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Freeview Play is back on the menu for LG’s 2021 TVs

After Freeview and LG failed to come to an agreement for the South Korean manufacturer’s 2020 displays, Freeview Play is now confirmed to be on the brand’s 2021 TV range.

After skipping LG’s 2020 TVs, it’s been announced that Freeview Play is coming to the TV manufacturer’s 2021 range.

The lack of Freeview Play was a bugbear for many who bought an LG smart TV in 2020. As Freeview Play provides access to 85 live channels, as well as on-demand players such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4 and My5 for free, the lack of it was a source of particular consternation to those who used those apps frequently. Customers who purchased an LG GX OLED, CX OLED, BX OLED, or any one of their more affordable tellies, found that something that had been a regular fixture was suddenly no longer there.

LG resolved to add those apps in standalone form – last we checked iPlayer and ITV Hub had been added to the webOS platform, but the rest were still MIA. We’ve checked with Freeview and there’s no confirmation that the 2020 LG TVs will be updated, so the wait still goes on.

Freeview Play holds the claim of being the fastest growing TV platform in the UK, and despite not being on LG’s TVs for 2020, the platform recorded its most successful sales year ever with over 13 million, with more than 9 million users in the UK.

It also serves its viewers with over 30,000 hours of content for free, though we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind people that there is a license fee to pay for, which is set to go up by £1.50 in April 2021. You can read more about Freeview Play, where it’s available and how its accessibility features work in our Freeview Play explainer.

LG sets things right for the 2021 TV range

Each LG TV review we did in 2020 always came with a note saying that it didn’t have Freeview Play, which was an indication of how much value people felt the platform offered. Since its inception, it’s become almost ubiquitous on UK TVs. Out of the big-hitters only Samsung and Sony lacked it, but they managed to support the main UK catch-up/on-demand apps in other ways. For much of 2020 LG was the odd one out, adding some of the apps but falling short. If you read customer reviews on various sites that was an aspect highlighted time and time again.

So with the catch-up apps back onboard it’s a case of setting things right, offering a degree of confidence to anyone with eyes on an LG TV. You don’t know how much you miss it until it’s gone (and then returned).

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