Freeview Play homescreen updated on Android TV

Mike Wheatley

Viewers who access Freeview Play through Android TV will notice a major homescreen revamp in the coming days.


The refreshed Android TV interface for Freeview Play is meant to make it easier for people to find new content and “discover new favorites”, the company said.

One of the first things users will come across in their homescreen is a new “Discover” tab that provides personalised suggestions that are based on their previous viewing habits, interests and also Google Trends. There will be another update soon that will add recommendations to this from the more than 30,000 hours of on-demand content Freeview provides.

Other updates include a simplification of the “On Now” row of content. A new tile has been added here that provides access to the live TV guide, and the row also provides clearer programme information for each bit of content that’s featured in the tab.

The “On Demand” content row has also been updated, adding new player tiles (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc) that can be clicked on to go straight to that service.

Freeview Play is a free streaming service that provides access to more than 30,000 hours of on-demand content from services including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5. It’s said to be the fastest-growing service of its kind in the U.K., viewed in more than 13 million homes, with over 9 million of those described as regular viewers.

The service comes built-in with many new Smart TVs, including those sold by Panasonic, Sony, Hisense, Hitachi, Humax and JVC. It’s also available on Amazon Fire TVs and Android TVs, or alternatively through a dedicated set-top box.

Today’s changes should be welcomed by most viewers, as the integration of Freeview Play and Android TV created an interface that many say felt a bit convoluted.

“It’s so important that British viewers can easily find the content they love, whether it’s catching up on Line of Duty, or bingeing the Friday Night Dinner box set,” said Freeview Play Director of Strategy and Business Development Simon Hunt. “Working closely with Android TV, we have been able to ensure that the customer journey continues to deliver for UK viewers, and ensures Android TV remains competitive in the British market.”