Ahead of the launch of Freeview and Freesat replacement service Freely this spring, the platform’s operator Everyone TV has unveiled more details of what the service will look like.
For the first time on a free service, viewers will be able to switch seamlessly between live and on demand TV from the leading UK broadcasters. They’ll also be able to take advantage of features such as pause, restart and access to more episodes.
In many cases, the new Freely is an evolution on the current Freeview Play service. And that’s deliberate. The service is designed to make the switch from terrestrial/satellite to IP-streaming seamless and familiar.
Here’s a first glimpse of some of the new screens:
The Freely TV Guide
The Freely Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) screen.
An evolution of the current Freeview Play guide. Which channels you’ll see on the guide will initially depend on the connections to your TV. If you use a mix of IP-streaming (via ethernet or Wi-Fi) and either a TV aerial or dish, you’ll get a wider range of channels.
In time, all broadcasters will migrate to IP-streaming, so you’ll be able to drop your aerial or dish and not lose channels.
With Freely, the channels will be ordered differently. So while the first channel slots as shown above will mirror Freeview, the further down the list you go, the more differences there will be.
HD channels will appear by default on channels 1-5, removing the need to relist them between 101-105. More information about Freely channel numbering…
Browsing through Freely’s channels? You’ll no longer just see a strap with channel number, what’s on now and next. Instead, the Freely miniguide will present to you what’s on now and next plus integrated restart function, in case you’ve missed the beginning of the programme.
Arguably, the programme image thumbnails aren’t always useful as shown by the image above supplied by Freely’s operator Everyone TV. The title of the programme on next is cut short and of course not all programmes have their own distinct logo or image that easily identifies them to viewers. The image uses Channel 5 as an example. But that’s a channel that does often run similarly named programmes, or repackages documentaries with slightly different names.
Info and Episodes
Find out more about the current programme by pressing Info and Episodes via the Freely miniguide. Under ‘more episodes’ you’ll have the option to be taken to the channel’s streaming service to catch-up. Or you may be able to watch future episodes if they’ve been released as a box set before linear broadcast.
Freely remotes will come with a Browse button. Press it and you’ll find programme recommendations for both on-demand and live TV in one place.
Freely is confirmed as coming to Hisence and Vestel (e.g. Bush/Hitachi/JVC) TVs this spring. Other TV manufacturers are expected to be confirmed before launch.