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YouView rejected by Sony

Sony has snubbed YouView, rejecting the alliance of online television services as 'too UK-specific'.

Sony has snubbed YouView, rejecting the alliance of online television services as 'too UK-specific'.

YouView will offer catch-up and on-demand television from the main channels all in one place, via a set-top box. Yes, another one. Sony has decided not to get involved, so you won't be seeing Sony Bravia televisions, Blu-ray players or PlayStations with YouView access built in.

Sony said that "YouView is [a] UK-specific project and aimed at PVR-based products, which doesn’t fit with Sony’s global network and objectives". The company plans to expand its own PlayStation network instead, offering similar services on web-connected Sony televisions, Blu-ray players and games consoles.

YouView is a joint venture among UK broadcasters and internet service providers to offer a standard for television over the web -- a kind of Freeview of Internet telly. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five are signed up along with TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva. It was originally known as Project Canvas, and needless to say hasn't been very popular with rival broadcasters including Sky and Virgin Media.

Each Linux-powered box contains at least 320GB of memory, two tuners, Wi-Fi, and HDMI and USB connections. The boxes will be made by Huawei, Manhattan, Pace, Vestel, Cisco, and Humax.

Sony isn't the only company threatening YouView with its own connected telly services. All the big TV manufacturers, including Panasonic and LG, are investing in their own online portals, and recruiting third-party services such as LoveFilm and Spotify. YouView's main problem is that it isn't set for launch until 2012 -- and in the meantime Sky's service, Virgin Media's TiVo, Sony's PlayStation Network, and everyone else will widen the gap between their portals and YouView.