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FreeviewPlus launches, announces hardware partners

The HbbTV-powered FreeviewPlus service is now officially live with viewers on compliant TVs able to access the new features from today.


Australia's new HbbTV service FreeviewPlus has now officially gone live.

The service integrates broadcast and catch-up TV services into a single interface, including an electronic program guide.

The EPG can be browsed backwards up to seven days, with missed shows able to be launched via a catch-up service, such as iView or Tenplay, directly from the program guide. The menu for these features is accessed by pressing the green button on your TV remote.

The Freeview site notes that the service rollout is being staggered slightly, and offers a postcode search for people in regional areas to see what elements of the service are available.

To get the most from the service, you'll require a good digital TV signal -- terrestrial only, not satellite -- and a strong internet connection. Freeview recommends ADSL2+ and notes that you'll be using some small amount of bandwidth each and every time you change the channel.

The long-awaited list of FreeviewPlus-approved products was also launched, although this appears to be a bit of a work in progress. Only Sony and LG are named as hardware partners.

The 2014 range of Panasonic TVs have been Freeview Plus compliant for sometime, and were even being used as a reference TV for SBS when it worked on its HbbTV service.

Missing also is TCL and the Beyonwiz T3 and Humax 4Tune set-top boxes (as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald). We've updated our list of compliant TVs with the new information from LG.

More devices bearing the official FreeviewPlus stamp of approval are expected to arrive in market "between now and Christmas".

Liz Green, GM of Freeview, also announced the start of a "large-scale" marketing campaign around FreeviewPlus.