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The IPTV YouView service will prove highly popular with consumers when it launches next year, according to the joint-venture's Chief Executive Officer.

Richard Halton said that while the latest six-month delay to the service launch - which has pushed the IPTV project back to 2012 - is a blow, the final product will make the wait worthwhile.

He was commenting after Starcom MediaVest's Oliver Newton warned that YouView risked "delaying itself into an irrelevance".

Mr Halton said: "The connected TV experience is currently very fragmented, as TV manufacturers pick and choose their content offerings.

"People just want the reassurance that they can catch up with the programmes they love in one place, and YouView will let them without subscription."

He noted that there is currently no other viable mass-market subscription-free TV platform being developed, meaning the broadband set-top box project retains a competitive advantage.

"With the benefit of a simple user experience and comprehensive content, YouView will bring a powerful proposition to millions of homes that are looking for an upgrade to Freeview," Mr Halton claimed.

A number of terrestrial broadcasters, plus internet service providers TalkTalk and BT, are involved in the ongoing YouView initiative, which was previously referred to as Project Canvas.

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