THE Isle of Man’s telephone companies are joining the battle to provide television to homes.
Manx Telecom is promoting YouView, a free internet TV service that combines the UK’s Freeview channels with on-demand content.
It went on sale this week.
Competitor Sure is to launch a rival product next month and is promising ‘a real Isle of Man television channel’.
Both companies’ big challenge is to lure customers away from satellite television. Around 90 per cent of Manx homes currently have a dish, far higher as a proportion than the UK where many viewers also have the choice of cable television and a better Freeview service.
As well as offering digital TV and radio channels, YouView shows on-demand television from services such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4 OD. That means viewers won’t have to watch that on their computers, they’ll be able to watch it on their television set.
There is no subscription and, as long as customers have a broadband connection and TV aerial, the only cost is the price of the YouView set top box, which is £299 (£279 until the end of October). Sky viewers pay a subscription. Freesat viewers don’t.
YouView also features NOW TV which allows viewers to pay monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies or rent a single film on a pay-as-you-go basis.
It also features the similar recording and playback functions to Sky Plus. But it also has a function that means you can watch television programmes you’ve missed by scrolling back in time through the schedule. You don’t have to record them.
David Smith, director of marketing at Manx Telecom, said: ‘We are confident that YouView will appeal to customers who want to watch regular TV channels and on-demand content through their TV.
‘We believe YouView is the perfect platform to support local content and we are working with them in regard to additional content.’
In February the company launched MTTV, an on-demand TV news service on the internet.
Manx Telecom is also offering the Devolo Homeplug – a device which eliminates the need for the broadband router to be next to the YouView set top box by your TV.
This does away with any need for re-cabling. A YouView set top box and Devolo Homeplug bundle is also available. This would usually cost £379, but is available at an introductory price of £349.
Mike Phillips, product manager for Sure, said: ‘We are launching a Sure TV product on October 15. It is TV on steroids and a fraction of the price of the UK-focused YouView.
‘We have been developing this product for 18 months, specifically for the Isle of Man and from launch it comes with significant UK and local content and a real Isle of Man television channel.’
The island’s terrestrial television masts don’t broadcast all the Freeview channels that bigger transmitters in the UK broadcast.
As YouView is dependent on a televison aerial, viewers of Manx transmitters will still not be able to watch channels such as Dave, ITV3 or ITV4 – which broadcasts the TT programmes.
However, these are available on satellite TV.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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