freeview_playDigital UK and Freeview have today announced that Panasonic will be the first manufacturer to launch TVs featuring the Freeview Play connected TV service.
Panasonic will make Freeview Play available in its new 2015 line-up of VIERA TVs (Freeview Play available on CX680, CX700, CR730, CX802 and CR852 series of TVs.).

Channel 5’s Demand 5 service will also join the platform – completing the launch line-up of catch-up players alongside BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD (Channel 4’s new digital brand All 4 will replace the 4oD brand on all platforms from the end of Q1 2015).

Freeview Play combines catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television to make watching what you want, when you want as easy as possible. The service will be free from subscription and compatible with existing broadband services. Viewers will be able to search for programmes via a scroll back function in the TV guide or a dedicated apps page. This month Freeview announced a major rebrand in preparation for the launch of the new TV offer.

Ilse Howling, Managing Director, Connected TV at Digital UK, said: ‘It’s great news that Panasonic will be the first of many to bring TVs with Freeview Play to viewers. I’m also pleased that Demand 5 will be joining our line-up of great, free, on-demand players. Digital UK is working closely with manufacturers and broadcasters to develop our exciting new service and bring the benefits of connected TV to everyone, free from subscription.’

Guy North, Managing Director of Freeview, said: ‘We believe that Freeview Play will put viewers back in control and we’re delighted that Panasonic is our first TV launch partner. Freeview Play will be integrated into a number of TVs in the new VIERA range, giving people the freedom to choose across a range of price points. We look forward to welcoming more products from other partners later this year.’

Panasonic plan to offer Freeview Play recorders at a later date. Multi-brand manufacturer Vestel will follow with a range of Freeview Play products.

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By Expat