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DTV Services Ltd "Freeview+"
Type Free-to-air channels digital TV recorders brand
Founded 2002
Headquarters United Kingdom London
Key people Ilse Howling
Industry Media
Products Digital TV recorder (aka Personal video recorder) specifications for manufacturers
Owner(s) Freeview (DTV Services Ltd), consisting of BBC, BSkyB, National Grid Wireless, ITV, Channel 4

Freeview+, originally known as Freeview Playback, is a consumer brand created in the UK by DTV Services Ltd (Freeview) working with the DTG Group to "raise consumer awareness and promote sales" of Freeview capable digital TV recorders otherwise known as personal video recorders. Players which meet specific quality and functionality criteria carry the Freeview Playback or Freeview+ logo, and benefit from joint marketing and consumer confidence. Branded players were available from May of 2007, and expected to be "widely available" from the end of 2007.[1]

On July 3, 2008, Freeview announced the re-branding of its Freeview Playback name to Freeview+. This new name will be rolled out across retail outlets over the next few months.[2]



Personal video recorders have been available for several years, and some brands (notably Sky+) are well known to consumers. Additionally, but less well known to consumers, is a wide range of PVRs which have inbuilt Freeview receivers (in some cases more than one). Freeview will market those that meet the standard as Freeview Playback digital TV recorders.

"Research for the consortium that owns and markets the Freeview brand—now a joint venture between the BBC, National Grid Wireless, BSkyB, ITV and Channel 4—shows that while consumers show high interest in being able to record digital programmes there is little awareness of personal (otherwise known as digital) video recorders. Uptake of digital terrestrial PVRs has therefore been limited."

The aim of Freeview+ is to raise awareness of digital TV recorders that receive the Freeview service and meet the required specification.


"Freeview will not manufacture the units itself, but will award the Freeview+ label to manufacturers that are able to meet a series of specifications that have been drawn up by the UK’s Digital TV Group. The devices will cost around £150, according to the specifications."

The following manufacturers have all announced that they will be incorporating Freeview+ into their future Recordable DTT Equipment:-


All Freeview+ receivers are required to include the following features[3]:-.

  • At least 8 Day Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
  • Series Link (one timer to record whole series)
  • Record split programmes as one programme
  • Offer to record related programme
  • Record alternative showing if there is a time conflict
  • Schedule changes updated in standby (e.g. scheduled recording starting early)
  • Accurate recording (equivalent to PDC - programmes are recorded based on signals from the broadcaster rather than scheduled time) - since this is based on signals from the broadcaster, the broadcaster can prevent recording by sending nonsense signals as a form of copy protection, as already happens on music channels. This can be circumvented by specifying a timer recording instead of a programme recording or by routing the player through a traditional VHS recorder.

See also


  1. ^ Freeview - Press
  2. ^ Freeview re-brands its subscription-free recorders to Freeview+
  3. ^ DTG Functional Specification for Digital TV Recorders v1.0 (Schedule 4)[1]

External links



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