New Zealand digital terrestrial TV service Freeview has commenced roll-out of a new On Demand TV Platform to replace the existing FreeviewPlus service.
Implemented in collaboration with leading New Zealand broadcasters (TVNZ, MediaWorks, Māori Television and RNZ), the new platform supersedes the broadcasters’ own TVNZ OnDemand, ThreeNow and Māori Television On Demand apps previously linked to FreeviewPlus. By combining shows across all participating broadcasters into a single content library and streaming them all within the new Freeview On Demand platform, Freeview says it greatly improves content discovery and access.
Viewers are free to browse by genre, catch up by channel or locate specific titles through the search feature.
And rather than being sent to a show page on a linked broadcaster app, the show or movie selected by the viewer in the Freeview On Demand library will now play straight away. Viewers will be asked to register for a new Freeview account when they stream their first show, so they won’t need to register for multiple accounts as more content partners are added. Signing up to a new Freeview account can also provide viewing history and deliver personalisation features in the future.
According to Freeview CEO, Jason Foden, the platform has been designed with the viewer at the heart of the experience. “Everything about the upgraded platform is designed to give our viewers the best experience possible. Its simple design and streamlined playback help to improve performance, a simpler mini guide points to a compelling On Demand library, the TV Guide provides more information at a glance, it’s easier to use and remains free.”
“I’m confident the simplicity of the new platform and its visually-compelling interface will give Kiwis a greater viewing experience,” he concluded.
The new Freeview On Demand is available now on selected Smart TVs and will roll out over the coming week to all Smart TVs released since July 2015, as well as connected set-top boxes and recorders.
Viewers who already have access to On Demand content through Freeview (or FreeviewPlus) will get an automatic upgrade. Those who do not currently access Freeview On Demand, but have fairly new Smart TV (2015-2017) can get it by simply connecting to a working TV antenna and broadband.