London: A consortium of British companies said their planned new Web-TV service would be subscription-free, as broadcasters, Web firms and electronics makers scramble to capture a nascent Internet TV market.
YouView, a joint venture of seven partners including the state-owned BBC previously known as Project Canvas, said it would charge no subscription for its video-on-demand and catch-up offerings but viewers would have to buy a set-top box.
Web search group Google said last week it would debut its Web TV service in the United States later this year. Google's service will differ from others, such as YouView, as it plans to allow full Web browsing via the TV set.
Computer maker Apple is also beefing up its own Apple TV offering, as Internet-enabled televisions from the likes of Sony and Samsung come onto the market.
YouView will use Internet connectivity to offer viewers not access to the Web but a range of features including third-party movie rentals and access to YouTube and Yahoo's Flickr photo-sharing site as well as programming from its own members.
YouView is a venture of all Britain's main free-to-air broadcasters - the BBC, ITV , Channel 4 and Five - along with telecoms providers BT and TalkTalk and broadcast-services company Arqiva.
YouView also named Richard Halton, who has led Project Canvas from the start, as its chief executive.