Freeview is preparing to launch a push video on demand product drawing on content from the DTT platform’s broadcast partners including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The as yet unnamed service is set to be announced early in 2008 and will be compatible with many, but not all, of the Freeview Playback personal video recorders currently in the market. To date some 30 different Playback boxes are in the market from over 12 different manufacturers. Sales are understood to be in excess of 225,000.
Freeview’s general manager Ilse Howling told Broadband TV News that further details of the “Best of Freeview” service would be given in the New Year, once the technology was fully in place. She said that unlike the Sky Anytime service, where the satellite broadcaster held back capacity on its Sky+ boxes, Freeview viewers would most likely be given the option to opt into the service. In line with the Freeview model there would be no charge to viewers for the service, which is likely to replicate catch up TV services found in the BBC iPlayer, ITV.com and 4oD.
Content would be delivered overnight using existing capacity. Broadband TV News notes that the BBC for one has free overnight spectrum once BBC Three, BBC Four and BBC Parliament have closed for the night.
Freeview: Five years and onwards for premium subscribers in New Television Insider