Freeview Play brings connected TV to battle YouView

Freeview has just announced a massive rebranding of its service, launching under the new name of ‘Freeview Play’.

Most notably, Freeview Play will now let users  access catch-up TV, giving it a chance to rival other connected services like YouView and Now TV.

The range of on-demand services currently confirmed includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, and 4OD.

Guy North, managing director of Freeview, 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 on that vision and will put the viewer in control.”

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.”

The new service will launch later in the year, with one caveat – it won’t work with current TVs or set-top boxes.

You’ll need new hardware to run the Freeview Play software, although partners for the technology have yet to be announced.

Sony recently confirmed it would be offering YouView built directly into its Android TV software, so it’s fair to count the Japanese tech firm out for now.

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The move by Freeview is reportedly due to the big broadcasters wanting to make sure their services are free at the point of use.

YouView boxes currently cost £300 to buy outright, or can be picked up as paid of a paid subscription package with BT or TalkTalk.

Freeview Play will mean you can get many of the YouView service’s features completely free of charge.