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Manhattan to release Freeview Play set-tops next year

Freeview PlaySet-top box maker Manhattan TV is set to launch three devices that support Freeview Play – the new connected TV offering from UK digital-terrestrial TV provider Freeview.

Starting in the first quarter of 2016, UK-owned Manhattan will offer a standalone receiver (T3) and two digital recorders (T3-R), providing 500GB and 1TB hard drive options. All three products will include WiFi and will be available through electrical retailers and supermarkets.

Manhattan joins existing Freeview Play set-top box and TV manufacturing partners Panasonic, Humax and Vestel, with more expected to be added.

Ilse Howling, managing director, connected TV at Digital UK – which is working in partnership with Freeview to develop Freeview Play – said: “It’s great that Manhattan will be bringing viewers another way to enjoy the benefits of Freeview Play on their existing TVs.

“We continue to work closely with a range of manufacturers and broadcasters on this exciting new service, which will let consumers take that natural next step into the world of connected TV, free from subscription.”

The cost of the Manhattan boxes have yet to be confirmed, but Abbas Arbab-Zadeh, chairman and CEO of Manhattan TV, said they will go on sale at “competitive price points.”

Speaking at the DTG Summit in London last month, Howling displayed Humax’s Freeview Play box, which she suggested would retail in the UK at between £199 and £229. At the event she also said that Freeview Play is on track to launch later this year and that the service will be backed by Freeview’s “heaviest-weight advertising campaign to date.”