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Launch of Freeview connected TV service is ‘landmark moment’

Friday, September 4th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Freeview’s new connected TV service – Freeview Play – will be launched next month.

The subscription-free service features catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, on-demand services and live television.

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.

Compatible televisions will update automatically over the next few weeks, while the launch will be accompanied by a new TV advertising campaign.

Panasonic televisions will be the first to introduce the service and the company will also be introducing a range of Blu Ray recorders and digital recorders equipped with Freeview Play.

Other Freeview Play products produced by Humax, Manhattan and Vestel will be launched over the coming months.

Digital UK and Freeview announced plans to launch Freeview Play last year. Since then Ilse Howling, managing director of Connected TV at Digital UK, has led a dedicated team to develop the new service.

Digital UK has worked closely with Arqiva to build the technical system required to support Freeview Play.

'Easy for everyone'

Guy North, managing director of Freeview, said: “We believe that Freeview Play is set to become the new normal way of watching TV.

“Viewers will be free to choose what they watch and when they watch it on their main set free from subscription.”

Caroline Thomson, chair of Digital UK, said: “The launch of Freeview Play is a landmark moment for UK television.

“Our aim is to make watching the best free broadcast and catch-up TV easy for everyone.

“It’s testament to the work of Ilse Howling, Guy North and their teams, as well as the many partners across our industry, that we are bringing Freeview Play to market with a service that makes watching your favourite TV so simple.”

Andrew Denham, managing director of Panasonic UK, said: “By teaming up with Freeview Play, we are bringing better television to homes across the UK.

“Our partnership means that we can not only provide outstanding picture quality, but a much wider selection of programmes and viewing flexibility to Panasonic customers in the UK.”

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