YouView growing as TalkTalk hands out 160,000 boxes

TalkTalk handed out 160,000 YouView boxes between April and June, a big boost for the online set-top box.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Looks like YouView is having a good year. TalkTalk handed out 160,000 YouView boxes between April and June, an increase of around 40 per cent on the total number of YouViewers in just three months.

Announcing its financial results today, TalkTalk reveals it has dished out 390,000 YouView boxes, all told -- quite the feat considering up until the end of March, YouView was in 400,000 homes.

YouView is an Internet-connected set-top box that shows 70 channels for nowt and puts online catch-up services -- such as BBC iPlayer or 4OD -- into the episode guide, making it easier to stream stuff you've missed right on your telly. The box is given away free with selected deals from both TalkTalk and BT.

BT announces its results tomorrow, which could include figures for how many YouView boxes it has given out, giving us a more up-to-date idea of how many YouViewers there are.

Watch this: YouView hands-on

A relatively small number of TalkTalk's new YouView subscribers decided to ditch paid services like Sky or Virgin for YouView: TalkTalk says around three quarters of newbies switched from Freeview or Freesat.

Sky is currently embroiled in a bitter broadband battle with BT, as the two offer free deals combining broadband and sports channels. Ahead of the launch of BT Sport, TalkTalk is keen to emphasise that a deal with Sky Sports means it'll show 116 live Premiership matches this season.

Apple beats the cricket 

Streaming is a big part of TalkTalk's traffic, with streaming from services like BBC iPlayer and Spotify making up 35 per cent of all Web use on the TalkTalk network. Sunday is the busiest day of the week, while the period between 8pm and 9.30 is the busiest on any given day.

And it seems technology fans like you and me are the ones doing much of the streaming: the biggest spikes in live streaming occur around tech events and launches, with Apple's iOS 6 launch and the release of Microsoft security patches beating last month's ICC Champions Trophy cricketball final between India and England.

What do you think of TalkTalk? Are you a YouViewer, and what do you rethink of the service? Tell me your views in the comments or on our Facebook page.