said before I find the prospect of features/functions etc delivered via a second screen really exciting. I've just sent a suggestion to one of the innovative companies in this field to try and persuade them to approach YouView with an eye to integrating their ideas with YouView's. It probably won't happen but it's worth a try.

sam

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Does it need credibility? It's always been on the roadmap, I believe. And at http://www.c21media.net/how-youview-w... there's a rather interesting interview with Tom Cape explaining exactly why all these companies are so very interested in second-screen apps - sometimes apparently more interested in the second screen than the first.

In a word: data-mining.

Which was reportedly the trigger for the Desmond-Sugar brawl but that may be mere rumour.

gwatuk

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I've just listened to the Tom Cape interview - very interesting. But it's a bit disconcerting to hear that analysis which I think was in December 2011, and then consider that nearly two years has passed.
Alarmingly slow progress!

gwatuk

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Another nice idea that YouView could steal from Roku is to enable an audio feed to be sent to the app on your phone or tablet. You've then got a wireless headphone facility.
(Roku have this on the remote control for the Roku 3 box.)

gwatuk

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For those interested in apps and second screen ideas, here is some interesting stuff: http://www.techradar.com/news/televis...

gwatuk

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I just found this thread - (from four months ago!)
It makes interesting reading.
Just consider how much progress has been made with the YouView app.
We've only just got an iPad version.
Then consider what Will Neale said six months ago (http://tinyurl.com/lmxdd8v):
...I guarantee that amongst the thousands of third party developers out there, some of them would produce apps so stunning that people would never want to leave YouView.
I find revisiting all this to be rather depressing.


gwatuk

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The android TalkTalk TV app now enables remote recording.
(It's probably been doing this for some time, but as usual TalkTalk didn't tell anyone.)


gwatuk

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Just to follow up on the "second screen" stuff that I've been going on about above.
It looks like YouView may be taking this seriously...

Richard Halton has said:
...The complimentary offering of second screen is an interesting supplement to TV viewing – while not impacting the core experience. It offers a huge variety of options from controlling the service to personalisation and recommendation which we’re currently looking into...

(http://www.iptv-news.com/2014/03/youview-all-of-our-shareholders-are-pleased/)