Connect TV to More Than Double Channels on UK Freeview

Monday, February 27th, 2012 
Freeview logo

  • Connect TV launches with 45 channels all accessed from the Freeview menu on existing set top boxes and smart TVs
  • Explodes Freeview offering and gives consumers more choice with free interactive content plus premium pay and niche services
  • Enriches the consumer TV experience without changing viewing habits or needing new devices

LONDON — Connect TV, the new platform that is bringing broadband TV to UK Freeview, has launched its service with an initial lineup of 45 internet delivered channels which viewers can access directly from the Freeview menu or electronic programme guide (EPG). The move changes the free to air TV landscape in the UK, bringing together broadcast and broadband to offer consumers more choice, increased interactivity and a high quality TV experience without the need to change their viewing habits or buy in new devices.

The service works on all compliant Freeview HD devices, currently available in up to 5.5 million UK households. Consumers can simply access the additional content through their existing TV menu, just as they do Freeview channels. The launch content line-up contains a mix of sports, foreign language and news channels from Racing UK, Sports Tonight Live, CCTV and French, Greek, Polish and Turkish programming from the Vision TV Network. Channels using the Connect TV platform can choose to be pay-to-view, subscription, or free. Transactions are managed through the Connect TV payment gateway.

“Connect TV responds to consumer desire for more content choice and increased interactivity at the touch of a button,” said Phil Walder, Managing Director, Connect TV. “We are able to give consumers a wealth of extra free and paid content without forcing them to leave the familiar surroundings of their main TV screen and Freeview menu or buy new a TV service or device.”

“Through the Connect TV platform, broadcasters, content owners and consumer brands, can reach millions of Freeview viewers at low cost in a simple, powerful way. The economics of our delivery means that niche channels can be on the same menu as the UK’s most watched TV channels. Connect TV provides exciting new business models for the financially challenged TV Industry by uniting Freeview and TV over broadband in an exciting and intuitive way,” concluded Walder.

Content owners can have their own live TV channel on the Freeview menu or, alternatively, can create portals of channels. As well as live streaming, Connect TV enables content owners to launch on demand services to monetize their content catalogues. The platform has an integrated payment system which allows viewers to purchase pay-as-you-go or subscription content directly through their TV via their remote controls. Broadcasters can also leverage fully interactive services and an advanced analytical back-end, which measures viewer behaviour, to offer businesses new targeted advertising opportunities.

Connect TV is the first live streaming channel on Freeview and utilises the D-Book streaming extensions which enable the delivery of broadcast and IP enabled content on to a TV via a broadband connected device. The standards based, open MHEG-powered platform integrates live TV and interactivity with Freeview.