What makes Freeview Play the perfect telly experience?

Blog > Guides
19 Apr • 6 min read

In a recent post, we took you through the must-have Freeview features, but now we are taking things up a notch. That’s right - there’s something even better than Freeview - and it’s called Freeview Play.

But what is Freeview Play? It’s everything you love about the core Freeview service, but cut free from the restrictions of a broadcast schedule thanks to the addition of an internet connection. It’s a small change, but one which makes a big difference - it puts your favourite British catch-up and on demand services right there alongside the live channels we all love.

That makes TVs and boxes which use Freeview Play super smart and super simple, meaning you can watch your favourite shows whenever you want to watch them. That could be live, the next evening, or even in a few days time - whenever suits you!

You’ll see a range of manufacturers using Freeview Play as the basis for their TV or set top box. That’s another great thing about Freeview Play - it’s not restrictive. Manufacturers like us can choose to add new features or change the design of how the different elements look - all in service of giving you the best viewing experience possible.

And we might be biased - but we believe our T3-R is the best example of what a Freeview Play box can do. Here’s why.

A truly flexible TV guide

TV guide scroll back

At the heart of Freeview Play is a feature you’ll never want to live without again. The TV guides we grew up with only moved in one dimension - forwards. You could watch whatever was on at that moment or plan your future viewing, but that was it. Freeview Play boxes like our Manhattan T3-R offer you a TV guide that works like a time machine, allowing you to scroll back through the last seven days and if a show or movie catches your eye, and the relevant broadcaster has it on their app, you can watch it there and then! Trust us - the first time you use this feature it will feel like you’re travelling back in time - it’s that good.

Featured picks

Freeview Play would already be a must-have if all it did was make it easy to catch up on your favourite shows through on demand apps like iPlayer and ITV Hub. But it’s so much more - it actually brings the content from these different apps together, making Freeview Play a joy to navigate.

We love this feature so much we’ve made it the heart and soul of the T3-R with our Featured section. That’s right - our boxes pick out the best programmes and movies to watch across all of the apps and put them all in one place for you. No more faffing around trying to navigate from one app to the next - extra time to watch your favourite telly!

Search - the easy way

No more scrolling down All 4 wondering why you can’t find Saturday Kitchen, or trying to remember if Bake Off has gone from BBC to Channel 4 or vice versa - Freeview Play gives you one place to search them all. Whatever you’re looking for, our universal search tracks down any show you’re after - with instant results as you type. Amazing, isn’t it?


Last but certainly not least, our wonderful Watchlist! This is our secret sauce - something you won’t find on any other Freeview Play box or TV. It’s an incredibly simple, but useful feature which lets you save shows to watch later. Find yourself browsing our Featured section or scrolling back in the TV Guide and struggling to pick between all the amazing telly? Just save it all to your Watchlist to watch later. It doesn’t matter if it’s in BBC iPlayer or My5, you can save everything all together in one place to watch when you’re ready.

That’s it. That’s Freeview Play on the T3-R. Everything you love about Freeview in a smart, easy to use package.

Still curious? We love chatting about our boxes, so drop us a line via Twitter, Facebook or and say hi.