New specifications for Freeview's connected TV platform Freeview Play will force manufacturers to include HEVC compatibility and enhanced subtitling support.
Freeview Play products developed using the new 2017 specification will also include enhanced search functionality, allowing viewers to find their favourite shows across on-demand players.
In addition to mandatory support for the decoding of HEVC for programmes delivered via broadband, a move that will permit the more efficient delivery of programmes via the internet, Freeview Play devices may also provide optional support for Ultra HD and HDR content via broadband.
Enhanced subtitling in on-demand programmes using the new EBU-TT-D subtitles standard will also be included, as will support for additional content protection technologies.
Freeview Play, which combines terrestrial TV with online TV services, is currently available in Panasonic, JVC and Finlux TVs, and is being rolled out across a number of LG televisions this year. Recorders from Panasonic and Humax allow viewers to add Freeview Play to their existing set. Products from Sharp, Manhattan and other leading manufacturers will follow.