Sometimes in September 2014, the Australian TV consortium Freeview launched a new product dubbed Freeview Plus. The new product was meant to change the future of the conventional Australian broadcast television. In the beginning, you needed to have a compatible set-top box to access this service, but nowadays there are smart TVs that can easily access the free-to-air shows. If you are new to Freeview Plus, there are several important features and details about it that are worth noting. Here are some important things about this service.
Freeview Plus is a new method of combining catch-up television with FTA(free-to-air) broadcasts. All of them are bundled up into an EPG (electronic program guide) and come with a number of built-in functions. This product is based on a technology known as HbbTV – Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV. It is the international industry standard that combines FTA and the catch-up TV in one platform. The HbbTV consortium ensures that its international standards simplify the process of rolling out new interface tweaks and features. These standards also make it easier for manufacturers to make their products HbbTV-ready.
To access the Freeview Plus, you will need to get a well-equipped TV, personal video recorder (PVR) that comes with a Freeview Plus logo and a set-top box. Your PVR or set-top box should be connected to an internet connection and a digital TV. Using the HbbTV standard, the Freeview Plus can offer the right to use catch-up TV from Nine, Ten, Seven, ABC and SBS. The content available is identical to the one found on various web-based versions offering catch-up TV, only the interface appears different.
As much as Freeview Plus is free, it requires using your bandwidth. The standard-definition, which forms the majority of the current content of catch-up, uses about 585MB every hour. The HD content uses about 1.6GB an hour. A minimum of the ADSL2 is the most recommended for the catch-up services while 3G or 4G mobile broadband is not recommended for viewing it.
Using Freeview Plus
After you invest in all the above-mentioned equipment and are done with the installation process, you will be able to see a pop-up note on the upper left area of the screen. The little note implores you to press on the green button on your remote to launch the Freeview Plus. There will be a warning informing you that the service will use your broadband data. You should remember to keep an eye on your data usage if you are operating on a limited plan.
On your remote, there are several colored buttons that play several important roles. The green color is used to open the electronic program guide while yellow opens the full menu. The red button is used to exit from everything while blue helps you in setting your favorites.
Freeview Plus Features
On the Freeview Plus mini-guide, you will find a small EPG that appears when you press on the green button. There are arrow keys that you can use to view what is currently showing and the shows lined up to show afterwards. Highlighting a show and pressing Ok will not necessarily change the channel you will be viewing but rather minimizes it to the top-right corner. You will then get more information about the show you clicked on and choose whether to watch it or not.
Among the most useful features of Freeview Plus is the reminder function. You can set your reminder from the information page or even set a show as your favorite. You can set the reminders for a whole series to ensure you never miss any episode.
When you forget to set a reminder, or miss out on an episode earlier in the day, you can use the catch-up functionality. You can access it from the EPG by using the left arrow on the channel that the show aired to see the previous episodes. You can then select a show by clicking on it to see whether the channel is offering it as part of the catch-up services. If the channel is available, you will see the “Play Now” option. Hitting on OK will allow you to watch the catch-up episode.
To find your favorite movie or shows that will be coming up on a day, you can use the search function on the menu. There is a search screen where you can type the name of your show and click on OK to find it. You will then go through the list where the different movies are listed to find your preferred title. You could also highlight “Movies” or “TV shows” when you are not sure of a title and browse through several genre menus that emerge on the right side.
Why Does Everyone Want a Freeview Plus?
An increased number of people are joining the Freeview Plus bandwagon due to some great factors associated with it. The biggest strength that the Freeview Plus was associated with when it was launched was its cost effectiveness. It offers a cost-effective solution to watching catch-up TV on your TV screens than any other available option. Most viewers were relying on the costly subscription services like StreamCo, Quickflix and Netflix to watch on-demand shows. If you are a sports enthusiast, you will fall in love with the Freeview Plus as it provides several content streams that supplement the normal sports content. These multiple streams are great as they provide previous games, additional game and result analysis.
All the above are some important features and selling points of the Freeview Plus. It is also worthy to note that you can be able to enjoy these catch-up services using your current TV set. You do not have to upgrade your current TV set to enjoy the services that Freeview Plus delivers. There are several ways you can get to enjoy these services. However, if you are in the market for a new TV, it would be worth considering buying a set that has a Freeview Plus logo to enjoy your viewing experience.