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05 July 2012

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I honestly don't think missing out WiFi will cause user experience problems for non techy users - certainly not on the scale that including it would cause.

WiFi is great when it works; when there's no congestion, and few of the neighbours have it too, and when the security works seamlessly across all the vendors, so you don't have to type in hexadecimal codes, and the performance doesn't suddenly drop because someone else is downloading a big file, or because a gadget that's just been plugged in is slowing the whole network down to its speed.

All of those things can happen, and the non-technical user will just see "This YouView box can't stream; I'm taking it back" or they'll call the tech support line, who simply can't talk them through the intricacies of selecting a different WiFi channel on every model of router, and say "YouView support were rubbish"

Really, I think the best thing would have been to bundle it with a pair of HomePlugs - about as simple as networking can be, and far more reliable than WiFi.

You may have WiFi that works perfectly; but for a sizeable number of people, it's far from a pleasant experience.

I detailed more of this in a blog post a while back: http://gonedigital.net/2010/09/02/why-bother-with-wifi-on-freeviewhd-kit/

Good comment and largely I agree. Bundling a powerline solution with the box (as BT Vision does) would be the best solution and much more reliable than WiFi. That's how I have my Smart TV set-up and it works well.

However, one extra consideration is the rising number of '2nd screen' apps. E.g. apps that let you control your TV from your mobile/tablet or Zeebox type apps that adds services based on what you're viewing. I can see this sort of solution being really important in future (even is YouView was not initially designed to support such things).

Whilst having powerline for your YouView box should not rule this out if there is WiFi on the same network in the same room, it does add a layer of complexity.

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ExperienceLab is a UK-based experience design research agency. We are passionate about technology, but happen to think that people are the most important thing. This blog shares some of our insights and opinions, but if you want to find out more about us visit the ExperienceLab website

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