Internet TV Hits Free-To-Air
FreeviewPlus new service, unveiled today, lets Aussies watch catch-up TV like ABC iView and SBS on demand and Channel Nine JumpIn in the one place – on a TV screen.
FreeviewPlus electronic program guide uses Hybrid Broadcast Broadband (hbbTV), which combines broadband and broadcast TV, will be hitting screens in May according to rumours, and allows networks to deliver programs and new content over broadcast and internet.
The HBB technology is likely to boost free-to-air viewer numbers, in particular to catch up TV. For the first time catch up TV can actually be viewed on the TV set, rather than having to watch it on an iPad or mobile.
Other new features on FreeviewPlus new 7 day electronic program guide includes: highlights of big shows daily and catch-up; ability to browse programs for the next week; “favourites” with reminders; and search backwards and forwards.
As new HBB technology is rolled out, other new broadband services networks including Seven, Nine and Ten are said to be rolling out includes new TV channels, specialised content, video on demand (VoD), interactive ads, voting, Facebook, Twitter.
Channel Ten today confirmed it is developing new content, channels and commerce opportunities that will be added to FreeviewPlus later this year.
FreeviewPlus compatible Smart TVs are due to be released shortly include Hitachi, who are currently selling Hbb TV’s in Australia as are Humax with their new line of DVR’s, with Samsung set to follow.
Viewers wont need to buy a new TV to get the Internet services as manufacturers will release a range of FreeviewPlus receivers at “very affordable price points”, CN has been told.
FreeviewPlus will provide easy access to catch-up TV and many other services via the coloured buttons on the remote.
Liz Ross, General Manager of Freeview says FreeViewPlus is one of the biggest developments in FTA TV since the introduction of digital multichannels.
“FreeviewPlus is one of the most important advances in free-to-air television in Australia since the introduction of digital TV.”
Last year, a quarter of all internet-connected consumers watched free-to-air catch-up TV and live free-to-air TV reached an audience of 15.2 million daily.
Network Ten and tenplay, will be part of FreeviewPlus when it launches in a few months, and “is just the start”, Network Ten CEO, Hamish McLennan, said.
“The seamless connection of broadcast television and broadband through the FreeviewPlus technology will open up a new world of content, interactivity and choice.”
“FreeviewPlus represents a new way for consumers to engage with the highly successful tenplay catch-up service. And that is just the start. There are many opportunities to use this technology to offer consumers new and innovative services.”
Channel Seven, leaders in the IPTV space, recently launched MeTV, an online health channel offering streamed and on-demand content via the Plus7 app, in partnership with Brand New Media.