Freeview Play specification available to all

Thursday, February 18th, 2016
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Digital UK has today published the technical specification for Freeview Play, opening the connected TV service to broadcasters, platforms and equipment manufacturers worldwide.

Previously available only via formal registration, the document details the technologies required to design and implement Freeview Play TVs and boxes. The publication follows strong interest in the service from both UK manufacturers and international markets since its launch in October 2015.

Digital UK has led development of the new hybrid TV platform, the first to include features recently defined in the HbbTV 2.0 standard(1) for internet services and applications – building on the DTG’s industry standard D-Book for broadcasting(2).

All Freeview Play products meet existing standards for Freeview HD and include features such as:

  • Support for advanced player applications based on HTML 5.0
  • A 7-day scroll-back TV guide – with direct access to on-demand content
  • Enhanced EPG data to provide additional programme information and images
  • Improved interactive services, such BBC Red Button+
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming – video quality is optimised for a range of broadband speeds
  • Seamless ad insertion – smoother delivery of advertising in on-demand programming

James Jackson, Technical Director at Digital UK, said: ‘Our decision to openly publish the technical specifications for Freeview Play will make it easier for manufacturers to bring products to market and help broadcasters around the world develop their own enhanced, hybrid TV services.’

Freeview Play is currently available in a range of Panasonic TVs and Panasonic and Humax recorders. LG, Manhattan and multi-brand manufacturer Vestel are also expected to release Freeview Play-enabled products this year, with others to follow.

1. Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (or “HbbTV”) is a global initiative aimed at harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment services to consumers through connected TVs, set-top boxes and multiscreen devices.
2. DTG D-Book 7 Part A v4 and D-Book 8.