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Extraordinary TV for Everyone: How YouView Used IP Intelligence to Enable ISP Set-top Box Features


YouView, a joint venture between BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva, is the UK’s on demand service delivering over 70 live free-to-air digital TV and radio channels as well as seven day catch up from the UK’s public service broadcast players. A range of quality content is also available via on demand players from Netflix, UKTV Play, NOW TV, Sky Store, Quest OD from Discovery, milkshake!, S4C and STV for viewers in Scotland. YouView has record, pause and rewind TV functionality as well as fully integrated search and discover features.

YouView set-top boxes are offered as part of broadband subscription bundles from TalkTalk, BT and Plusnet. It is also available to buy subscription-free from all major retailers and many independent electrical stores including John Lewis, Currys, Argos, Tesco, Amazon and Richer Sounds.

Having launched in 2010, YouView’s user base is now just under two million and continues to see strong growth through its pioneering hybrid set-top box.

The Challenge

Alongside great free TV channels and on demand TV, YouView also offers pay-on-demand content, and pay content through internet channels from selected partner ISPs and national broadband providers who offer on screen branding, packaged services and features (see for further details).

A key challenge for YouView in setting up its pay content distribution was identifying set-top boxes being installed for the first time on BT, TalkTalk or Plusnet ISP lines; serving the relevant on-screen branding, packaged services and features provided by those ISPs; and – on a daily basis – ensuring each set-top box continued to accurately surface relevant ISP features.

The Solution

By deploying IP Intelligence data, YouView is able to meet its pay content distribution requirements and serve only the relevant ISP-packaged service to the set-top box. By determining the Autonomous System Number (ASN) – a critical element in the Internet routing architecture – IP Intelligence identifies the ISP of the home so the relevant packaged service can be delivered. In the same way, routing management is possible for content delivery. YouView required a highly accurate solution that is regularly and automatically updated as the device base grows, ISPs IP ranges change, and as homes migrate between ISPs.

As Sunit Kotchea, YouView’s Operations Director, explains, “From the moment a YouView set-top box is installed in a home, it needs to reflect the brand, features and content offering of our partner ISPs, and ensure ISP migrations are instantly recognised and updated on in-situ YouView set-top boxes. The content delivered needs to change automatically and seamlessly for a superior customer experience.” He continues, “Digital Element provides the frequency of updates, the highly accurate IP data and the technical solutions required to allow the YouView 24/7 platform to provide this.”

Digital Element’s technology employs patented methodologies, including Internet routing infrastructure analysis, to provide the most accurate and granular global data sets available. Covering 99.99% of the web and collecting more than one million points of view daily, it is able to provide more than 99.99% accuracy at country level.

Digital Element demonstrated its commitment to customer service in the early stages of the YouView partnership.

Through Digital Element’s NetAcuity Edge technology, YouView benefits from:

  • Regular, automatic updates
  • The most accurate data available in the industry, compliant with stakeholders’ legal requirements
  • Immediate recognition of provider for automatic adaptation of relevant features

Delivering Extraordinary TV

To capitalise on the growth of digital and Internet TV, YouView continues to work together with TV broadcasters and telecommunications companies to provide a premium service to users. Using Digital Element’s technology, YouView is able to ensure a seamless, personalised viewing experience for the consumer – and the partnership between the two companies enables YouView to continue to deliver extraordinary TV to everyone.

View the Full Success Story (PDF)

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