What's the point?


Well-Known Member
Lord Alan Sugar says that the Youview box is the only one you will ever need. Well he would say that wouldn't he? He is chairman of the project after all.
So what do we get from this enterprise that we don't receive from our HDR T2? As far as I can see it is access to more on demand programmes via the internet and a few catch ups, eg ITV player etc.
But why do we need more? Are we so bored as to want to sit indoors day and night ensuring we miss nothing?
Just checkout any connected Sony Blu-Ray player to see what I mean.

There are enough repeats plus 1 channels and a plus 2 channel in the pipeline ( so you can watch the repeat of the repeat within a couple of hours of the original! AND ch47 4Seven for even more repeats!) You CAN set up your recordings seven days in advance you know and then edit your mistakes!

There are sufficent channels promoting a mind numbing experience that I feel we should be able to vote them off air. And don't get me started on the proposal of Local TV aimed at the malcontents looking for their two minutes of 'fame' screeching down their phone lines about what they're not doing today, it's bad enough on the local radio.
On the subject of radio, apart from the BBC, just flick through the channels after 8pm and you will think you haven't swapped stations, such is the similarity of mindless pap broadcast.
I sometimes can't believe the money we've spent on TV, receiver, Bluray,PVR and speakers and yet probably spend four out of seven evenings reading a book!

So what WILL we get from Youview apart from reduced bandwidth as more people buy the box after the propaganda hits the screens? Not to mention the lower bitrates through more and more pointless channels being added.
Comments please (and no, I didn't get out of the wrong side of bed this morning!)

But why do we need more? Are we so bored as to want to sit indoors day and night ensuring we miss nothing?
You are projecting. What "we" want is not necessarily what you want.

Catch up services mean exactly the opposite. You *don't* have to be glued to the TV 24/7 but can cherry pick at a time more convenient.
From what I've seen so far, unless anyone specifically wants the ease of being able to scroll back in the EPG and pick something to watch from the five main channels, easy access to the catch-up services for 3, 4 & 5 or on-demand content, I would still recommend the HDR Fox T2 over the Youview box.
I think the polite way of saying it is that the Youview UI is ergonomically slick but functionally immature.
It's for people who are too lazy to plan ahead. For the times when I fail to plan ahead there's iPlayer and the HDR's stream buffer.

I spent 6 months working in Canada (what seems like) half a lifetime ago (funny, it was half a lifetime), the hotel TV had access to only a few channels and on the rare occasion there was anything decent on it would be a choice between that and going for dinner. I found out that by renting a VCR I could not only timeshift and therefore avoid the conflict, but open up many more channels with its better cable tuner (can't remember why). The "fun" part was arranging the rental, for which I had to open a local bank account... I don't suppose it would be possible now.
To say ‘They are providing even more crap that I’m not interested in’ is a poor argument. However in my opinion there is not enough in the Humax YouView to tempt many HDR/HD owners to it, It may be the logical purchase for someone getting an HD PVR for the first time though, depending on cost difference between the HDR and YouView. YouView’s downside is that it was designed by a committee and the makers of the hardware are going to get pretty tired of having to say ‘We were forced to make it do that’ by Mr Amstrad's mob, so hopefully Humax will want to keep their independantly designed products going as well
I may have mixed in a bit of a moan about Freeview content within the context of the proposed merits of Youview, but we don't get the choice of how our transmitters get cluttered with the aforementioned repeat programmes and dross such as the slapper channels, thus contributing to lower powered transmissions.
I think it is fairer to say that 'they are providing more crap that I haven't been consulted on, whether I like it or not.'
If, on the other hand, apart from the EPG roll back, the concentration is on ipTV content then a lot of consumers will be disappointed because it will take years for the whole country to have a decent broadband speed available.

Well, it's only five days since I wrote the original post, but I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of response. (Although appreciate the replies posted)
I thought that the subject matter would provoke a lively (?) debate on the proposed merits of Youview and the direction in which the programmes makers are taking us.

Perhaps the Hummy Arms is the wrong section to be in. I deliberately didn't post in the 'Youview at last' as it appears to be a more technical discussion, although I think Black Hole's comment that he 'hates the rush to digital' syncs quite well with my post.

I was in the Peleponnese recently and the satellite TV provided had over 900 channels-God forbid we are heading in that direction!

Gomezz, I agree with you that what I want does not necessarily gel with what others require, but I believe we are having channels foisted upon us which are completely irrelevant. There are over 90 TV channels on the guide already and with YouView there will eventually be dozens more and you will probably spend hours cherry picking!

I'm sure I must have expounded before, but I have never understood the point of all these channels except as a means for governments gain another revenue source through the licensing - and who ultimately pays? It always comes down to us in the end, because adverts have to be paid for by a proportion of the cost of the product to the end user, etc etc etc.

With the "good old" 2/3 channel system (maybe I'll accept 4, 5 was stretching it a bit but still reasonably in keeping), you could decide which channel suited your taste and pretty much leave it on all the time to receive a good selection of amusement, sport, comedy, variety, and news. Occasionally one might defect the preferred channel for something that was really good.

What do we have now: the best programmes have been siphoned off by subscription channels where the big money has gravitated, so even sticking with BBC1/2 doesn't provide the strong mix that it used to. Cherry picking amongst the channels available is hard work, and easily leads to a very narrow viewing experience - how many people now see a proper news bulletin on a regular basis to know what's going on in the world (when they used to see it because it was on anyway). Seeing one news bulletin on an isolated basis is boring. Following it regularly generates interest in current affairs.

I know it's a free country and people should be allowed to watch whatever the free market provides, but I don't accept that such an approach is good for the moral fibre of the population in general.

What I said about DSO when it was first proposed: anyone keen on a multi-channel experience or sport/movie monoculture already has a Sky/cable subscription. The rest of us don't need it (get a life).
My neighbour has a full house - freeview, freesat and Virgin, plus a Usenet subscription and 100Mb internet. If I ask "Did you see The Bridge on Saturday" I invariably get a reply on the lines of: "No, we were watching the Russian news. What's The Bridge?"

Less is more.
Russian news?? I suppose there always has to be a counter-example. Did they watch the UK news though!
They seem to have a liking for obscure foreign news channels, together with a knack for missing the good stuff on regular terrestrial TV. I think they miss out a lot more than they gain, but it's all a question of viewer choice... Personally, I cancelled Virgin way back because a little cost-benefit analysis showed that an hour of TV on a cable channel was costing me 4 to 5 times as much as an hour of terrestrial.

Currently, I use a freeview Hummy and a media PC permanently attached to the TV. Given that a perfectly capable media PC can be had for not much over £200 (though mine is older and cost a lot more than that), I'm at a loss to know what a combination of smart TV/IPTV/Youview could offer me that a media PC can't provide with much greater flexibility and more cheaply. All the TVs in my house are set up with identical Favourite lists that exclude all but about 20 channels and anything freeview can't provide can be easily sourced via the internet. I've had to resort to catch-up services twice in the last year - via the PC, of course, because no matter how much it's tweaked, the Humax portal can't hold a candle to a PC in that respect. Although it's disappointing that Humax broke internet radio, I'm not really bothered as I always listen with RadioSure on the PC. I have far more to watch than I can possibly find time for, and like the OP, I spend a lot of evenings reading (Sony eReader...).
I agree that more is less and it is an illusion having, say, 100 channels as it is at present, gives you greater choice . It just dilutes the quality and as as such has the knock on effect on stunting the education of the populace and as BH says, not good for the moral fibre.

The force of advertising for Youview will be extensive and no doubt consumers will be convinced it's the service to have, but I'll bet that a vast majority will have snags, first with the box itself and second, with their internet connection and those average punters will not want to be bothered searching forums, if indeed they know they exist. And why should they? They will expect it to work straight from the box, but WE know that it is not always the case.
It is two years since the arrival of the HDR T2 and over on AV forums there are already ten parts to the master thread. I can forsee major problems in that area.
Fenlander, I'm annoyed at the loss of the portal's internet radio. We have it set up with a selection of channels which we play through the amp avoiding the need to leave the TV on. (Our Panny uses 140watts.) Now we're back to the freeview. I'll check out your RadioSure. (Any media PC recommendations?)

We ensure that our local library is not neglected and we use their internet services to source the reading material. They email when the books have arrived and we pop in, have a natter and keep the service alive. In our house, the jury is still out on the merits of e-readers mainly due to my wife sourcing the latest thrillers and reading them for free.

But this is moving off topic.
If all you want of a media PC is Internet radio, I believe there are self-contained internet radios available which connect straight to your WiFi and all you have to do is select a stream.
If all you want of a media PC is Internet radio, I believe there are self-contained internet radios available which connect straight to your WiFi and all you have to do is select a stream.
By no means. I have a huge store of TV and movies on the MPC. It is also my music system (via a Cambridge amp and Bose speakers), ebook repository, transcoding workhorse and photo system. Plus catch-up TV for all the major services if I ever need it and back-up PVR, as it has twin SD TV tuners. At present it has 4.5TB of connected storage, including backup. It's nearly 4 years old now and getting a bit long in the tooth - I've no doubt I could better it in most respects with an AMD E450-based mini system like the Zotac ZBox or Lenovo Q180 running a media-oriented Linux. I'm also tempted by a self-build, but I have a feeling that I'd probably succumb to feature-creep and end up building some vastly expensive and completely unnecessary monster.
But this is moving off topic.
I don't think this is off topic at all. Some recent developments in home entertainment are very confusing: so far as I can see, Youview does many of the same things as a smart TV and a smart TV does less than a dumb panel with a media pc attached. People are being pushed into buying multiple devices with duplicate functions that quickly become outdated and, because of the fixed nature of the devices, cannot be upgraded. It's another marketing exercise.
My comment was aimed at RobH1. A relatively inexpensive single-function device that "just works" appeals to some people, including me, even though we might also have a monster in the basement.

Off topic - this is the 'Arms!
Ok Ok I take back the 'Off topic' remark, but I was referring to the library comment, although reading could be classed as home entertainment.
It appears to have been hit by a spammer!

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