Advanced Television

Sony debuts integrated YouView TVs

February 4, 2015

By Colin Mann

Sony aims to make it easier than ever for UK viewers to catch up on favourite TV shows with the inclusion of on-demand platform YouView to its range of 2015 BRAVIA TVs. In partnership with YouView it will be the first manufacturer in the UK and Ireland to include the service.

From Summer 2015, UK consumers will have the ability to watch their favourite TV shows from BBC iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player and Demand 5 as well as live TV using the intuitive YouView interface with no need for a separate set-top box.

Sony customers will now have access to YouView’s library of more than 12,000 titles of on demand TV programmes. Discover will list TV programmes so you can see at a glance what has recently been added and which programmes are the most popular or simply browse by genre. Search seamlessly integrates live and on demand TV giving customers the option to type in a programme name to instantly find favourite TV shows.

John Anderson, Sony UK and Ireland country head, said: “The way we watch TV is changing, with more demand than ever for a large range of content, when we want it, how we want it. We’re delighted to be the first manufacturer in the UK to announce the addition of YouView to our range of TVs. We believe that our new BRAVIA range now has an unparalleled combination of Sony’s fantastic picture quality, fantastic design and the widest choice of content ever complete with Sony High Resolution Audio.”

Richard Halton, CEO, YouView, said, “We are thrilled to announce a major collaboration with Sony on our first ever project to make YouView available on TVs. This exciting YouView and Sony partnership will create a deep integration of YouView’s functionality within the new Sony TV range, built on the Android platform. It will offer everything you’d expect from YouView including our iconic seamless and easy to use TV guide, giving customers simple access to the live and catch up TV they love.”

In a separate Blog Post, Halton described the collaboration as “an important partnership” that would let more UK homes than ever before enjoy YouView’s seamless TV service across a “fantastic” new range of connected televisions.

Halton said that since it launched in 2012, YouView’s objective had been simple – to evolve and grow its on-demand TV service, bringing its “unique” combination of live, catch up and on-demand TV to as many UK homes as possible. “We want to offer flexibility to consumers, giving them more ways to access YouView – which now includes finding the TV programmes they love without the need for a set-top box,” he noted.

“So, what does this mean for YouView? From a customer experience perspective, it’s all good – the same easy to use experience, access to over 12,000 titles, all available on a set of stunning new screens boasting the very best picture quality, including 4K,” he advised.

“From a tech perspective, the prospect of an HTML execution of our service on an Android middleware is a significant step and not one many might have envisaged us taking even a year or so ago. It’s not been an easy challenge, but it builds on the experience we had bringing BBC iPlayer to YouView in HTML5 last year and points the way for the platform in the future,” he suggested.

“It’s also to Sony’s great credit that they’ve embraced the concept of YouView as a complete experience – both for connected (and, critically) unconnected sets. YouView is not about to become a TV app, or a logo in the corner of a partners’ screen – we think our user experience means more than that and I’m sure Sony’s customers will agree,” he said.

“Does this mean that the set-top box is becoming less important? Not at all. Like all the foundations of the vibrant UK TV industry – linear channels, DTT, (the BBC!) – the set-top box has plenty of life left in it yet. However, it’s testimony to the quality of the YouView experience that it’s now travelling across a whole range of devices including mobile, set-top box and now direct to TV. There will be plenty more on that and other topics as we continue to evolve, develop and grow the platform,” he promised.

“We look forward to showcasing the new TVs this summer and, for now, I’d just like to thank all the teams within YouView, Sony and our partners for getting us to the first stage of our connected TV journey,” he concluded.

Categories: Articles, Catch Up, Connected TV, IPTV, OTT, OTT, VOD