Leading set-top box brand Manhattan has become the latest manufacturer to throw their weight behind Freeview Play – a new generation of internet-connected TVs and set-top-boxes which includes a scroll-back TV guide linked to popular catch-up players.
First announced last year, the service will compete against YouView and Freesat’s Freetime which already offer integrated access to BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.
Manhattan will release three STBs – a standalone receiver (T3) and two digital recorders (T3-R) which offer a choice of 500GB and 1TB hard drives. All will include Wi-fi connectivity and will be available in stores early next year. Prices have yet to be confirmed.
Ilse Howling, Managing Director, Connected TV at Digital UK, said: “It’s great that Manhattan will be bringing viewers another way to enjoy the benefits of Freeview Play on their existing TVs.
“We continue to work closely with a range of manufacturers and broadcasters on this exciting new service, which will let consumers take that natural next step into the world of connected TV, free from subscription.”
Guy North, Managing Director of Freeview, said: “The availability of a Manhattan range of Freeview Play receivers, including a set-top box and two Freeview Play recorders, is excellent news and will give consumers even more choice of Freeview Play products to buy.”
Abbas Arbab-Zadeh, Chairman and CEO of Manhattan TV, commented: “We are delighted to confirm the development of our Freeview Play products.
“We strongly believe the combination of on-demand services and live programming will put the viewer in full control of their TV.
“We plan to launch a receiver and two recorders at competitive price points, and all with Wi-fi built in. These devices will put Manhattan TV at the cutting edge of the UK television industry.”
Panasonic, Humax and Vestel have already pledged their support to the new platform.