Freeview Play's Catch-Up EPG Will Do Battle With YouView

By Gerald Lynch on at

With internet catch-up and streaming services eating into the TV viewing time of linear television, today has seen Freeview Play (the rebranded, reimagined Freeview) reveal its plan for its future EPG.

And, if you've ever played about with a YouView box, it'll sound very, very familiar. Freeview Play will offer catch-up services built directly into its TV guide, as well as allowing you to roll back the clock, going backwards in time through the EPG to find on-demand versions of shows you've missed.

"Freeview has been built on a vision to make television available to all free from subscription," said Guy North, Freeview managing director.

"In the same way that we took the UK from analogue to digital, Freeview Play is the next step in that vision and it will put the viewer in control, without complexity, commitment or unnecessary cost – we want to keep television fair and open for everyone."

Freeview Play however won't be offered as an upgrade for existing Freeview TV and set-top box owners. Using a new standard, it'll require brand new hardware to work. Any manufacturer will be be able to use Freeview Play, with the company even offering it up to be rebranded and reskinned as TV makers see fit.

Expect to see set-top boxes and TVs with Freeview Play built in launching later this year. The TVs will face stiff competition from Sony's 2015 line-up -- it's making YouView the default EPG service in basically all of its new TVs this year.