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Huawei makes UK set top box debut with TalkTalk YouView receiver

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Huawei has made its commercial debut in the UK set top box market with a new YouView receiver in collaboration with TalkTalk.

The Chinese technology giant is a strategic partner of YouView, the TV technology venture that has the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva as its shareholders.

Huawei Youview set top box

© Huawei

Huawei Youview set top box

© Huawei



After repeated delays, YouView finally launched this summer via a Humax box fitted with the advanced TV software, offering all the Freeview channels, video on-demand and personal video recorder (PVR) functionality.

Huawei founded its set top box business in 2004, and now has more than 30 service providers taking its solutions in 10 international markets.

The newly-formed UK operation has made its commercial debut with a new YouView receiver under an exclusive hardware deal with TalkTalk.

In October, TalkTalk embarked on an installation programme that saw Huawei-made YouView set top boxes installed in UK homes. Currently, around 29,000 TalkTalk customers have one.

The set top box launch is part of Huawei's UK consumer electronics growth strategy, which has already seen the release of various smartphones and tablets.

Huawei UK and Ireland executive vice president Mark Mitchinson said that YouView's launch is an "era-defining moment in British television".

He made the comparison to the recent introduction of 4G on the EE network, which currently supports the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE smartphone.

"Huawei's technology is at the heart of both of these revolutions," Mitchinson said.

YouView delivers a comprehensive and easy-to-use TV experience, which is hugely compelling, and will come to define British TV viewing habits going forward.

"Our partnership with TalkTalk is strategic and long-running, and goes to a new level with this project. TalkTalk's strategy for YouView is to bring pay-TV services to a wider mass market.

"This chimes with our own ethos - that cutting-edge technology can make lives better and should be accessible to as many people as possible."

Youview set top box


Huawei joined as a YouView hardware partner back in December 2010, when the venture was known as Project Canvas. But the firm only started proper engagement in February 2011, when most of the early manufacturers had been on board for over a year already.

But following the withdrawal of certain manufacturers form the process, Huawei opted to accelerate development of its TalkTalk receiver to meet the demanding delivery schedule.

YouView chief executive Richard Halton commented: "Huawei has been a great partner and met a challenging timescale to deliver its product. Through its work with TalkTalk, it has played a key role in bringing YouView to the widest possible audience."

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding added: "This was a challenging project from an engineering point of view, and Huawei has delivered at every turn.

"It came on board relatively late in the programme and its R&D functions in the UK and China have done all that we asked of them.

"Huawei has demonstrated phenomenal commitment and expertise to deliver a set top box and software solution which offers outstanding performance and quality."

Alongside all the Freeview channels and catch up TV services from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and 5 on Demand, TalkTalk's YouView service also has the TalkTalk Player, offering additional content including premium Sky Sports and Sky Movies on a flexible monthly basis.

Huawei said that it intends to launch further YouView set top boxes with TalkTalk in 2013 following the debut this autumn.

> YouView loses High Court battle over trademark

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