Digital UK has shown the first pictures of the EPG that will be used by Panasonic for its interpretation of the new FreeviewPlay platform.

In many ways the featureset is somewhat familiar to any other EPG of recent years, with a grid layout and the ability to go back in time. There are however new buttons, such as the yellow catch up that gives access to the on demand players from DigitalUK shareholders the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Ilse Howling, managing director, Connected TV, Digital UK, says FreeviewPlay is moving fast less than a year after the launch of DigitalUK’s five-year investment programme. “Just as over the last decade Freeview and Digital UK helped millions of homes make the transition from analogue to digital over the next decade our ambition is to help take them through the next natural step into the hybrid world.”

A funding approach has been adopted asking for a modest contribution from the manufacturers and the service providers. She said there was a simple agreement that gave them access to all the Freeview on demand players, the metadata system, and use of new test materials. They also benefit from the investment Freeview is putting behind what she described as a new investment category.

She said it was value for money when compared to other platform investment fees and the cost of going it alone.

There had been criticism from what techUK described as a ‘Digital Levy’ that would ultimately passed onto the consumer.

Testing has now begun by Panasonic and Humax following ongoing work on the platform by Arqiva.

Freeview has now passed the 100 million mark for the number of digital terrestrial television TVs and boxes sold since its launch in 2002. The figure includes all televisions, set-top boxes and DVD and Blu-ray devices with an inbuilt Freeview DVB-T SD or HD tuner.

Integrated digital televisions (IDTVs) make up the majority (66%) of Freeview units sold, at just over 70 million. Freeview+ digital TV recorders account for over six million sales.

HD televisions and boxes account for 16 million sales and have seen year-on-year growth since Freeview HD was launched in 2010. Of these, 98% of sales were TVs.