Freeview to release new personal video recorder

Freeview’s Liz Ross said the time was right for networks to get their on-demand services into the market. Photo: James AlcockFreeview will launch its first personal video recorder on Tuesday as it markets the one-year anniversary of the launch of its FreeviewPlus service.

Freeview is hoping the launch of a PVR will help the service grow, as it continues to add to the range of television brands, including Samsung, Sony and LG, with competition increasing over the last 12 months.

“It was the right time for the networks to do something about getting their on-demand services out into the market, particularly the commercial networks,” Freeview chief executive Liz Ross said.

Since the launch of FreeviewPlus in September 2014, Foxtel has halved its entry level price to $25, and subscription video on-demand services Netflix and Stan, which is 50-50 owned by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, have launched in Australia.

Foxtel’s penetration has remained relatively stable at about 30 per cent in recent years, unlike the American market where subscription TV penetration is more than 85 per cent.

Freeview will be hoping the combination of the free-to-air broadcaster’s catch-up services and the ability to record live television, will keep Australians tuned into free content. Multiple chanels

Freeview’s first certified PVR will have a digital tuner, built-in wi-fi, a 1 terabyte hard drive and allow for multiple channels to be recorded at once.

Ms Ross said sales for the set-top box it launched in May were going well, with retailers going through several re-orders and more retailers trying to sign on to sell the box.

In its first year FreeviewPlus has won best enhanced TV service at the international interactive TV awards and was shortlisted for best TV or video service to update or launch at the Videonet Connected TV Awards.

“This is an exciting time in television. New services, interactive advertising, personalisation and social networking are all possible with this technology platform and we will continue to see more innovation in the near future from our free-to-air broadcasters,” Ms Ross said.

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