Freeview rebrands to launch Freeview Play connected TV service

Freeview Play will be free to watch and won't require a subscription, though you will need a new Freeview Play TV or set-top box, and an internet connection. There's no word on any ability to upgrade existing Freeview products.

Scheduled to launch "later this year", Freeview Play will include BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD (to be replaced by the new All 4 brand later this quarter) and - of course - all the available Freeview channels.

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In anticipation of the new service, Freeview has released a new logo "to reflect the platform's evolving service", which we will see introduced across Freeview's products.

The aim is to make catch-up TV as accessible as live TV for those yet to add access to internet TV to their television. All the content will be accessible in one place, with the interface allowing users to scroll back through the TV guide to find programmes or browse dedicated apps pages for iPlayer and other services.

Sound familiar? It's a similar approach to the YouView platform, which was launched back in 2012 specifically to combine free-to-air live TV and catch-up programming.

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While the major broadcasters all backed the YouView launch (and remain shareholders), the same names - such as Arqiva, BBC, Channel 4 and ITV - are all also shareholders in Freeview. And now they have a competing product.

Last year, rumours emerged of the BBC and other broadcasters cutting ties with YouView alongside plans for this connected TV service. Of course, plenty of other internet TV services are also now on the market - from the likes of Sky's Now TV to the EE TV Box.

Freeview managing director Guy North said: "Freeview has been built on a vision to make television available to all free from subscription.

"In the same way that we took the UK from analogue to digital, Freeview Play is the next step in that vision and it will put the viewer in control, without complexity, commitment or unnecessary cost – we want to keep television fair and open for everyone. That means giving consumers the freedom to choose the TV they want, the way they want it."

MORE: Freeview Play - What is it? How can you get it?

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).