First TVs With FreeviewPlus Live Already on Sale

Panasonic and LG are the first TV suppliers to offer FreeviewPlus.

Freeview demonstrated the new platform to media this morning using LG TVs.

LG’s category marketing manager Dylan Cruickshank says the feature went live today and all LG webOS 2.0 TV models will have HbbTV/FreeviewPlus support.

“Essentially this means all new Smart TV models introduced in 2015.

“Some customers have noticed that 2014 webOS 1.0 TVs are listed as having FreeviewPlus support for Australia, but this does not carry over to New Zealand support.

“Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as enabling the menu option for New Zealand.”

Panasonic’s assistant product manager Chris Dick says FreeviewPlus will be on all of its Smart 2015 models (CS and CX).

“It’s available now on CS650 models and will be rolled out on all other eligible models from the end of July.”

But like LG, pre-2015 Panasonic TVs can’t install the platform.

Sony’s Smart TV models are expected to have it in a few weeks while Samsung will roll out their FreeviewPlus models from August 1 (when it will update software for current owners of the J5500 series and above).

“With FreeviewPlus being added to our 2015 range, our smart TVs will provide complete choice and flexibility for kiwi viewing, be it through broadcast or on demand,” marketing head Mike Cornwell says.

Samsung started testing the platform today and claims with its addition, the company’s TVs “will offer the largest and easiest-to-access range of content and internet streaming service apps available on screen than any other TV manufacturer on the market”.

Samsung already has Netflix, PGA Tour and TVNZ OnDemand apps, and buyers of its 2015 TVs get a free six-month subscription to Netflix.

Meanwhile, Panasonic announced today its 2015 UHD models have earned the Netflix Recommended TV designation from Netflix itself (it follows LG receiving the same designation earlier this year).

“Netflix’s designation highlights Panasonic’s 2015 TVs for offering a genuinely high quality, superior level of smart TV performance and digital content stream management.

“The designation also covers TVs which faithfully render Netflix streams to their screens in the quality intended for them.”

Netflix recognised Panasonic’s 2015 4K TVs because:

  • They enable TV activation and launch of Netflix with just a single button press on the TV remote itself
  • Apps quickly open in general and resume quickly from wherever a user last left them off
  • The user-friendly Firefox OS interface on the Panasonic 2015 models allows for easy navigation and switching around between apps, browsing and inputs.

The new Firefox OS interface is highly customisable and offers a ‘Pin’ function that allows users to easily and quickly bookmark their favourite channels, websites, apps and devices.

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6 Responses to “First TVs With FreeviewPlus Live Already on Sale”

  1. I see another great sales pitch coming up. “Buy your new smart TV now with FreeViewPlus. All your existing technology is now obsolete and so will this be in two years’ time.”

  2. I understand your scepticism, Paul, but FreeviewPlus doesn’t make other Freeview platforms obsolete, just inferior.

  3. I bought a smart LG TV 13 weeks ago, in April 2015, but it will not operate FreeviewPlus even though the handbook says it will in Australia (as the LG spokesman refers to above). It’s a complete rort to be selling old 2014 LG models well into 2015 without alerting customers that a few months later they will not play FreeviewPlus. Shame on LG, they need to release a firmware upgrade for existing smart TVs that already have WebOS.

  4. Completely understand your frustration, Chris. Sadly, it’s symptomatic of how technology advances. Unless you’re getting a great deal on a model being run out, it’s always better to wait until you can afford the latest model of a TV. In other words, buy in the last six months of a calendar year rather than the first (although you’ll pay a premium price). I’m sure if LG could do a firmware update, it would, but clearly it’s not technically feasible. The same will be true of other TV manufacturers. I’ve asked LG to comment on your experience and will check with Freeview as to why it’s not possible to update TVs as new as yours.

  5. Hooray! Following on from my unhappy post of 29 July above, LG have released, two days ago, on 29 October a firmware upgrade for over 20 of their 2014 LG smart TV models that will install FreeviewPlus. If you have updates automatically enabled the firmware has probably already been installed and you might just have to enable it via Settings/program.

    More info here:
    http://www.freeviewnz.tv/freeview/2015-approved-freeviewplus-models/lg-models/

    Full credit to LG for this upgrade.

  6. Thanks, Chris, that’s great news. Appreciate the update. And I quite agree — kudos to LG for keeping good faith with its customers.

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