Freeview has not changed all that much since its launch in 2002; sure its channel library has been tweaked, but overall it’s still a very similar service.

This year that’s set to change, with Panasonic and Freeview set to roll out a new service dubbed Freeview Play.

Freeview Play will be designed for the connected TVs of today, utilising an internet connection to seamlessly combine live TV with shows that are available on-demand.

Panasonic will be the first TV manufacturer carrying Freeview Play, which will launch alongside some of the company’s Viera TVs in October.

As of launch, Freeview Play will lean on the four catch-up services, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5.

The way Freeview Play will display on demand content will be different to other services currently available, however.

Rather than utilising an App-based experience, forcing users to go in and out of different services, Freeview Player will enable users to access on demand content directly from the TV guide.

For instance, if users missed the latest episode of Great British Bake Off, all they need to do is to navigate to the day it was on and select it; no BBC iPlayer App required.

At launch the service will be missing one of its four catch-up services; Demand 5.

While Freeview has confirmed that the service will come to Panasonic TVs in the form of an App, the company says that true integration with the guide will come at a later stage.

Freeview Play won’t only debut on Panasonic televisions, with three Blu-ray players and two digital recorders also planned by the Japanese company.

Humax, Manhattan TV and Vestel have also announced their intention to reveal Freeview Play products in the near future.

As with normal Freeview, Freeview Play will be available at no extra cost and subscription free.

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