YouView Technical Specifications

youview globeYOUVIEW UI AND SEARCH POLICY
Published: 25th May 2012

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. YouView enables viewers with compatible equipment and a broadband subscription to access via the YouView user interface (the “YouView UI”) a broad range of content and services direct to their television set, including all digital terrestrial television (“DTT”, or Freeview) television and radio channels, catch up or other on demand video and audio content, Apps and IP-delivered channels. Providers of the diverse range of content that can be made available via YouView are referred to as “Content Providers”. The YouView UI is designed to allow viewers to navigate seamlessly from linear content to on demand content.

1.2. This policy sets out YouView’s approach to allocating positions to Content Providers in the YouView UI both for Launch and subsequently, and has been developed with reference to the principles set out in the Ofcom Code of Practice on Electronic Programme Guides (“Ofcom EPG Code”) 1, namely that the YouView UI gives appropriate prominence to Public Service Channels and is operated in such a way as to secure fair and effective competition.

1.3. It also explains at a high level how content may be searched for and accessed via the YouView UI, but does not contain detailed descriptions of UI design, navigation parameters, product features, technical specifications, contractual terms or on-boarding and engagement processes. The full set of business and technical documentation will be available to Content Providers on application to YouView.

1.4. YouView does not have any responsibility for allocating logical channel numbers (“LCNs”) for channels broadcast using DTT. Digital Multiplex Operators Limited (“DMOL”) remains responsible for allocating LCNs to these channels, and YouView will reproduce in the “Guide” section of the YouView UI the ordering and numbering of DTT channels as they appear on the DTT platform. YouView has responsibility for allocating (a) YouView UI positions to On Demand Portal Players and Apps, and (b) LCNs to IP channels and On Demand Placeholder Channels. For the purpose of this policy the term “listing” refers to those sections of the YouView UI which use a numbering (LCN) system and where an LCN is not used this is referred to as a “UI position”. UI positions are a means of ordering content services relative to one another. UI positions are not static and will alter dynamically from time to time based on various factors outlined in this policy.

1.5. In devising its approach, YouView’s overriding aim is to ensure that positions in the listings, UI positions and search results are awarded on a fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis. YouView considers that this aim can be met by ensuring that:
a) content (whether in listings, UI positions or as may appear in search results) is presented in a way that viewers are likely to expect and is convenient to them; and
b) viewers are presented with several different routes to locating and accessing content, and have the flexibility to choose which route best suits their needs.

1 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/broadcast-codes/epg-code/

1.6. Together, the principles in the preceding paragraph are hereinafter referred to as the “governing principles”. The governing principles have informed YouView’s methodology for allocating listings and UI positions and presenting search results.

1.7. YouView considers that at Launch governing principle (a) – that is, meeting the needs of viewer expectation and convenience – is best fulfilled by:
a) awarding appropriate prominence in listings to Public Service Channels and UI positions to Public Service Broadcasters (this is hereinafter known as the principle of “PSB prominence”); and
b) awarding prominence in listings and UI positions to those services with the greatest audience, determined on an objective basis and using recognised industry methodologies where available.
Paragraph 5.13 describes how YouView will apply the governing principles at Launch.

1.8. After Launch YouView will allocate listings and UI positions as described in paragraph 5.14.

1.9. All listings and UI positions allocated by YouView will remain subject to review from time to time, as described in paragraph 8.1, in order to ensure that the YouView UI continues to meet the needs of viewer convenience and expectation.

1.10. In addition, the following general principles underpin the structure and ordering of content across the YouView UI.

Clear and logical
1.11. The YouView UI should be intuitive and easy to use for searching, browsing and finding content.

1.12. The viewer should have sufficient information and options to assess the breadth and diversity of content available via the YouView UI. Viewers should be able to locate and access content that interests them as quickly as possible.

1.13. Viewers should be presented with what they expect to see, where they expect to find it.This may require duplication of content within different views and/or genre categories.

Flexible browsing
1.14. Viewers should be presented with multiple options for browsing content services and
assets. Different views (i.e. orderings and genre filtering of content) should provide
different content wherever possible.

Appropriate
1.15. The ordering of search results (as opposed to listings or other UI positions) will focus on relevance to the viewer.

1.16. Content which is designated by the Content Provider as potentially harmful or offensive will be subject to security settings set by the user. This is in addition to any age verification controls that a provider of an on demand service is required by law to provide.

Fair and open
1.17. The allocation of listing positions and UI positions and the configuration of search results will be undertaken without regard to whether the Content Provider is a YouView shareholder. Where a YouView shareholder, who is also a Content Provider, is awarded a listing or a UI position, the basis for such award will be objectively justifiable, having regard to the principles of fairness, reasonableness and non-discrimination on which all UI positions will be awarded. The ordering of search results will be objectively justifiable, having regard to the principles of fairness, reasonableness and non-discrimination.

1.18. In terms of the award of positions in the YouView UI and the ordering of search results, YouView will not unfairly discriminate against (a) Content Providers on the basis of the size of their asset catalogue; or (b) providers of free or paid content.

1.19. Subject to technical constraints, there will be no limit imposed on the number or volume of content services or assets a Content Provider may make available via the YouView UI.


 

Humax DTR-T10002. DEFINITIONS
“Affiliate ISP”: an ISP that enters into YouView’s Affiliate ISP Agreement, which will be available on application to YouView.
“Apps”: internet delivered applications provided by a Content Provider that enters into YouView’s Application Provider Agreement, which will be available on application to YouView.
“Launch”: the date on which YouView devices are generally available to members of the UK public beyond the trials stage in the retail market or otherwise.
“On Demand Portal Player”: a service which provides either audio visual or audio content on demand. In the context of audio visual content, an On Demand Portal Player is a service that:
(a) predominantly contains programmes produced professionally for TV broadcast, cinema exhibition or similar, or which competes for the same audience as television broadcasts; and (b) is of a TV Quality Standard2.

“On Demand Placeholder Channel”: a channel consisting of a playlist of on demand content, which provides an access route through to an On Demand Portal Player.

“Public Service Broadcaster”: a Content Provider which operates a Public Service Channel and an On Demand Portal Player.

“Public Service Channel”: a channel that qualifies for “appropriate prominence” under section 310(2) of the Communications Act 2003.

“Qualifying long form video views”: views to professionally produced content (which for the avoidance of doubt excludes clips and/or excerpts). If the On Demand Portal Player is to be available before Launch this information will be used to determine the UI position allocated to the On Demand Portal Player in the YouView UI and after Launch this information will be used
for the purposes of a review under paragraph 8.1. Prior to Launch this information should be reported by the Content Provider to YouView using data from, or equivalent to, that which is
provided by recognised services and tools such as BARB, UKOM Video Census or Omniture.
After Launch this information will be based on popularity on YouView and will be derived from YouView’s internal usage reporting data. If the service is to be made available to a defined user
group, such as a particular region, then only views in that defined user group will be used to determine the UI position.

Content delivered to a TV quality standard is that which, in terms of technical (as opposed to editorial) output, delivers a similar user experience to that of watching a standard definition channel on Freeview.
Full requirements on Content Providers are set out in YouView’s Content Provider 
Agreement.


 

bt-youview3. OVERVIEW OF THE YOUVIEW UI
3.1. The YouView UI is comprised of a top level main menu (the “Main Menu”) which features a carousel of menu items. The Main Menu includes the following tabs which may be updated from time to time:
a) “Search” – this area will provide viewers with the ability to search for content across the YouView UI. The operation of the Search function is explained further below in paragraph 6.

b) “MyView” – contains a list of a viewer’s personal recordings, and a list of all scheduled recordings and reminders.

c) “Guide” – provides listings of linear content by channel for approximately the next 7 days, together with any available catch-up or on demand content for each linear channel for approximately the past 7 days. Linear content refers to all television and radio channels made available by DTT broadcast, channels delivered by IP (when available), and On Demand Placeholder Channels (when available).

d) “On Demand” – provides viewers with access to On Demand Portal Players and aggregated lists of on demand content displayed by YouView.

e) “ISP” – subject to paragraph 3.3 below this area will provide information on the services provided by the viewer’s own ISP where that ISP is an Affiliate ISP.

f) “Settings” – this area will display actionable and “for customer information” settings that are held by YouView and the device manufacturer.

g) “Help” – when available, this area will provide access to help videos and local diagnostic tools.

h) “Apps” – when available, this area will give access to Apps which are not On Demand Portal Players.

3.2. The landing point of the Main Menu (that is, each time the YouView box is turned on or a viewer elects to return to the Main Menu screen) will always be “Guide”.

3.3. An ISP Main Menu item will be visible only where the viewer has connected their YouView device to a broadband subscription service provided by an Affiliate ISP.
If the device is not connected to an Affiliate ISP’s service then the ISP Main Menu item will not be visible in the Main Menu. The ISP Main Menu item will bear the name and/or brand of the Affiliate ISP’s broadband service.


 

4. CONTENT TYPE CATEGORIES AND CONTENT GENRES FOR ON DEMAND CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
4.1. In order to provide viewers with a high degree of flexibility when accessing and searching for content and Apps, categories and genres will be applied to content and services in the “On Demand” and “Apps” tabs of the YouView UI.

4.2. In respect of content and services in the “On Demand” tab of the YouView UI:

a) when a user selects the “On Demand” category from the YouView UI they will be taken to that section and will enter on a “Players” tab;

b) by scrolling “left” and “right” from the “Players” tab users may view content presented under a number other tabs, organised in a hierarchy of categories, genres and sub-genres where appropriate;

c) the classifications which make up this browsing hierarchy will be dynamic and will evolve over time based on: (i) the needs of viewer expectation and convenience; and (ii) the content available on YouView at a given point in time;

d) the Appendix to this policy sets out a list of the categories and genres that are likely to be used as the first two levels of the hierarchy at Launch, but this will be dependent on the volume and type of content available at that point. A third level of sub-genres may also be available if needed, and all such classifications and orderings are subject to change based on paragraph c) above; and

e) within each of these categories and genres there will also be a number of ways in which the user can choose to order the content, for example “A-Z”, “Popularity” and “Latest”.

4.3. Content Providers are responsible for nominating appropriate genres for their content, and will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of any such nomination.


 

humax-youview5. ALLOCATION OF LISTINGS AND UI POSITIONS IN THE YOUVIEW UI
5.1. The areas of the YouView UI where content or services will be allocated a listing or UI position by YouView are the:
a) “Guide”;
b) “On Demand”; and
c) “Apps”,

sections
5.2. Where YouView allocates listings and UI positions in the YouView UI, different methods of allocation will apply at Launch and after Launch.

5.3. Listings and UI positions will only be confirmed by YouView when the service has been deemed by YouView as ready to launch.

5.4. With the exception of positions in the “Guide” section, Content Providers will be allocated a UI position in the YouView UI without reference to an LCN.

5.5. Once YouView has allocated any LCNs or UI positions, those LCNs and UI Positions will continue to belong to YouView and will remain subject to this policy.

5.6. The rate and speed at which YouView can launch new content services onto the YouView platform is influenced by operational and technical factors which will vary from time to time.

“Guide”
5.7. Channels in the “Guide” section will be identified by an LCN.3 Channels in the Guide section may be delivered by DTT or using internet protocol (“IP”). For the avoidance of doubt, services delivered via DTT will be allocated an LCN by DMOL and will appear in the
“Guide” section of the YouView UI in the same order and using the same LCNs as they appear on the DTT (Freeview) platform. YouView will be responsible for allocating LCNs to those services delivered via IP (both channels and On Demand Placeholder Channels) and intends to consult on the appropriate methodology for placing and ordering those services at a later date.
It is YouView’s intention that the order of such channels will comply with the Ofcom EPG Code where relevant.

3 As noted in paragraph 1.4, YouView is responsible for allocating LCNs to IP channels and On Demand Placeholder Channels only.

“On Demand”
5.8. Content within each on demand category will be presented in either a single or double carousel format and without reference to an LCN.

5.9. Where Content Providers and/or content items are displayed in the YouView UI as a single carousel, based on independent consumer research YouView deems the most prominent position on that carousel to be that of the outermost left hand icon, followed by the icon immediately to the right, and so forth.

5.10. Where Content Providers and/or content items are displayed in the YouView UI as a double carousel, based on independent consumer research YouView deems all of the positions on the top row of that carousel to be more prominent than the bottom row.
YouView further deems the most prominent position on that double carousel to be that of the outermost left hand icon in the first row of the carousel, followed by the icon immediately to the right and so forth. This is regardless of how the user’s navigational cursor or highlighter enters this page e.g. even if the entry point is from the bottom centre of the page displayed. YouView deems the most prominent position in the second row of the double carousel to be the outermost left hand icon in the second row, followed by the icon immediately to the right and so forth.

Ordering of On Demand Portal Players
5.11. Within the “On Demand” section, On Demand Portal Players will be displayed on the “Players” page, in a double carousel. When all of the UI positions on a page are occupied, the page will be full and the ordering based on prominence will be as described in paragraph 5.10 above. When some of the UI positions on a page are unoccupied the layout may be altered such that Players are grouped on the left-hand side of that page.

5.12. UI positions are a means of ordering On Demand Portal Players relative to one another.
UI positions are not static and once an On Demand Portal Player has been allocated a UI position this may alter dynamically from time to time based on:
a) paragraph 5.11 above;
b) paragraph 5.14 below;
c) availability of certain On Demand Portal Players in individual households (as described in paragraph 5.15);
d) any Content Provider vacating their UI position (as described in paragraph 7.5); and
e) any review (pursuant to paragraph 8).

5.13. Where a Content Provider makes an On Demand Portal Player available via YouView at Launch YouView will allocate a UI position in the YouView UI taking into account the following factors in order of priority (and for the avoidance of doubt the following factors will also be applied pursuant to any review as described in paragraph 8.1):
a) Factor 1: PSB prominence: The principal on demand service of each Content Provider which operates a channel that qualifies for “appropriate prominence” under the Ofcom EPG Code will be listed first in the “On Demand” section, in the same order as the linear DTT EPG. This will be limited to one on demand service per Content Provider. Where a Content Provider operates multiple on demand services on YouView at Launch, it may choose which service to nominate as its “principal” on demand service, provided that the nominated service contains content broadcast on
public service channels; then
b) Factor 2: Expectation based on Affiliate ISP service: On Demand Portal Players operated by Affiliate ISPs who are also Content Providers and which are available
only to that Affiliate ISP’s broadband subscribers will be given prominence within the defined user group of that Affiliate ISP’s broadband subscribers.
Prominence will be limited to one On Demand Portal Player per Affiliate ISP which is also a Content
Provider; then
c) Factor 3: Expectation based on existing TV on demand services: Prominence will be given to On Demand Portal Players operated by Content Providers who run substantially similar existing on demand services to the one they intend to run on YouView for access on TV screens.
These will be ranked by the number of qualifying long form video views to TV screens over a 6 month period prior to Launch or to a review point (see paragraph 8.1), in each case that precise period to be determined by YouView; then
d) Factor 4: Expectation based on existing web or IP on demand services:

Prominence will be given to On Demand Portal Players operated by Content Providers who run substantially similar existing on demand services to the one they intend to run on YouView for access on personal computers or otherwise by an IP connection to any device (e.g. via a web browser or other software).

These will be ranked by the number of qualifying long form video views to devices over a 6 month period prior to Launch or to a review point (see paragraph 8.1), in each case that precise period to
be determined by YouView.
5.14. Where a Content Provider makes an On Demand Portal Player available via YouView after
Launch, YouView will allocate a UI position in the YouView UI on a first come, first served basis, with the exception that Factors 1 and 2 described in paragraph 5.13 will continue
to apply.

5.15. Users will only be shown On Demand Portal Players which are available to them at that point in time. For instance: (i) where access to an On Demand Portal Player, or to content within that On Demand Portal Player, is restricted to users that subscribe to an associated broadband service, the On Demand Portal Player will not appear to those users who would have to switch broadband providers in order to access the On Demand Portal Player, or content within that On Demand Portal Player; or (ii) where an On Demand Portal Player is only available in a specific region, the On Demand Portal Player will not appear to users who are not within the correct region. In these cases, On Demand Portal
Players in subsequent UI positions will move up in order to fill the gap which will be created.

5.16. For the avoidance of doubt, Content Providers are responsible for selecting and ordering content which is accessible within their own On Demand Portal Players.

Audio-only On Demand Portal Players
5.17. Audio-only On Demand Portal Players will be placed such that they always appear at the end of the UI positions.

5.18. At Launch, audio-only On Demand Portal Players will be allocated UI positions using the methodology outlined under Factor 4 above.

5.19. After Launch, audio-only On Demand Portal Players will be allocated UI positions using the same methodology outlined in paragraph 5.14 above.

Adult On Demand Portal Players
5.20. On Demand Portal Players providing content which is defined as “adult sex material” for the purposes of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code or which would fall within Rule 11 of the ATVOD Rules & Guidance will be listed in a separate “Adult” area within the YouView UI.

5.21. These On Demand Portal Players will be allocated UI positions using the same methodology outlined in paragraph 5.14 above.

Apps
5.22. YouView will consult on the methodology for placing and ordering Apps in the YouView  UI in a future consultation.


 

youview6. SEARCHING THE YOUVIEW UI

6.1. Viewers will be able to search for content in the YouView UI.

6.2. Viewers may refine their search using filters for particular content categories such as “TV & Films”, “Radio” and “Music Videos”. These filters may be changed or added to from time to time. Conducting a search

6.3. A viewer can search by entering a free-text term or by selecting a search suggestion. Search suggestions will appear after the user has entered one character. In either case, search parameters include content titles, keywords and synopses.

6.4. When a viewer starts entering a search term, they will be provided with an indexed list of search suggestions based on content asset titles.

6.5. Search suggestion lists are ordered by relevance, which is determined by: a) fit with the characters entered by the viewer; and then b) popularity of the term when used as a search term by all other YouView viewers. Ordering of search results.

6.6. Search results are ordered by relevance. Relevance is determined by an algorithm which complies with paragraph 1.17 and will utilise a combination of factors. In descending order of importance, at Launch these factors will be:

a) word match (within title, keywords and synopses);
b) popularity based on YouView audience viewing habits; and

c) how recently the asset has been made available on YouView.

6.7. The performance of the algorithm described in paragraph 6.6 will be reviewed regularly and the algorithm itself may be adjusted to ensure that it continues to deliver to the needs of viewer expectation and convenience.

6.8. Search results will provide only those content options which are available to the viewer – that is, search functionality will exclude from the scope of the search content which would require the primary user to switch broadband providers, and content which is no longer available (for example, because it has expired).

6.9. Content that is designated by the Content Provider to be “adult sex material”, as defined in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code or which would fall within Rule 11 of the ATVOD Rules & Guidance, will not be included in search results.4

6.10. Where a search for a particular item of content yields the same result from different Content Providers, each Content Provider’s content offering will be included in the search results and they will be ordered based on relevance as per paragraph 6.6.

4 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/broadcasting/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/


 

youview Ident7. VACATING LISTING POSITIONS AND/OR UI POSITIONS

7.1. YouView has the right to withdraw a Content Provider’s entitlement to use a particular listing position and/or UI position which YouView has allocated (for the avoidance of doubt this excludes any LCNs allocated by DMOL) in accordance with the provisions of this UI Policy and the YouView Content Provider Agreement, which include failing to launch a content service within the timeframe notified in accordance with that agreement, or where the Content Provider Agreement has been terminated. In these circumstances the UI position and/or listing position will be treated as having been vacated.

7.2. Subject to paragraph 7.3 below, a Content Provider will be deemed to have vacated their UI position and/or listing position if the nature and content of their existing contracted content offering changes in a substantive fashion such that the original service description is no longer applicable or appropriate. In this case the revised content service will be awarded the next available LCN or UI position (as applicable) on a first come first served basis.

7.3. To encourage Content Providers to list their On Demand Portal Players on YouView and to give them the freedom to evolve their commercial proposition to suit a new platform and audience, paragraph 7.2 above will not apply to Content Providers during the first year of their Content Provider Agreement provided that their On Demand Portal Player launches on YouView within a year from Launch and that the change will not require the On Demand Portal Player to be moved into a different tab or area of the YouView UI (for example: out of the “Portals” tab or into the “Guide” section). This waiver will not apply to any subsequent years/extensions under such Content Provider Agreement.

7.4. YouView remains the owner of any UI position and/or listing position awarded to a Content Provider. When a Content Provider ceases to make available on YouView the service for which it has contracted with YouView, any UI position and/or listing position allocated to that service will revert to YouView.

7.5. Unless and until a review of UI positions is undertaken in accordance with paragraph 8 of this policy, all content services positioned or listed in the UI after the vacating service will be moved up so that the respective order of services and their relative positions will be maintained.

7.6. For the avoidance of doubt a Content Provider with multiple services listed in the YouView UI is not permitted to swap UI positions or listing positions as between its services. Furthermore, Content Providers are not permitted to swap, trade or sell UI positions and/or listing positions to another Content Provider or other third party.


 

8. REVIEW AND REORDERING OF LISTING POSITIONS AND UI POSITIONS

8.1. In order to ensure that the YouView UI continues to meet the needs of viewer convenience and expectation, as well as the needs of YouView’s Content Providers, YouView will review and reorder listing positions and UI positions regularly. When YouView undertakes such a review and reordering, YouView will give notice of its intention to conduct such a review and reordering and its reasons for doing so.
Any such review and actions resulting from that review (including any reordering) will be conducted by YouView only in consultation with Content Providers and the listing positions and UI positions awarded as a result of such review and reordering shall be awarded in accordance with paragraphs 1.7, 5.13, 5.17 and 5.20. Paragraphs 1.8 and 5.14 shall continue to apply in respect of any listings and UI positions awarded after any such review and reordering has been conducted.


 

9. REVIEW OF THIS POLICY
9.1. This policy may need to adapt over time to reflect the evolving and developing nature of YouView and, as such, this policy will be reviewed at maximum intervals of 2 years, with consultation where necessary and appropriate.


 

APPENDIX

Likely categories and genres for on demand content at Launch

The list set out below contains the categories and genres that are likely to be used as the first two levels of the browsing hierarchy at Launch. If there is no content available to a defined user group in a particular category, that category may be hidden from that defined user group:

Music Videos
All Music Videos
Bollywood & World
Charts & Pop
Classical
Dance & Urban
Easy Listening
Folk & Country
Golden Oldies
Hip Hop & R&B
Indie
Jazz & Soul
Karaoke
Rock & Metal

Film
All Film
Action
Audio Described
Bollywood & World Comedy
Drama
Factual
Family
Horror
Indie
Romance
Sci-Fi
Sport
Thriller
Trailers
War

TV
All TV
Audio Described
Children’s
Comedy
Drama & Soaps
Entertainment
Factual
Lifestyle
Music
News & Weather
Regional
Signed
Sport

Radio
All Radio
Music
Spoken
Word
Sport

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