Oz FreeviewPlus confirms September launch
Originally scheduled for launch in the first half of 2014, but delayed as a result of technical issues, Australian DTT platform Freeview has confirmed that its FreeviewPlus HbbTV service will now launch September 2, and will be backed by a TV teaser campaign, featuring some of Australia’s best-loved TV personalities.
The campaign, carrying the tagline ‘FreeviewPlus, a whole new way to enjoy TV’, shows the enthusiastic reaction from TV celebrities after they have attended a preview screening of FreeviewPlus and reminds viewers that FreeviewPlus is ‘coming soon’.
“FreeviewPlus is one of the most important advances in free-to-air television in Australia since the introduction of digital TV so it’s important we start to generate a buzz about the new service among Australian viewers,” said Liz Ross, General Manager of Freeview.
“As in all of our previous TV campaigns, this teaser spot features well-known and loved Australian TV celebrities – they’re excited about the forthcoming launch, and there is plenty to be excited about,” she said.
At the core of FreeviewPlus is a broadband delivered, free-to-air TV electronic programme guide incorporating features that Freeview says will offer Australian consumers an unrivalled viewing experience. Catch Up services can be accessed from one place on TV screens for the first time.
The service’s HbbTV technology will also enable the free-to-air networks to introduce a range of new broadband services.
The teaser campaign is part of an extensive marketing campaign that will support retailers and manufacturers and drive consumer awareness of FreeviewPlus.
Manufacturers will release a range of FreeviewPlus receivers to coincide with the launch of FreeviewPlus and these will be available from all major appliance and electronics retailers.
FreeviewPlus will continue to be made available through an increasing number of new connected receivers carrying the FreeviewPlus logo including panel TVs, set top boxes and recording devices.
“FreeviewPlus is all about giving Australians the best FTA TV experience, allowing viewers to find and watch their favourite shows when they want to watch them on their TV with the simple press of a button,” advised Ross.
The Australian approach differs from its UK counterparts Freeview and YouView, with the latter developing its own proprietary open IPTV platform distinct from the more widely accepted HbbTV standard, while Freeview, despite sharing common shareholders in the BBC and ITV, together with Digital UK, the company provides support for the platform, recently revealed plans to develop a new Freeview-branded connected TV service which will make the best of broadcast and on-demand TV available free for everyone. The initiative pitches it against YouView.