Freeview Play takes on YouView

Freeview has announced a new connected TV service called Freeview Play to rival YouView. The firm hopes it will be the 'new normal way to watch television'. See also: 9 best media streamers UK: What's the best media steamer 2015?

The popular digital TV service has undergone a 'major' rebrand for the launch of its new service. Freeview Play is set to launch later this year and will take on YouView by offering a range of catch-up and on-demand services.

Guy North, managing director of Freeview, said: "Our new brand identity is bold and contemporary and will stand out in what is a very crowded TV market. Today marks the start of an exciting future for the Freeview brand."

The firm, run by BBC, Sky, Channel 4, ITV and Arqiva, said that Freeview Play will be subscription-free and available via a range of new TVs and boxes which customers will connect to their broadband to access content.

Freeview Play will offer BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD (which will soon become All 4). Like YouView, users can search for shows by scrolling back on the guide or via the apps page. Sony's 2015 Bravia TVs will come with YouView built-in.

The firm will want to add more services to that list in order to compete with YouView which offers those plus Demand 5, Quest, Netflix, Sky Now TV, Sky Store, Milkshake, UKTV and S4/C. As well as YouView, Freeview Play will have to take on set-top boxes and gadgets like the Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV.

"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," added North.

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