Love TV but hate subscription fees? Why you need to invest in Freeview Play

Steve May
·3-min read
Settling down to watch your favourite show or film is all the easier with Freeview Play.  (Getty Images)
Settling down to watch your favourite show or film is all the easier with Freeview Play. (Getty Images)

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Love TV but don’t want to pay monthly fees for services like Sky Q or Netflix?

Upgrading your TV to a Freeview Play model will still open the doors to a world of streaming telly, and it won’t cost you a penny in subscription fees.

Freeview Play is far more than just a fancier version of the familiar Freeview TV guide; it’s a smart TV platform in its own right. So could it also be the smartest TV buying choice out there? Here’s everything you need to know about Freeview Play...

What is Freeview Play?

Rather amazingly, Freeview Play is home to over 30,000 hours of on-demand TV, boasting an extensive free box set library, covering everything from The Circle to Doctor Who. Plus, new content is being added daily.

Freeview Play comes with all the main catch-up TV channels built in — BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5 — as well as UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Horror Bites, STV Player, POP Player and BBC Sounds.

This means 95 per cent of the nation’s most watched TV is on tap.

If you’re a bit of a technophobe, Freeview Play is certainly for you because it’s super simple to use. You can access catch-up TV using a clever retrospective programme guide. Instead of looking ahead to see what’s coming up, just scroll backwards to see what you’ve missed, and then click to watch from the guide.

If you’re not sure what’s best to binge, there’s a carousel of curated recommendations, filtered to taste (comedy, drama & soap, entertainment), to mooch around. A dedicated channel, Explore Freeview Play on channel 100, is there to give you added inspiration.

Freeview Play is future-ready too, with support for 4K built-in. We’ve yet to see any 4K Freeview Play services launch, but BBC iPlayer does have 4K streams, both for sports and TV shows, like His Dark Materials, and nature docs.

Freeview has also just launched an Accessible TV Guide. Rolling out to a growing number of Freeview Play TVs, it can be found on channel 555 and offers viewers with visual impairments a high contrast UI, screen magnification, and a text to speech functionality.

If you like the idea of Freeview Play, but don’t want to upgrade your TV just yet, then you can always add a set top box. Freeview Play TV boxes start at around £70, or £279 if you want them to record as well.

Buy it: HUMAX Aura Android TV | £279 from Currys

HUMAX Aura Android TV
HUMAX Aura Android TV

Freeview Play is also available on Amazon Fire TV streaming sticks.

The best Freeview Play TVs to buy

On a budget...

Buy it: JVC LT-39C610 39" Smart HD Ready LED TV | £229.99 (Was £299.99) from Currys

JVC LT-39C610 39
JVC LT-39C610 39

Great value...

Buy it: HISENSE 50A7100FTUK 50" Smart 4K | £399 from Currys


Supersize it...

Buy it: PHILIPS 70PUS7555 70" 4K Ultra HD HDR LED TV | £699 from Currys

PHILIPS 70PUS7555 70
PHILIPS 70PUS7555 70

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