Biggest Freeview shake-up in years! First Smart TVs to work with Freely confirmed ahead of 2024 launch in UK

the freely logo is designed to resemble an emoji, pictured here in an animated GIF

Freely is a completely new platform that promises to beam terrestrial channels and on-demand content to your Smart TV via broadband — with no aerial or satellite dish needed

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 15/12/2023

- 16:25

Updated: 30/04/2024

- 10:45

Hisense becomes the first manufacturer to sign agreement to bring Freely to its Smart TVs

  • Freely brings the same live TV channels as Freeview over a broadband connection
  • You'll no longer need an aerial or satellite dish to watch linear telly
  • Freely will launch sometime in 2024
  • It's not backwards compatible, so you'll need to upgrade your TV to replace Freeview

Freeview is about to embark on its biggest shake-up in years with the arrival of Freely.

This all-new platform isn’t strictly a replacement for Freeview or Freesat, but is likely to become the default way to watch free-to-air channels and on-demand content in the coming years.

While Freeview relies on an aerial to bring terrestrial channels to your Smart TV or set-top box and Freesat relies on a satellite dish, Freely will offer the same selection of live channels over a broadband connection.

That means you won’t need to worry about aerials or satellite dishes to watch your favourite shows. It also means rooms in your home without an aerial port will soon be able to stream linear television for the first time.

Freely is due to launch next year. It’s being built by Everyone TV – a collaboration between the biggest broadcasters in the UK, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 – who just announced the first Freely partnership with a TV manufacturer.

Hisense will become the first TV brand to support Freely when it’s arrives in early 2024, Everyone TV has confirmed. That means you’ll see Freely branding on the packaging for new Smart TVs. These models will arrive with a dedicated button on remote controls. Both companies have signed-up to a five-year collaboration.

Freely promotional image highlights some of the shows available including Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off

Freely promotional image highlights some of the shows available over a wired broadband connection or Wi-Fi with your Smart TV or dedicated set-top box


Speaking about the new partnership, Howard Grindrod, Vice President of Hisense UK, said: “We’re proud to be leading the way and becoming the first TV manufacturers to bring Freely to the UK market.

"We’re always looking to enhance our product offering and find new ways to add value to our consumers, and this partnership with Freely does just that.”

As well as the partnership with Hisense, Everyone TV has revealed the new logo for its Freely service. It's designed to resemble an emoji (the company calls it the “Freemoji”) to highlight the internet-focused and playful brand identity.

Although it’s possible to get access to Freeview channels via broadband at the moment, it’s restricted to paid-for options like the all-new EE TV, Virgin Media Stream, Sky Stream, and Sky Glass.

Aside from the TV Licence fee and the cost of your monthly broadband bills, Freely will be completely free to watch. An updated TV Guide will let you browse the selection of channels (BBC One, ITV1, Dave, Sky Mix, Channel 4, Film4, 5 USA, Sky Arts, DMAX, Quest, and many others) while catch-up services will be built into the service, so you don’t have to worry about missing a show.

Freely will be exclusive to the next generation of Smart TVs set to launch next year. Don’t expect your current telly to receive a software update to replace Freeview and Freeview Play (the internet-connected element with catch-up content) with Freely anytime soon.

There’s still a huge number of unanswered questions around Freely. Everyone TV hasn’t confirmed whether Freely will let you pause or rewind live television, and there’s no word on whether it will be coming to devices like Fire TV or Roku as a standalone app.

Amy Rowcliffe, Marketing Director at Everyone TV, addressed the new logo in a statement, saying: “The name Freely represents the ability to watch for free but also the freedom to choose how and what you watch.

“We have a cheeky, modern, and expressive character – which we have dubbed ‘Freemoji’ – that brings the brand to life as the viewer’s welcoming and inquisitive companion. Happy, sad, excited, scared, great free TV has the power to make us feel every emotion and we wanted a character to represent this.”

More details, including the release date, new features coming to the app, and other manufacturers that will include Freely with their Smart TVs, are due to be announced in the near future.

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