Freely to land on Panasonic, Metz, Sharp and Toshiba TVs

Mike Wheatley

The U.K.’s newest free video streaming service, called Freely, has revealed that it will soon land on new televisions from Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp and Metz.


The Freely service made its debut in April of this year and the first TV brand to preinstall the app was Hisense. It was later added to TVs manufactured by Bush, and now more TV makers are getting in on the action.

If you’re not familiar with Freely, its a brand new, free to watch streaming service that was built by an organization called Everyone TV, which is a joint venture owned by the BBC, ITV, Chanel 4 and Channel 5.

It provides access to live and on-demand content from all of those broadcasters, and it’s totally free to watch, with the only requirement being that you have a TV and an internet connection. It can be thought of as the Web’s answers to Freeview Play, which also provides an enormous library of on-demand and live content from British broadcasters, but is broadcast over traditional terrestrial airwaves.

Freely said in an announcement that its streaming app will actually replace the Freeview Play service on Panasonic’s 2024 OLED and LED TVs when they launch in the coming months, but it didn’t name any specific models. In addition, Sharp’s 2024 smart TVs, including the Sharp GK4 and Sharp GM6, will also sacrifice Freeview Play for Freely, as will various unnamed models made by Toshiba and some of Metz’s “QLED+” TV models.

In the wake of its launch in April, Freely has attracted some positive reviews, with the likes of WhatHiFi noting that it provides a “significant upgrade” to Freeview Play, with more streamlined user interfaces and navigation tools.

Freely has said its main aim is to make free TV accessible to everyone in the U.K. and so its efforts to integrate the app with TV makers is a big step in that direction. At the time of its launch, Freely executives pointed out that there are more than four millions homes across the U.K. that don’t have a TV aerial installed, which means their residents are unable to watch Freeview Play.

"Having recently brought Freely to market on new Hisense and Bush TVs, we’re delighted to be announcing increased availability of Freely with four new smart TV partners due to launch later this year," said Deep Halder, Chief Commercial Officer at Everyone TV.

The app provides a few innovations not seen on other free TV services, such as pause and restart functionality on some live channels. If you’re watching a live channel on Freely, you’ll be able to pause the content for up to 15 minutes, before resuming where you left off, which should be more than enough time to make a quick cup of tea or put some food in the microwave.

Freely doesn’t yet offer functions such as rewinding or fast-forwarding of live content, but it has said it may add these capabilities at a later date.