What is Freeview?

Freeview's logo, you might see on TVs and PVRs
Freeview’s logo, you might see on TVs and PVRs

If you watch any TV at all you’ve probably seen ads for “Freeview”. They’re big on flashy montage but very low on substance and don’t really explain what it is. I’ll do my best to explain what Freeview actually is.

Freeview is just simply a flashy marketing name for Free to Air TV on Digital TV. Why they needed a special name for it I’ll never understand but I’m sure some expensive consultant said it was a good idea. There are a couple of things to be aware of with regard to Freeview when buying a new TV or Personal Video Recorder.

Some devices are branded “Freeview”. Others are branded “Freeview EPG”. “Freeview” simply means it’s a Digital TV that can receive all the digital channels being broadcast in Australia. “Freeview EPG” means that the Electronic Program Guide on the TV complies with the standard that Freeview has defined. This means it supports certain conventions of how the program guide is designed and works. It should ensure that the device’s electronic program guide works well and is easy to use.

That said, that doesn’t mean that TVs and Personal Video Recorders that don’t carry the “Freeview EPG” logo aren’t any good. It just means they haven’t paid for the logo.

I would suggest that if you are buying a new Digital TV or Personal Video Recorder, check out how the Electronic Program Guide on that particular model works. It is something that can really make things better particularly on the recorders.

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