YouView - the much-delayed free TV service funded by a consortium that includes the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV, as well as ISPs Arqiva, TalkTalk and BT - is on course for a scheduled spring launch.

That's according to TalkTalk CEO, Dido Harding, who stated that his company has begun end-to-end consumer testing of its YouView platform ahead of a full consumer trial.

"We expect to be moving through trials and pilots through Q4 and Q1 on track for launch Spring 2012, exactly as we said in November," said Harding.

YouView has led a turbulent existence. It was originally scheduled to launch by the end of 2010, but the live date has been continuously pushed back.

Formerly Project Canvas, the video-on-demand service aims to supply a one-box solution for catch-up TV, video on demand, Freeview, HD content and recording functionality without a monthly fee. When it was first announced in 2008, it sounded like a great way of getting the likes of the BBC iPlayer and ITV's on demand library in one place.

Now, it barely seems worth the hassle. With the iPlayer spread across a ubiquitous array of devices and 4oD, ITV Player and the gang also popping up on more devices by the week - not to mention the cheap streaming deals from Lovefilm and Netflix - is there really any need for a dedicated device?

Time will tell but time also looks like being YouView's nemesis.