Panasonic is the first to bring Freeview Play to your living room

First major company to announce products to use the platform

Freeview Play

You may remember that Freeview Play was announced a little while back, with the intention of upsetting the YouView applecart somewhat.

Today, Panasonic has announced that it will be producing TVs that use the new service, making it the first manufacturer to do so.

The service will come to some of its 2015 range of Viera TVs. This is a distinct change from Sony moving to include YouView in its 2015 range of TVs, so that battle continues, even if it is a very weak and slightly dull battle.

Flexibility

Crucially, of course, it's a free service that brings a much more flexible EPG (electronic program guide) with it. Somewhat mimicking the YouView EPG in that it allows you to scroll backwards through the EPG and select programmes you want to watch via catch-up.

The service also offers the advantage of a branded and simplified EPG for manufacturers who don't want to build their own.

Catch-up services will include all the terrestrial players, including Channel 5 and the ubiquitous BBC iPlayer. Channel 4 will be renaming its 4oD too, and it will soon be known as All 4.

Panasonic also says it will release stand-alone players later this year.

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