Freeview Fit for the Future

Posted October 1, 2008 - Press Releases

  • PlayTV launch brings Freeview and integrated digital recording to gamers
  • Windows Media Centre from Microsoft becomes first Freeview-certified
    PC-based TV solution
  • HD on the horizon – successful BBC HD trial on DVB-T2 signals ‘a real plus’ for viewers and further growth for the digital TV recorder market

Freeview, the UK’s leading digital TV service in 16.7 million* homes, is in a strong position for future growth following a trio of recent technology and service developments. New product launches from Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft allow customers to get the Freeview service via a PlayStation®3 (PS3) and will see Freeview integrated as standard with Windows Media Center via a home PC. A successful trial of HD using the DVB-T2 standard also takes Freeview a step closer to providing HD from late 2009.

UK shipments of PlayTV™ on Sony’s PS3™ reached 85,000 in its first week, demonstrating the desire to have access to digital TV on all TVs in the home. Not only does Play TV give viewers access to up to 48 TV channels and over 20 radio channels, it also provides viewers with a variety of integrated digital recording features including series record, one touch record and the ability to pause live TV. Freeview will also be available on the move thanks to Play TV’s compatibility with the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP™) combined with a wireless connection.

Microsoft has also announced Freeview will be on Windows Media Center, which will deliver enhanced digital TV content to PCs. Windows Media Center, which is found on all PCs running Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate, will offer UK users access to Freeview’s range of subscription-free TV and radio channels as standard. Users will be able to watch one programme through the Windows Media Center TV Pack whilst recording another and be able to pause and rewind live TV.

In addition to the new Freeview branded products on the market, a live demonstration of DVB-T2 in action at IBC in September takes Freeview a step closer to delivering HD content. The BBC will run one of the HD channels available, and ITV and Channel 4 are amongst those which have submitted plans to Ofcom to deliver HD services on Freeview once capacity becomes available. Freeview HD will be available from Autumn 2009 in the Granada region and subsequent regions through the switchover process.

Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview said: “With Freeview on PS3 and Media Center and HD just around the corner, being a Freeview viewer is now more exciting than ever. We’re delighted people will be able to watch Freeview on PCs and gaming devices in other rooms in the home.”

“Our success as the number one digital TV service in the UK undoubtedly remains down to the simplicity of Freeview’s proposition. No monthly bills, no contract and access to the most watched digital TV channels continue to be extremely attractive, especially for people looking to save money on their monthly bills in the credit crunch.”

*Freeview estimate
** The BBC Research and Innovation division successfully demonstrated a working real-time demodulator capable of receiving signals compliant to the DVB-T2 standard, which is required in order to free up capacity to make space for HD on the Freeview platform.

Each year in the UK we go through over 1.2 million tonnes of electrical waste – the equivalent of 150 thousand double decker buses! (Source: www.recycle-more.co.uk )

  • 75% of waste electronics end up in landfill sites (Source: www.recycle-more.co.uk)
  • Electrical goods are the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, growing by 5% each year (Source: www.recycle-more.co.uk)

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