YouView unveiled by Alan Sugar

BBC-backed YouView launched two years behind schedule.

New Statesman
YouView boxes to go on sale this month

YouView, a set-top box with internet connection that is dubbed the "next generation of Freeview", has been unveiled two years after its original launch date of 2010.

Since joining the venture last year, Lord Alan Sugar has attempted to reassure high profile stakeholders including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Aqiva that the millions spent on the project would not be wasted.

At the press event held at the London Film Museum, Lord Sugar claimed that the intention of the project is to "provide extraordinary TV for everyone" and branded the combination of TV channels with the ability to "search back an entire week" as a "whole new way of experiencing TV".

First sales of the box will begin at the end of July at £299 and boxes subsidised as part of a broadband bundle will also be offered by BT and TalkTalk later this year.

Greenwich Consulting's Olivier Wolf has stressed the changes to the market since the planned launch in 2010, stating that the current market and the move to Digital Terrestrial Television may make it more difficult for the product to attract custom. The venture's timing has also been criticised for failing to take advantage of the forthcoming Olympic Games. BT Vision's chief executive Marc Watson dismisses these criticisms however, telling the Telegraph that missing the Olympics "is no big deal".

YouView, which has gained £6m of taxpayers' money from the BBC, will enable its users a seven-day catch up service as well as subscription-free TV service with extra content via the web.