It’s safe to say that live TV has started to hit a wall in the age of the best streaming services, but the upcoming Freely service has just announced its launch date – and it could just resuscitate live TV viewing.
The new interface images are our first look at the new free streaming platform following Everyone TV’s initial September 2023 announcement. The service is set for launch in Q2 2024 with exact dates yet to be revealed, which means we expect it to arrive somewhere between April and June.
Additionally, Everyone TV (the developers of Freely) announced some new smart TV partners for the platform, with Toshiba, JVC, Bush and more joining initial launch partner Hisense. Apparently, that means a third of all smart TV brands will support the service in future sets. Freely can be used anywhere in the home where there’s WiFi connection, so you don’t need an aerial to access its content.
Along with a launch date, Everyone TV has revealed a peek into what the platform will look like, with features that offer a live TV experience in a similar vein to existing streaming apps. Freely will assume the appearance of a familiar TV guide, bringing both live and on-demand content to one place. You’ll apparently be able to switch between the two seamlessly, having access to the biggest broadcasters in the UK including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 for the first time on a free streaming service.
To bring live TV into the streaming age, three key features have been announced. Firstly, Freely will have a new MiniGuide – a pop-up feature that appears when you switch between channels. This aims to help you quickly browse programs and discover new content, while making use of tools such as restarting and pausing programmes.
The second feature is a browsing tool, where users can press the ‘Freely’ button on their remote to find recommended content from the UK’s biggest free-to-air channels and broadcasters. This means that viewers should be able to easily browse live and on-demand TV all from one place.
Freely’s third key feature is a recognizable TV Guide, bringing a sense of familiarity to viewers who are used to navigating a standard TV programme list. It will display a seven-day guide with channel information and scheduling, while giving viewers the opportunity to discover more content based on the shows they are currently watching. All of the benefits of Freely’s TV Guide can be accessed through a one-touch method by simply pressing the ‘Guide’ button on the remote.
As Everyone TV gears up for Freely’s launch, the company is working closely with UKTV to bring its plethora of free channels to the Freely platform. In addition to BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, Freely viewers could access channels such as Dave, Drama, and W - all of which operate under the UKTV umbrella.
Further details about Freely’s launch are set to be announced in the weeks to come, which will include information on operating systems and content partners.
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Rowan is an Editorial Associate and Apprentice Writer for TechRadar. A recent addition to the news team, he is involved in generating stories for topics that spread across TechRadar's categories. His interests in audio tech and knowledge in entertainment culture help bring the latest updates in tech news to our readers.