Well if you use an aerial there will be two free 'catchup' systems and if you use a dish there will be one free catchup system. Not all that confusing.
I believe Freeview Play has been setup to stop the meddling of commercial companies in the system, so the manufacturers would be in breach of the software licence conditions if they were to alter it.
BBC was happy enough to have then on board to launch You View to start with, just typicla BBC, lets waste some more licence payers money on setting up another system
Anyone who has ever set up a video recorder will know that it's not that easy to setup, especially if the default channel the VCR was on was used by a TV channel. You can't say that a VCR setup is easier than a PVR, I plugged in the Youview box, turned it on and it automatically scans the channels. And as for recording, if you think that was easier in VCR days then I think your suffering a heady bout of nostalgia.
In the early days it was more difficult, then Video+ made it easy, my Panasonic VHS had a LCD screen on the remote which displayed the codes as you typed them in. Granted the Sanyo I replaced it with did not have video+, but then it was cheap.
Early PVRs was not easy either, the Original Tivo did not have a built in tuner. I was going to say only digital made it easier, but my old DVD recorder had a analogue tuner and had a TV guide, I think it was broadcasted on the same frequencies as channel 5. It was digital that made things a pain for a while, connecting up set top boxes to video machines or DVD recorders.
True, the newest Youview box is listed for at £139 from Currys then.
wow, that is good, cheaper than what my Digital stream cost.
Desktop machine now powered by windows 8 pro 64bit, no dreaded metro and Linux , laptop by Linux