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Lord Sugar’s YouView Loses Set-Top Box Supplier

One of the YouView video-on-demand project’s seven set-top box partners is pulling out of the venture.

Lord Alan Sugar replaced former Ofcom mandarin Kip Meek as chairman of YouView in March with a brief to ensure the problem-plagued service is available to consumers by early 2012.

The £115m initiative, which is backed by Channel 5, BT (NYSE: BT), TalkTalk, ITV (LSE: ITV), Channel 4 and Arqiva, was originally due to launch in June.

“We can confirm that Technicolor have decided to withdraw from YouView set-top box development,” said a spokesman for YouView. “However, they were one of seven manufacturing partners and Youview remains on track for a consumer launch in early 2012.”

Sugar was brought in for his set-top box expertise. His company, Amstrad, at one time made home computers but had focused on TV technology by 2007, when it was sold for £125m to BSkyB.

Technicolor’s departure leaves six remaining device partners: Humax, Huawei, Pace, Manhattan, Vestel and Cisco.

YouView was intended to “future proof” Freeview and Freesat by generating video-on-demand revenues for their founder broadcasters, but delays have allowed Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) and Sky to get a headstart with their own internet TV services.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.

One Response to “Lord Sugar’s YouView Loses Set-Top Box Supplier”

  1. Antony Watts

    YouView should fail. It is wrong fundamental approah. No one wants another box. What they want is a home media centre that provides all their media nees, wherever they are.

    This means it has to be based on a general pupose competer achitecture, with dedicated software, a new tuner box, and WiFi interconnet

    That means broacasters have just to provide a consistant API and let industry provide solutions, not make their own box.

    The YouView concept is just an excuse to lock-in consumers to another delivery chain, rather than the open internet