YouView on trial in selected homes ahead of London Olympics

YouView has been delayed yet again, failing to land in living rooms in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

YouView set-top boxes have arrived in living rooms. Reports of delays still linger, but the coalition of the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arquiva has started testing YouView boxes in the wild -- and they could be in your living room in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

YouView told me that the box is currently on trial in selected homes, and will be tested in hundreds, then thousands of homes "in the coming months". Despite rumours that head honcho Lord Sugar has pushed back the launch, YouView hasn't ruled out a public debut in time for the Olympic Games.

The Telegraph quotes a "senior source" who says Lord Sugar doesn't think YouView will be ready until the end of the year. The bolshie boardroom baron took charge at YouView just over a year ago, but it seems he's failed to impart a sense of urgency to the Steady Eddies and Cautious Carols on the YouView team.

More than a year ago, we wrote that YouView had signed its own death certificate -- and that was just because it was delayed until the start of this year, let alone the end of this year.

I'm personally feeling excited about YouView. Each box will include at least 320GB of storage, two tuners, HDMI and Wi-Fi . It's a standard platform with plenty of potential -- it's just taking a long time to actually see any of that come to fruition.

We first wrote about Project Canvas -- as it was codenamed -- way back in 2009. That's more than three years, over which YouView has spent a reported £100m on development -- and more than three years in which Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and the rest have been building their own smart TV sets. Not to mention Sky and its forthcoming online service Now TV , as well as iPlayer and the forthcoming Project Barcelona , Netflix and Lovefilm ... the list of rivals goes on and on. Oh, and there's the small matter of Apple reportedly about to take on the TV market .

London 2012 could be a big boost to YouView, as major sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup cause big spikes in people buying TVs, home cinema kit, and TV packages. While a proper launch before the 27 July opening ceremony would be great, I'm guessing that only those lucky few in the trial will be watching Duran Duran, James Bond and Usain Bolt on their YouView box.

Are you looking forward to seeing what YouView has in store? Tell me your views in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

 

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