3 incredible Sky Glass features you can find on Freely, the free broadband replacement for Freeview

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You could watch television never would be the same as millions of people abandoning antennas and satellite dishes in favor of broadband television. According to Sky, 90% of new customers now choose it or the all-in-one Sky Glass TV or Sky Stream box – both of which send live television to screens via a Wi-Fi connection.

Rivals such as Virgin Media Stream And the recently relaunched EE TV Rely on a good broadband connection to bring linear channels and on-demand streamers to every room in your home.

Last month saw the highly anticipated launch of Freely – a new platform from the team behind Freeview that has been built from the ground up to stream live television channels over broadband. The release comes just over five months later the name and logo were first teased by Everyone TVthe organization behind Freeview and Freesat, backed by the UK’s biggest broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

the free logo is designed to resemble an emoji, shown here in an animated GIF

Freely is a completely new platform that promises to deliver terrestrial channels and on-demand content to your Smart TV via broadband – without the need for an antenna or satellite dish


As long as you have a TV license, you can watch Freely completely free. However, you will need to upgrade your existing Freeview Play hardware as this is not a simple software update.

Freely will replace Freeview and Freesat in the coming years, especially if it concerns Rishi Sunak’s government fails to secure the coming shutdown of traditional TV broadcastsHow does Freely compare to its paid counterparts?

Has Everyone TV managed to recreate the Sky Glass and Sky Stream viewing experience made possible by the UK broadcasters’ practice EntertainmentOS software, at a fraction of the cost? We went through the list of options between these two broadband platforms to find out.

Watch a live preview before changing channels

Ever wish you could check if the show has already started on the other end for are you changing channels? Or do you want to know if the ad break has ended before you change channels?

Sky TV viewers have long been able to watch a live preview of another channel before deciding whether to switch sides. This smart feature was introduced in early February 2016 with the Sky Q box.

The useful functionality can also be found in the newer Sky Glass and Sky Stream hardware. And for the first time, Freely will offer the same trick to millions of viewers watching free TV in Britain.

animated gif showing the mini guide on the screen with free tv

The Mini Guide provides more information about the program you are currently watching, a shortcut to additional catch-up episodes, and the ability to start over from the beginning


Loosely calls this feature the Mini Guide.

Whenever you switch between live channels on a freely compatible set-top box or Smart TV, a pop-up will appear at the bottom of the screen with details of what you’re currently watching, what’s going to happen next, and an option to restart the current program from the beginning to start.

If multiple episodes of the same show are available on demand via a catch-up service such as iPlayer, ITVX or My5, Info and episodes Using the button in the mini guide you can scroll through the catalog and jump to another episode.

As you cycle through other channels using the directional arrows on your remote, the show’s artwork is replaced with a live preview of what’s happening on the other end.

Restart a show from the beginning with one tap

Missed the start of your show? Fortunately, the days of waiting for the credits to roll on the episode are over for you can see that the on-demand version is long gone. With Freely you can restart a program at the touch of a button any point during the live broadcast.

When watching a linear television channel, call up the Mini Guide with a tap on your remote and see your progress through the program, the scheduled end time, and a shortcut to Restarting.

trigger point itv show displayed on a flat screen tv with the free interface

The Mini Guide includes a shortcut to restart the episode from the beginning, immediately restarting the program and streaming from a catch-up service


Tapping this will stream the episode from the relevant catch-up service (BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4) so ​​you can watch it from the start.

This capability has been built into BBC iPlayer for a while now, so it makes sense to see this handy feature built into Freely from the start. Sky Stream and Sky Glass viewers will also be used to skipping back to the beginning when tuning in late to a TV show, film or sports coverage.

A mix of live television and on-demand episodes

One of the biggest problems all TV platforms are trying to solve is bringing together shows, documentaries and movies from a wide range of live channels, streaming apps and digital stores into one menu.

If you watch Freeview Play you should know exactly which streaming service has the TV show you are trying to watch in its catalog. Then you’ll need to navigate the menu and load the app to start watching.

Freely is designed to remove some of these steps.

animated gif showing the process of scrolling through previous episodes of a show from the mini guide

Provides quick access to previously aired episodes of a show for free, without having to launch a specific app from the main menu


When you watch an episode of a program on live television, the mini guide contains a Info and episodes knob. A carousel of previous episodes and seasons will appear, all available for immediate viewing. Clicking on any of these episodes will queue up the show from the relevant streaming service.

You don’t need to know if the TV show is recorded on BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4 or UKTV Play. Freely handles all administration on its side, and you can start watching in seconds.

Sky Stream and Sky Glass rely on a feature known as Playlist, which brings together catalogs of all the streaming apps supported on EntertainmentOS.

Everything flows together seamlessly – even if the latest series of a particular show is airing on BBC iPlayer, but previous episodes are only available to catch up on on Netflix.

You can browse through all the episodes in a carousel without having to jump between different apps.

Freely has not yet confirmed support for Netflix, Prime Video or Disney+, so the number of options available is below Info and episodes The menu won’t be quite the same as Sky Glass and Sky Stream, but it’s off to a strong start and will likely only grow as more TV manufacturers support the software.

promotional image of freewheeling with a TV covered with the words all you need is wifi

Freely becomes the standard way to watch live and on-demand television on new Smart TVs from popular brands including Hisense and Vestel. Instead of a TV antenna, it uses an internet connection and catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and ITVX to stream shows


Everyone TV says the arrival of Freely marks the first time all four UK public broadcasters have come together to launch a streaming proposal and marks the start of “a journey to secure the future of free TV through collaboration.”

Unlike Freesat, which requires a satellite dish, and Freeview, which relies on an antenna to bring live channels to your television, to get started with Freely all you need is a Wi-Fi connection. As such, you are not limited Where you can place your television in any room… as long as you have good WiFi coverage.

Freely is not a software update for your existing Smart TV or set-top box with Freeview. Instead, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the many new Smart TVs coming to UK retailers in the coming months.

freely browse the menu shown in screenshot

Browse a new menu on Freely devices that brings together live channels and on-demand shows based on your tastes. It has a special button on your TV remote


Telly brand Hisense will be the first to deliver Smart TVs with Freely as the default way to watch television. These new sets can be ordered later today from Currys, Argos, AO and Very.

Rival manufacturer Vestel has confirmed plans to launch free TVs in the coming weeks, with more brands likely to follow soon.

Everyone TV confirmed that discussions are underway with UKTV to bring its portfolio of free-to-air channels to Freely via your broadband connection. UKTV is the award-winning brand that produces channels such as Dave, Drama, Yesterday and W.

These are all currently available via Freeview and Freesat, so we expect them to be included in TV guide and on-demand options when the first Freely TVs hit store shelves.

In addition to its participation in Freely, the BBC has also done so outlined plans to scale up its BBC iPlayer service in the coming year, ahead of the next review of license fees by the next UK government.

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