The UKTV Play catch-up service has now launched on Freeview Play (24 August 2016).
What is it?
UKTV Play will allow you to catch up on all of your favourite shows broadcast on channels Dave, Really, Yesterday and Drama.
The catch-up service covers a huge range of programmes from Spooks, New Tricks and Waking The Dead to old favourites like Have I Got News For You.
How do I get it?
Most Freeview Play devices will automatically update when you visit the Freeview Play apps page. The UKTV icon will appear here, alongside BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5. The TV guide will update with programmes from UKTV Play over the next day or so.
Humax Freeview Play devices will need to be running the latest software version (which you should already have been prompted to download if you have a Humax box). If you haven’t downloaded this yet, the app will appear, but may not function on launch until the software update is carried out.
For some TVs branded JVC and Finlux, UKTV play will be available after an update in October.
The lowdown on UKTV Play
UKTV Play on Freeview Play has a sophisticated layout, offering a fresh take on the catch-up service with some interesting additions.
On launching the service, the home page immediately shows you helpful highlights from all the channels (pictured above). If you scroll down, you get other programme groups including:
- ‘You might just like’
- Your recently watched
- Other suggestions based on similar programmes you’ve watched
- New programmes available
- And ‘What everyone is loving’.
These categories remain the same if you chose to navigate to one of the specific channels (eg: Dave), but you’ll only see programmes from that channel, narrowing everything further.
It’s an intuitive system, good at making you very aware of exactly what is available on the featured channels. With so many programmes to choose from, it’s a good thing there is also have a favourites feature, allowing you to queue programmes you want to play as you discover them on your journey through the app.
To play a show, you simply highlight what you want to watch, and press your middle enter/select key twice. If you just press it once, it brings up more information on your selected show, with all other available episodes of that show (starting with the next in the series).
Next to the home icon (at the top) there are some other useful tools
These are playlists with some quirky themes (Storage Hunters US vs. UK, for example), that group programmes together relating to the theme. There is an overall one that mixes programmes from the whole service, or you can navigate down to a specific channel to find collections bespoke to that channel.
The list of favourites you have selected.
No time to browse through the app? No problem – use this tool to search by programme name to see if what you want is available.
Complete list of programmes in (don’t get ahead of us) alphabetical order. A useful way to see everything at a glance.
All in all . . .
The UKTV Play app brings a wealth of new programmes to catch-up on Freeview Play. Whether you’re after the exclusive content, or an older favourite, UKTV Play makes Freeview Play an even more comprehensive way to enjoy what you want, when you want it at no monthly cost.