LG TV update finally adds missing Freeview Play apps

LG TV in living room
(Image credit: LG)

LG TVs in the UK are getting Freeview Play once again, bringing the full suite of UK broadcaster catch-up apps like iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Sport, ITV Hub and All 4 to bear on the 2021 LG TV range.

The update means that every 2021 LG TV, including both OLED and LCD models, will carry the service at launch.

It's a welcome correction after LG failed to renew its license for the service in 2020, meaning a year's worth of LG TVs – including the BX OLED, CX OLED, and LG Nano90 – were lacking Freeview Play in the UK.

There was something of a mid-year fix in August 2020, when some select BBC apps came to LG TVs in a firmware update, but it's good to see that half-measure finally brought to completion.

A press release from LG announced that "Freeview Play gives viewers access to over 95% of the nation’s favourite TV. There’s over 30,000 hours of on demand TV, including over 750 box sets, all for free.

"Alongside over 85 live channels, Freeview Play on LG provides nine on demand players; BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS CatchUp Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player, and BBC Sounds."

A press release from the manufacturer stated that “LG Electronics UK is pleased to announce that all BBC streaming apps are now live across its range of 2020 TVs. The BBC iPlayer app will automatically appear in the webOS launcher bar from this week, and BBC News and Sport apps will be available for download via the LG Content Store.”

LG gets its affairs in order

2021 looks to be a promising year for LG Electronics. There are successors to some of its most popular TVs from last year, with the LG C1 OLED, LG B1 OLED, and even a new entry-level A1 OLED to help bring down prices further.

While these sets are yet to release worldwide, the current launch price in South Korea suggests that the RRP for these sets could be as much as 20% below their predecessors too.

It's clear that LG has been looking to tidy up some loose ends with its TV range, including fixing its Freeview Play issue, introducing more affordable OLED TVs, and updating its webOS smart platform with a sixth iteration that drastically shakes up the home screen and interface on offer.

Should you buy an LG TV this year? There are certainly far fewer reasons not to.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.