Digital set-top box specialist Humax says it will be the first manufacturer to launch set-top boxes to deliver the new Freeview Play connected TV service later this year. Freeview Play, which will be free from subscription and compatible with existing broadband services, combines catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television.
The new Humax Freeview Play boxes will support HD content and feature built-in Wi-Fi for wireless broadband connectivity to access Freeview Play’s range of catch-up services, which includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.
Three built-in tuners open up advanced recording functionality alongside the catch-up and on-demand services, with the option of 500GB and 1TB built-in hard drives for up to 300 hours and 600 hours of storage space, respectively.
Further details on the price, features and specifications of the Humax Freeview Play boxes will be made available in the coming months.
According to Graham North, Commercial Director at Humax, the launch of Freeview Play marks a significant milestone moment in the UK’s broadcasting industry and the company’s role as the lead set-top box manufacturer further reinforced the long-term relationship between Humax and Freeview. “Our new range of set-top boxes will bring advanced recording features that complement catch-up TV, on-demand services and live television, to offer an exceptional Freeview Play experience.”
Ilse Howling, Managing Director, Connected TV at Digital UK, said Humax was an “exciting” addition to the line-up of leading manufacturers supporting the launch of Freeview Play. “Its new range of set-top boxes will offer the perfect way for viewers to bring all of the benefits of connected TV to their existing set, free from subscription,” she suggested.
Over the last ten years Humax has been at the forefront of some of the UK’s most exciting TV developments, working closely with Freeview and Digital UK. Humax was the chosen manufacturer for the UK’s first DTT HD trial in 2006, a key supplier for the UK’s first digital switchover trials in 2007 and the selected partner for the first Freeview HD trials in London in 2009.
The announcement follows the announcement on February 23 by Digital UK – the body supports the UK’s terrestrial TV service and its viewers – and DTT platform Freeview that Panasonic would be the first manufacturer to launch TVs featuring Freeview Play.
TV display specialist Seiki announced at CES Unveiled Las Vegas, the official media event of the International CES show in early January 2015 that it would be the first major TV brand to introduce HD TV models in the UK featuring the new Freeview’s connected TV service.
Seiki said it will offer the service in its upcoming 32-, 40-, 50-inch HD TV models by Q3 2015 with plans to expand to additional screen sizes by Q4 2015.