Panasonic launches first TVs with Freeview Play support

A couple of weeks ago, Freeview announced the upcoming launch of its new connected TV service, and today, it has revealed that Panasonic is the first manufacturer to support the platform in its hardware.

Freeview is the UK's most-watched TV service, offering 60 TV channels, with 12 HD versions available, along with 25 radio stations. The new Freeview Play service will expand its offering considerably, adding on-demand content and catch-up TV, along with some level of app support.

While Freeview Play will be available to enjoy at no extra charge - just like the rest of the Freeview service - you will need to buy new hardware to be able to access it. Earlier this month, Freeview said that Play will only be available "in a range of new TVs and boxes".

Panasonic's new VIERA TVs are now promoted with "Freeview Play inside"

The first TVs to support Freeview Play are from Panasonic, which is adding access to the platform to its 2015 range of VIERA televisions. Guy North, managing director of Freeview, said that "Freeview Play will put viewers back in control, and we're delighted that Panasonic is our first TV launch partner."

Panasonic plans to launch standalone boxes "at a later date", while Turkish consumer electronics group Vestel is also developing "a range of Freeview Play products".

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