Viewers with Freeview Play built into their Smart TVs should see a major update rolling out in the coming weeks. According to the team behind Freeview, the new interface, which will be available on any Smart TVs powered by the Android TV software, is designed to make it easier for viewers to explore “the full range of content available and discover new favourites”.
One of the best additions to the Android TV homescreen is the new Discover tab. This brings together suggestions of new shows and movies based on your viewing history alongside what is trending on Google. In other words, if you’re stuck for something to watch, head to the Discover tab.
With the latest update, boxsets and films available from Freeview Play with now populate the Discover tab.
Freeview Play recently hit a new milestone with over 30,000 hours of on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player, POP Player and BBC Sounds. Some of these boxsets will appear in the Discover tab over time based on your tastes, but all will be available from the Search feature.
And since this is Android TV, you’ll be able to connect your Smart TV to any Google Nest smart speakers in your home. That means you’ll be able to use voice commands to the Google Assistant to pause playback on-screen or rewind if you missed a detail. Some Android TV-powered sets include microphones, so you can use the “OK, Google” voice commands without the need for a Google Nest or Android smartphone nearby.
Freeview Play is included on Android TVs from Philips, Sharp, TCL, Toshiba, Humax, and more.
Following the update, which is rolling out now, viewers will have access to the following features with Freeview Play on Android TV –
On Now: Freeview Play viewers can easily access the live TV guide, via a new tile on the ‘On Now’ row. The ‘On Now’ row has also been updated to give clearer programme information for each piece of content, to make it simpler for viewers to see what’s on at a glance.
On-Demand: To make it simpler for viewers to explore the full range of on-demand Freeview Play content, content rows on the new UI have been updated with new player tiles, linking viewers straight to the player they are interested in.
Simon Hunt, Director of Strategy and Business Development, for Freeview Play, told Express.co.uk: “It’s so important that British viewers can easily find the content they love, whether it’s catching up on Line of Duty, or bingeing the Friday Night Dinner box set. Working closely with Android TV, we have been able to ensure that the customer journey continues to deliver for UK viewers, and ensures Android TV remains competitive in the British market.”
Ed Corn, Head of Android TV Partnerships, EMEA at Android TV commented “People in Britain cherish a helpful and smart TV experience. We are glad that through our work with Freeview Play more UK viewers will profit from an updated Android TV experience that makes it easy for them to find and watch their favourite shows.”