The idea of connecting Internet content with linear TV to multiple screens, aka TV Everywhere, is gaining credence with both service providers and vendors who are trying to make certain that their products fill what they believe will be growing demand.
Britain's YouView IPTV service is set to expand into the TV Everywhere space, thanks to a renegotiation of the partnership agreement between shareholders BBC, TalkTalk (LSE: TALK.L), BT (NYSE: BT) and ITV. Meanwhile, on the vendor side of the aisle, IPTV hardware manufacturer Entone entered into partnership with LG Electronics to combine its hybrid media gateway with LG's Netcast platform.
Both ideas seek to either circumvent or supplement the set-top box. YouView's shareholders, a story in The Financial Times said, want to "shake up the YouView platform" to include extending Internet TV service across multiple devices including TVs, smartphones and tablets.
The multi-device (or multiscreen) strategy is especially important to broadcasters that want to take advantage of connected TVs, among other Internet devices, a source familiar with the talks told the publication.
"It has started as a TV set-top but will evolve into a much bigger platform for us all to use."
The idea was floated during a shareholders meeting in March that, sources said, was friendly. It would, another source said, also include bringing in other content providers.
YouView thus far is only offered on set-top boxes, about 400,000 of which have been sold for about $460, although some were free to BUT and TalkTalk subs who signed up for lengthy contracts. The service only launched last summer--two years after it was supposed to happen--but it's moving along in terms of expectations enough so that the shareholders now want to expand the service.
Entone and LG's partnership is more direct. The companies propose a combined platform targeted to broadband services subscribes cable operators and other MVPDs that would deliver both linear and OTT content without the need for a separate set-top box.
YouView looking for new management again
TalkTalk claims 29,000 TV subscribers
Entone offering new Hybrid TV products to North American operators