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(Pocket-lint) - Freeview Play launched in November 2015 as the company's new connected TV service. With it you're able to scroll backwards and forward by seven days to either set recordings for future shows, or catch-up on the ones you've missed. Catch-up apps are baked into Freeview Play so there's no need to go through separate menus, making the whole process much simpler.

Freeview Play is available on a whole host of TVs and set-top boxes, and while the TVs may be great in their own right, a set-top box is undoubtedly a more affordable but just as effective upgrade for your current screen. Here's seven reasons why you should buy a Freeview Play set-top box. 

1. It's free!

Okay, well, the box isn't of course, but they're not that expensive. The cheapest route into Freeview Play is with a 500GB Humax FVP-4000T set-top box at £139. Once you've got that, the Freeview Play service itself is entirely free to use, no subscription required.

2. You can record your favourite shows

All Freeview Play boxes available have built-in hard drives so you can record your favourite shows. They come in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes which should be plenty of space for the average telly watcher. A 500GB hard drive will let you store up to 300 hours of standard definition TV, or up to 125 hours of HD content.

3. You can use your phone or tablet as a second screen

Both the Humax FVP-4000T and Panasonic's range of Freeview Play boxes have the ability to let you use your phone or tablet as a second screen, either to watch live programmes at home or on the go, or to watch recorded content stored on your box.

4. Catch up apps are pre-installed

One of the big draws of Freeview Play is it has integrated access to the major catch-up services: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Demand 5 and UKTV Play. But your Freeview Play box also has access to other apps such as BBC News, BBC Sport, YouTube. 

5. You can stream files around your home

Freeview Play boxes have built-on Wi-Fi and DLNA compatibility. This means it can access any files you have stored on a Networked Attached Storage (NAS) drive, or any device that also supports DLNA.

6. They support Netflix and Amazon Instant Video

A Freeview Play box could be the only device you need underneath your TV. Not only does it have the major catch-up apps installed, but all Panasonic Freeview Play boxes have Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, while the Humax FVP-4000T has Netflix.

7. You can play Blu-ray discs on them too

Panasonic has three boxes that support Freeview Play and have a built-in Blu-ray drive, which can upscale full HD Blu-ray discs to near 4K quality. It makes them the ideal one-box home entertainment solution to nestle under your screen.

Get catch-up and on demand TV for £0 per month with Freeview Play. Click here to find out more.