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YouView coming to Sony’s 2015 TVs in addition to Android TV

Sony Youview

The war on set-top boxes grows ever fiercer as Sony announces built-in YouView for all of its 2015 Android TVs

Sony has already said that it will be bringing Android TV to the vast majority of its 2015 Bravia TV line-up, but the company also announced today that those very same Android TVs will all be coming with built-in YouView as well.

Previously, YouView’s digital TV service was only available through buying a separate set-top box – unlike Freeview, which has had receivers built into TVs for years. These boxes were generally made by either BT (such as its latest Mini YouView Box), TalkTalk or other manufacturers such as Humax, but today’s announcement makes Sony the first TV manufacturer to integrate the service directly into its TVs, negating the need for a separate box.

What’s the difference between YouView, FreeView and Freesat? Read our full guide 

This means that in addition to all the on-demand services currently available through the Google Play Store, you’ll also have the full gamut of British TV catch-up services on hand, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5, which you can watch through YouView’s traditional seven-day scroll back guide. You’ll also be able to use YouView to watch live TV as well, search for specific TV programmes and use its Discover option to find new content. 

Of course, it’s unlikely that BT and TalkTalk’s current set of exclusive add-on channels will appear on Sony’s version of YouView (TalkTalk has Sky Movies and entertainment packages with Sky 1, Fox and Gold, for example, while BT has free BT Sport channels and now Sky Sports 1 and 2 after its recent legal battle), but with Netflix, Sky Sports for Android and Now TV available on the Google Play Store, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you’re stuck for what to watch. 

The deal isn’t exclusive to Sony, though, as YouView has told Expert Reviews that Sony will simply be the first TV manufacturer to bring the service to market, so it’s highly likely that we’ll see YouView appear on other TVs in the future. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve seen a previously set-top box-only service make its way inside TVs, as Panasonic did a similar thing last year when it integrated FreeSat’s Freetime catch-up service into its 2014 range of Viera TVs. In the mean time, though, the inclusion of YouView means that Sony will have one of the most all-encompassing on-demand and catch-up TV suites around, giving current smart TV leaders Samsung and LG a real run for their money.

While we weren’t able to see YouView in action when we went to see a demo of Sony’s 2015 TV line-up at its head office yesterday, Sony told us that YouView will appear as an app within the Sony Select section of the Android TV interface, which houses Sony’s exclusive collection of recommended content. You’ll also be able to access the service by swiping upwards on Sony’s new One Flick Remote, which brings up a range of services at the bottom of the TV while you’re still watching so you quickly switch to a different service without going back to the main Android TV interface. 

Sony’s new 2015 range of Bravia TVs are expected to launch this summer, and all models from the Full HD W75C upwards (including its entire range of 4K models) will come with Android TV and YouView as standard.

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