Freeview Explore showcases the biggest and best on demand programmes from Freeview Play

Curated lists, suggestive searching help key shows to stand out from the crowd

A new Explore screen is coming to Freeview Play TVs, showcasing the best on demand content available as well as providing quick access to on demand players. 

Essentially, it brings more of a BT YouView or Sky Q-style experience to the platform, with suggested content, images for each show and the ability to search all 20,000 programmes on the platform.

The recommended content will be from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and UKTV Play, although Freeview says that more broadcasters will be featured as they join Freeview Play.

There's also a new Help and Alerts area which will help the not-insignificant number of smart TV n00bs to get to grips with Freeview Play. 

Freeview Play is the latest version of the renowned free-to-air digital TV platform that mixes catch-up and on demand capabilities, so you can go back in time if you've missed your favourite show, just as you can on YouView. 

Over 1.5 million Freeview Play devices have now been sold and over 20 tech brands support the platform. It's similar to the capabilities  offered by the likes of Sky, Virgin Media and BT or TalkTalk with YouView

Freeview Play features

If you're familiar with the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5 catch-up apps on your computer or phone then you already know what Freeview Play is: it's these apps working alongside Freeview. 

You get up to 70 standard channels, up to 15 HD channels and 25 radio stations in total. 

Everything is wrapped in a unified interface that's accessed through your smart television set or a separate set-top box (from around £80 if you want to upgrade an existing TV). If it's integrated into your new TV, you don't need a separate box. 

Similar to YouView, the scroll-back TV guide provides instant access to the last seven days’ worth of programming. And like YouView, Sky and Virgin, Freeview Play also enables you to search live and on demand content in one unified search interface. 

There's also an accompanying app for Android and iOS that lets you view what's coming up and set programme reminders.

The 2017 updates to Freeview Play include support for Ultra HD 4K and HDR content for programmes delivered via broadband (depending on your equipment and connection speed). More features are slated for later this year.

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Dan Grabham

Dan is a previous Editor for and covered the latest in computing, home entertainment and mobile tech. He's also the former Deputy Editor of TechRadar and former Editor of Lifehacker UK. Dan has written for numerous computing and lifestyle magazines and has also written a book, too. You'll see him pop up in numerous places, having been quoted in or on The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, ITN News, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4 and Sky News Radio.