YouView — a joint TV venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel Five, BT, TalkTalk, and Arquiva — is launching its new set-top box later this month following successful trials. Unveiled today, the new service will bring freeview-like services to UK users without the need for a subscription. The Humax-branded set-top box will cost £299 and will include a web-enabled version of Freeview, the UK's free-to-air digital TV network, complete with widgets, apps, DVR support, and catch-up TV services.
Despite some delays in launching the service, originally scheduled for 2010, the set-top boxes will also be subsidized by TalkTalk and BT as part of a broadband subscription package set to go on sale later this year. Programs from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, and Sky will be available through YouView, including the usual live TV shows available on Freeview.