Users are being forced to make tough decisions about whether streaming and TV services are worth spending money on due to growing subscription prices and limitations on account sharing.
Live TV, catch-up applications, and box sets for your favorite channels are all bundled together in one easily navigable and accessible area on Freeview Play, which is available to UK customers as an alternative to expensive pay TV.
For no additional cost, Freeview Play provides access to more than 70 live channels (including 15 in HD) and 10 UK TV catch-up apps with a combined 40,000 hours of on-demand entertainment. Freeview Play is available to anyone with a suitable TV or device, an aerial for broadcast channels, and an internet connection for streaming.
With so many other TV options available, such as Freeview, Freesat, YouView, Sky, BT, and Virgin Media, you may be wondering what makes Freeview Play stand out. We’ll explain…
What is Freeview?
Since its inception in 2015, the connected TV platform Freeview has had increasing support from manufacturers and is now included on nearly all TVs and many set-top boxes in the UK.
Freeview Play differentiates itself from traditional Freeview by bringing a more “connected” TV experience to the home. The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) is useful for finding both currently airing shows and older shows that have aired within the past week, due to a handy roll-back feature. You may go back in time and watch all the episodes of your favorite show in one sitting.
TV catch-up apps such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4, Demand 5, and UKTV Play are also available, among many more. Freeview’s extensive on-demand programming library is made more user-friendly with a section devoted specifically to box sets.
CBS’s UK channel portfolio includes CBS Reality, CBS Reality +1, CBS Drama, and CBS Action, and you can only watch them on Freeview Play, the only UK TV service that offers catch-up on-demand.
The Horror Bites player also provides access to the on-demand content of Horror Channel and Horror Channel +1. Like other services of its kind, shows can be rewatched for up to 30 days after they first air.
The service has also launched a dedicated Channel 100 where users can see curated content recommendations from those TV services, further integrating on-demand video into the live TV experience. Additionally, most Freeview Play devices also work with other video streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Sky’s NOW TV.
The ultimate goal of Freeview Play is to eliminate the need for users to switch between various catch-up apps in order to find anything to watch.
Instead, all of the content is organized into a single hub organized by category recommendations for comedies, dramas, soap operas, food shows, documentaries, lifestyle shows, movies, food, music, the arts, science, and history. The My Shows section allows users to organize and keep track of their preferred programming.
When Can I Expect Freeview Play?
When it first debuted in 2015, Freeview Play was only available in a small number of locations. There are more than 11 million people in the United Kingdom who use Freeview, and the service has been installed on more than 13 million devices, so it must be good.
Prices for Freeview-compatible televisions start at £70, while the Freeview Play set-top box may be used to enhance an existing television for as little as £70. For a complete rundown of compatible hardware, go here (opens in a new tab).
Multiple variants from well-known manufacturers like Humax and Manhattan TV can be found on the latter. It’s worth noting that certain receivers offer not only Freeview functionality but also 4K and HDR playback, download, storage capacity, and episode playback.
Since 2016, an unprecedented number of TV makers have included Freeview Play in their UK models, making it effectively standard.
Freeview Play vs. YouView: What’s the difference?
You may be thinking that Freeview Play sounds a lot like YouView, and you would be correct. YouView also provides an internet-connected TV service with a movable EPG that goes back seven days. But the two systems aren’t identical.
Freeview Play is an add-on for DLNA and NAS drives that makes it easy to broadcast TV shows to your other connected devices. If the idea of watching TV on any of your gadgets everywhere in the house at the same time appeals to you, this service is a great fit.
When compared to competitors like Sky, which provides a multi-room service for an additional subscription, this is yet another manner in which Freeview saves money. The use of several rooms is at no cost with Freeview Play.
That Freeview Play supports streaming appears to be the deciding factor between it and YouView. The service is not something YouView can provide at this time. YouView, on the other hand, counters by providing access to a greater variety of third-party applications.
Keep in mind that not all Freeview Play boxes have always had apps for all the on-demand services. Since Freeview Play is a customizable open platform, it may be adapted to the preferences of each TV and set-top box maker. Check thoroughly, especially with older models, is our recommendation.
YouView, on the other hand, includes Netflix, Now TV, and (if you have a BT TV subscription) BT Player, all of which are available without additional installation or configuration.
Do You Need Freeview Play?
People who don’t want to pay for a TV subscription service like BT TV, Sky, or Virgin Media are Freeview Play’s primary target audience.
The service is well worth thinking about if you are getting rid of one of those, need a new Freeview box, or are just trying to improve your free TV options. There’s virtually nothing to lose by giving it a try, and if you own a major brand of TV for the last few years, you probably already have access to it.
Although it faces stiff competition, Freeview is confident that its consumers will want to make use of the service because it provides free, on-demand access to some of the UK’s top-quality programming.
It’s a Sin, Derry Girls, Killing Eve, Fleabag, and Peaky Blinders are just a few of the award-winning shows available on subscription platforms that UK audiences may enjoy on demand. Freeview Play is a service that uses a modern interface and discovery capabilities to let users find and enjoy TV in the cheapest and easiest way possible.
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