The Freeview Play platform is expanding. From next year, it will come preinstalled on TVs made by Blaupunkt, Hisense, Sharp and Toshiba. This makes it the most widely-adopted catch-up TV platform in the UK, just over a year after launching.
Freeview Play differs from standard Freeview in that it makes it easier to watch terrestrial shows on catch-up. Viewers need just scroll back in the EPG (electronic programme guide) in order to select a show, rather than starting up BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4 or Demand 5. The same feature can be found on YouView.
Freeview Play is already available on TVs and set-top boxes made by Panasonic, Humax, LG and JVC, among others.
"I'm delighted to welcome Blaupunkt, Hisense, Sharp and Toshiba to the Freeview Play platform," said Guy North, managing director of Freeview. "With these new manufacturers on board, Freeview Play has become the most widely-adopted catch-up TV platform in the UK, which is no mean feat in just over a year.
"Freeview Play now has the content, functionality and distribution to really deliver scale in the TV market, meaning we are well on our way to achieving our ambition of making connected viewing accessible and affordable for everyone."
Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Freeview supporter Digital UK – a company jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva – added: "Our ambition is to take Freeview from 'what comes with your telly' into an active choice for a broad range of viewers.
"The market for Freeview Play is very big. From the core Freeview constituency of 10 million homes, to those currently paying a monthly subscription who are looking for a better deal."
From next year, Freeview Play will also add search and recommendation features, which should help position it as a rival to pay-TV services.