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By | Andrew Orlowski 30th April 2012 09:38

YouView: You're delayed - Sugar

Set top box 'to miss Olympics 2012' deadline

The YouView set-top box won’t be on sale in time for the Olympics, according to a report. Baron Sugar of Clapton, aka Alan Sugar, the chairman of the consortium, doesn’t deem the technology ready for prime time.

YouView originated in 2008 at the BBC as ‘the iPlayer in hardware’, a disruptive ploy to bring internet apps and channels to viewers who didn’t want to fork out for a full-blown (and expensive) subscription TV package from Sky or Virgin – but wanted a bit more than what FreeView could offer.

Originally, a 2010 launch was envisaged, with a second version due in time for summer 2012. But deadlines came and went, and last February the consortium shelved launch plans to "get it right" for a 2012 launch. Olympics and World Cups traditionally see a splurge in TV hardware sales.

But according to The Sunday Telegraph, Sugar still doesn’t consider the box ready for public consumption, beyond limited trials.

Analysts blame the differing needs of members of the YouView consortium, whose members include terrestrial UK broadcasters, BT and TalkTalk and Arqiva. Box-makers Huawei and Pace are still on board.

Only two months ago, TalkTalk was confident of an Olympics launch for YouView, which has required a hefty investment of cash from the ISP. ®

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