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Freeview Play updates on the way

Freeview Play on Panasonic Image SideWork is underway to expand the content and functionality available on connected digital terrestrial service Freeview Play, according to Digital UK.

In its annual update report on digital terrestrial television, Digital UK said that Freeview Play will add new discovery features during 2016, including a search function that works across all the catch-up services on the platform. It is also planning to add viewing recommendations.

Digital UK said it is also working with a range of additional manufacturing partners, which will launch new Freeview Play TVs, digital recorders and set-top boxes later in 2016 and in early 2017.

“Features such as search and recommendations are likely to appear first on new devices,” said Digital UK technology director, James Jackson.

“Nevertheless, Digital UK is keen to encourage manufacturers to update existing Freeview Play products to add new functionality, where this is technically possible and cost-effective in enhancing consumer value and further retail sales.”

Digital TV’s ‘delivering connected TV for everyone’ report also said that the company is working with ITV, Channel 4 and manufacturers to support the introduction of subtitling for on-demand services next year. This will be possible using the the newly introduced EBU-TT-D technical specification, which forms part of the HbbTV 2.0.

Digital UK is owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva and supports the UK’s terrestrial TV service. The company provides operational support for the Freeview platform, including management of the electronic programme guide, and led the technical development of the Freeview Play platform.

It also leads on developing DTT strategy, working with broadcast partners and industry, and provides viewers with information and advice about terrestrial TV channels, services and reception.