Freeview Connect has been announced as a joint catch-up service between major broadcasters.
The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV are joining together to launch a new catch-up TV service for Smart TVs.
Freeview Connect will group existing services BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD together and make them a standard features on all smart TV models.
The move is partly in response to BT and TalkTalk monopolising YouView. It was originally destined to be the future public service broadcasting platform, replacing Freeview.
However, it seems the broadcasters are now migrating back to Freeview, which is already present in over 13 million homes.
It seems that TV manufacturers are not that keen on YouView and it is not accepted as a European standard. TV manufacturers also not keen on the necessity to use the YouView UI on their TVs.
YouView was originally launched as a joint venture between ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, the BBC, TalkTalk, BT and Arqiva, but has since been used to push the pay-TV services of TalkTalk and BT.
When the new shareholders agreement comes into force in April, the BBC and other broadcasters all intend to reduce their investments in YouView.
The main purpose of Freeview Connect is to ensure universal availability for public service TV, and is spearheaded by Digital UK – funded by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva.
Currently broadcasters have struck individual deals with manufacturers like Samsung, LG and Panasonic to make their catch-up services available on a particular brand of smart TVs.
This means certain brands of TVs limit the catch-up service users can access.
Freeview Connect is an attempt to bypass these agreements and create an industry-standard that is accepted by all manufacturers.
There’s no news as yet as to when the Freeview Connect service will launch.
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