The tech specs for Freeview Connect – Freeview’s answer to YouView – have now been released to hardware manufacturers.
Set-top box and TV makers will now be able to start cranking out early versions of Freeview Connect devices and putting them through their paces.
Whatever shape and size Freeview Connect gear arrives in, we know that the service, like YouView, will feature streamlined access to catch-up content from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, through a backwards-scrolling programme guide.
Further content partners are due to be signed up in the future, but no new names have been mentioned today.
The Digital TV Group, the UK’s TV industry association has been tasked with setting up a test lab for would-be Freeview Connect products. This will ensure that products meet the required standard in a simulated real-world environment.
Arqiva, the company which currently manages Freeview masts, has been picked to provide the metadata system that will allow the hybrid digital terrestrial and on-demand TV service to work.
Former Freeview boss Ilse Howling, now managing director of connected TV at Digital UK, said: “These agreements are a crucial step on the road to giving millions of Freeview viewers the freedom to watch what they want, when they want.
“We are delighted with the progress we are making and the levels of interest from manufacturers, retailers and viewers. We look forward to working with Arqiva and our other partners who together will play a vital role in bringing the next generation of Freeview products to life.”
Digital UK, the company which manages the Freeview programme guide, developed the Freeview Connect specification and is asking interested parties to register for details here.