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Freeview Play is coming to even more Philips and Sharp TVs

Your Philips or Sharp set could be due a free upgrade

Freeview Play could soon be available on your new Philips or Sharp Android TV. That’s according to releases published today by Sharp and TP Vision, Philips’ parent company.

Both releases explain that any new Philips or Sharp Android TV sets released in 2020 will have Freeview Play built in. A select group of existing Philips TVs and ALL unsupported Sharp Android TVs, meanwhile, will receive a free over-the-air software update that will enable Freeview Play as an application.

For the unaware, Freeview Play is a sort of combination of Freeview HD channels and select streaming services. Freeview Play users can access 70 SD channels and a further 15 HD ones, alongside catch-up TV in the form of BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5.

Ordinarily, you’d need a dedicated set-top box to watch it, although these days a large selection of Android TVs also support the service. You can find out more about Freeview Play via our dedicated article.

Owners of Sharp Android TVs automatically qualify for a free software update that will introduce Freeview Play functionality. Philips TV owners, however, will need to perform a quick check to work out whether their set is one of the lucky ones.

If your Philips TV was released in 2019, it qualifies for this free update. The easiest way to check whether your TV is a 2019 model is to take a look at the model number; that’s the random assortment of numbers and letters masquerading as the product name.

The key is to check the last digit before the forward slash. Take the Philips Ambilight 50PUS7334/12, for example: in this case, the last digit before the forward slash is a “4”, which means the set was released in 2019. Here’s a key to make life easier:

  • 7 = 2012
  • 8 = 2013
  • 9 = 2014
  • 0 = 2015
  • 1 = 2016
  • 2 = 2017
  • 3 = 2018
  • 4 = 2019

You can normally find your Philips TV model number on the rear of your TV, or alternatively, on the box/receipt (if you kept them). If it doesn’t include the number 4 in this way, I’m afraid you’re out of luck; you’ll have to use an external box from the likes of Humax, Panasonic or Netgem to watch Freeview Play.

We have no concrete roll-out date for the Freeview Play update on Sharp or Philips TVs – the exact word used in the TP Vision press release was “imminently.” Stay tuned for updates.

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