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Will Freeview Smart save connected TV?

FreeviewFreeview’s 10th anniversary could see the launch of a new brand for Freeview HD receivers plugged into extra services via broadband: Freeview Smart.

Ilse Howling, managing director of Freeview, coined the phrase as a possible route to reassure customers buying new TVs and set-top boxes.

BBC iPlayer is the best-known brand of smart TV experience, but the TV industry will need to give consumers confidence that they can get a wider range of entertainment and information services.

Freeview HD’s specifications have been upgraded to provide a ‘backwards’ programme guide for catch-up TV and to launch broadband-delivered services via the red button. 

Howling told the Digital TV Group’s annual summit that Freeview may need its own smart TV brand when new products start to provide these services.

She said: “In the long term, there may be some potential for Freeview Smart. It’s currently an internal category, but we looking to see if it could be used in future.”

‘Freeview Smart’ would follow Freeview+ for digital TV recorders and Freeview HD for high definition TV, which have emerged since Freeview launched in 2002.

Consumer electronics manufacturers are busy equipping their TVs with ‘smart TV’ services that use your broadband connection to provide everything from BBC iPlayer to Facebook or Skype.

So far, only 35 per cent of smart TVs are actually connected to their owners’ broadband service, either because they’re too hard to set up or there’s nothing they want to use.