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Freeview TVs will be HD-only from the end of 2016

Friday, September 25th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The Freeview logo will no longer appear on standard definition products – only those in HD – the company has announced.

The subscription-free TV service has announced that the Freeview Trade Mark Licence will only be granted for HD products from the end of 2016.

The move, which is expected to give a boost to sales of HD products, means the Freeview brand will no longer appear on new SD products.

HD products accounts for more than 70% of new Freeview TV sales in the UK last year, the company said, and sales of equipment with Freeview in-built have reached more than 100m since the service launched in 2002.

The company said recent research it has carried out showed that picture quality via HD and access to the players on their television are the most important features for TV viewers.

Freeview, alongside Digital UK and the Digital Television Group (DTG), has been working with TV manufacturers and retailers to encourage HD take-up to give consumers the best viewing experience, and to provide a better technical standard.

Freeview managing director Guy North said: “Freeview HD gives consumers the best possible picture quality without a subscription.

“By moving all Freeview products to HD, we are ensuring that our viewers get the full range of channels available to them on the platform and the best possible quality.

“The company has been working closely with manufacturers, retailers, government and other industry stakeholders to future-proof the platform.”

'Rich experience'

Richard Lindsay-Davies, CEO of the DTG, added: “The industry has given unanimous support, through its collaboration in the DTG, to Freeview’s move to ensure all their viewers enjoy the rich experience of high definition TV with the reliable experience to which they have become accustomed from the world’s greatest industry-defined and open digital TV platform.”

Earlier this month, Freeview announced that its new connected TV service – Freeview Play – will be launched in October.

Freeview Play will allow viewers with an internet connection to scroll back through the on-screen TV guide to find programmes on catch-up, or access on-demand programmes through the apps page.

All Freeview Play technology will be built to the HD standard, the company said following its latest announcement.

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