Freeview Play is the next big thing coming to your television. The new service from Freeview aims to offer connected services on a par with YouView, Sky and Virgin Media, giving you access to catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5.
As expected, Humax has announced the first set-top boxes for Freeview Play, meaning you'll be able to upgrade your existing TV to accept the new service. That might be replacing an existing set-top box, or instead of the internal tuner on your television.
The Humax FVP-4000T comes in two colours, with a design that's a little more original than your regular black set-top box. There's faux stitching around the leather look top and it comes in two colours - cappuccino and mocha. Yes, this is a set-top box in a spectrum of brown hues.
The FVP-4000T runs on the Opera Devices SDK, has three tuners (record two channels and watch a third, for example), and comes with either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive. That will give you 300 or 600 hours of programme storage respectively.
Importantly, the new Humax FVP-4000T is connected, with both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections so you can connect to your router to get the free catch-up services, which is the whole reason behind Freeview Play.
Freeview Play aims to blend broadcast and catch-up so it's easy to find content through the EPG no matter what the source. A similar service is already offered by YouView. Although other devices and set-top boxes offer the same catch-up services, often you have to open each app individually to find the content you want.
As an added bonus, Humax has also confirmed that it has brokered a deal with Netflix, with an upgrade to include the streaming TV and movies service in early 2016. That will require a Netflix subscription, however.
In terms of connectivity we can see that the FVP-4000T offers HDMI - which you'll need for those HD channels - Composite, optical, as well as RF loopthrough and a USB.
The Humax FVP-4000T will cost £199.99 for the 500GB model, and £229.99 for the 1TB model. It will be available from today from the normal high street retailers, like John Lewis, Argos and Tesco.
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