Synapse TV, the company behind pay TV portal VuTV on channel 238, has announced that Simplestream's TVPlayer - already available as a service for mobile and tablet devices - will launch a portal of free-to-air TV services shortly. Also coming soon is a new factual portal. Planet Knowledge from VOD365 will provide viewers with hours of factual programming every month.
Details of which channels will be available the Freeview version of TVPlayer are to be announced in the coming weeks. Simplestream's Marketing Manager, Marie Ellis, told a516digital that the "general idea is that all free-to-air channels on TVPlayer but not on Freeview already will be on the TVPlayer portal."
It's the latest boost to the streamed channel service via Freeview, which is available to viewers with compatible, connected TVs from channel 225 upwards. Recent months have seen the high profile launches of pay TV service VuTV and motorsport channel Motors TV.
David Cutts, Director of Synapse TV and MD of Strategy & Technology (S&T), outlined the idea of bringing TVPlayer to Freeview:
“We will use the technology we have developed to connect TV sets directly to streamed content, to bring TVPlayer to homes that have compatible Internet-connected Freeview HD TVs or boxes. We will deliver a whole range of streamed channels through a ‘portal’ application – much like the one we developed for VuTV – but in this case all the services will be free-to-view.
"Some of the channels delivered to mobile devices through TVPlayer are already on the Freeview platform as traditional broadcast channels, so we will not duplicate those. We expect that this service will enable a lot of advertising supported and subsidised channels to join the Freeview platform at very low cost. Channels that are BARB rated will get recognition of their extended reach through TVPlayer on Freeview, and we will also be able to deliver detailed usage data to each channel provider.”
Adam Smith, Director of Synapse and CEO of Simplestream commented, “We are very pleased with the rapid success of TVPlayer on mobile devices. Adding delivery to TVs through Synapse is a great enhancement that will expand channel owners’ reach to a slightly different market. Freeview delivery through Synapse is very economical and consumers will get a whole new range of choice of TV.”
Planet Knowledge from VoD 365, already available on Samsung Smart TVs, will deliver a wide range of on-demand, premium factual 3D, HD and SD documentaries and similar content across categories: history, nature, people and culture, science and technology, kids and travel. Each category will include over 40 hours of content with a refresh of between 10-20 hours each month per category.
Paul Coster, Director of VOD365, said, “We’re incredibly excited that we’ll soon be able to provide our Planet Knowledge service to the rapidly growing population of connected Freeview HD devices in the UK. Planet Knowledge will be the first advertising-supported, free-to-view video on demand service on Freeview in the UK and we know that our offering is of great interest to the Freeview demographic.”