Next generation Freeview service to launch in October

Freeview and Digital UK have confirmed that Freeview Play, the next generation of the popular TV platform, will launch in October. 

Panasonic televisions will be the first to introduce the service and in the lead-up to October existing compatible TVs will update automatically.

Freeview Play combines digital terrestrial TV with on-demand services and catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and Channel 5, providing viewers with the ability to watch what they want, when they want, as easily as possible, regardless of which internet and phone supplier they have.

The service is free from subscription and works with all existing broadband services. Freeview will also be unveiling a new TV advertising campaign to support the launch.

Freeview Play will launch on Panasonic’s new 2015 line-up of VIERA TVs and viewers will be able to scroll back through the TV guide for programmes on catch-up or access on-demand programming through the apps page. 

Initially Channel 5's on-demand content will be available from the apps page, but will be added to the scroll-back TV guide shortly.

Freeview Play devices
Following the TV launch, Panasonic will also be introducing a full range of video products equipped with Freeview Play, including three Blu Ray recorders and two digital recorders. In addition, Humax will launch Freeview Play digital recorders, Manhattan TV and Vestel will also launch ranges of Freeview Play products, and other major TV manufacturers will follow.

Digital UK has worked closely with Arqiva to build the technical system required to support Freeview Play. Freeview will focus on marketing the new service to viewers through its biggest ever advertising campaign.

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, 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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