Freesat has unveiled its next generation of satellite-based free television called Free time. The new service, which uses a combination of internet-connected TV catch-up content and satellite-based free TV, uses an entirely new UI and design from Freesat.
Those who opt for Free time boxes will not only have access to everything Freesat+ offers, but will at launch also be able to go backwards in time, TiVo style, to watch content on iPlayer and ITV player. Unfortunately there isn't any access to Demand Five or 4OD just yet, but they will be present on the boxes before Christmas.
Freesat has built the majority of the new user interface using HTML 5, which makes it extremely easy to update and add to its capabilities. There is talk of things such as Netflix and Spotify being added, although this is not yet confirmed by Freesat.
An application will also launch by the end of the year that allows you to control the Free time box using your smartphone or tablet. Right now, the actual boxes themselves exist in only one form: the Humax Freesat Free time box. It goes on sale at the end of this month for around £279 at John Lewis and Currys.
There are also deals in place with Sagemcom and Manhattan to produce the boxes, so expect to see some alternatives to start cropping up soon enough. Humax's offering comes in either a 500GB hard drive or 1TB.