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Freeview products going HD-only from end of 2016

Richard Easton
24 Sep 2015
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The Freeview Trade Mark License will only be granted to HD products

It all feels a little slow in coming, especially considering television manufacturers and content providers are pushing 4K/Ultra HD but, by the end of 2016, you'll finally no longer see the Freeview Trade Mark License on any SD products. According to Freeview, HD products accounted for 70% of new Freeview TV sales in the UK during 2014, so that does mean a decent chunk weren't full HD. The move by Freeview is expected to therefore give a boost to HD product sales.

Guy North, Managing Director of Freeview, said: “Freeview HD gives consumers the best possible picture quality without a subscription. By moving all Freeview products to HD, we are ensuring that our viewers get the full range of channels available to them on the platform and the best possible quality. The company has been working closely with manufacturers, retailers, government and other industry stakeholders to future-proof the platform.”

Freeview states that its research shows that picture quality ranked highly for importance with television viewers, which is hardly surprising. Richard Lindsay-Davies, CEO of the DTG, said: “The industry has given unanimous support, through its collaboration in the DTG, to Freeview’s move to ensure all their viewers enjoy the rich experience of high definition TV with the reliable experience to which they have become accustomed from world’s greatest industry-defined and open digital TV platform”

Freeview vs YouView vs Freesat - What's next for free-to-air

Televisions above 32in with Freeview built-in will be going Full HD from January 1st, 2016 in order to carry the Freeview trademarked brand, with the remaining Freeview equipment, such as set-top boxes, going HD after December 31st, 2016. Freeview's new Freeview Play service is also expected to launch later next month, which will integrate the terrestrial channels' catch-up on-demand services to allow viewers to watch content from the previous week. This is similar to how Freetime works on Freesat boxes, as well as on-demand integration with YouView.

ITV Hub logo

Freeview's announcement follows ITV's yesterday, which revealed it is consolidating its ITV.com and ITV Player services under ITV Hub. ITV Hub is also coming to Freeview Play once the service launches next month. Earlier in the year, Freeview hit the 100m sales milestone for capable devices since its initial launch way back in 2002.

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