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The long-delayed YouView project is moving closer to a full service launch.

After numerous delays, the initiative - designed to create a universal standard for broadband TV set-top boxes - has reached the public trial stage.

According to the Financial Times, the YouView board - chaired by Lord Sugar - has agreed to pilot the service in 350 UK homes.

So far, all testing has been conducted in private, but the alpha public trial is set to kick off this week.

A spokesperson said that if the pilot is successful, thousands of set-top boxes could be in UK homes for further testing within a month.

YouView - formerly known as Project Canvas - is a joint initiative involving the likes of BT, TalkTalk, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Arqiva.

The broadband TV service was originally scheduled to launch in 2010, but has faced a series of technical obstacles. 

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