Freesat launches iOS app

January 16, 2014 00.01 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Freesat-App-Showcase-16.01.14Freesat has debuted its much anticipated iOS app for use with its hybrid Freetime box range.

The app, which made its debut in the Apple Store at midnight Thursday, runs across both iPhone and iPads.

Freesat MD Emma Scott told Broadband TV News that the home page concept seen on the Freetime PVR and zapper boxes had been extended to the app. However, there were also ideas that would transfer from the app to a new version of the EPG.

“The mobile app has leapfrogged the box and we’re going to be applying that later this year,” said Scott.

“The app brings programmes to life rather than a traditional list,” she explains, showing an iPad populated by pictures of popular TV shows. “In the end we’re an entertainment service and we want people to watch stuff and get very excited.” As part of Freesat’s desire to be a curator of TV content there is a mix of linear and VOD content.

The concept of the backwards EPG is maintained, though for the shows that may have been missed there is a timeline, but not the time.

Notable features include the ‘dragging’ of shows to a TV screen icon for viewing on the TV (alternatively a simple press will suffice).

If the viewer has recorded a show they later request on demand, the app will ask for a local copy.

In the case of Channel 4 and Channel 5 on demand content the app takes you to the broadcaster’s own catch up apps. The business rules set by the BBC and ITV prevent this on their shows. It is, claims Freesat, the only app that will start all 4 PSB apps on the TV.

Five devices carrying the app can be paired to the box; viewers need only register for remote control with the barest of details, should any of them think this was the reason they avoided the pay-TV platforms.

Running through the Freesat server, it means any device can see what is on the box, and be aware of any potential clashes on desired recordings.

The app can also be used as a TV guide for non Freesat households.