The latest TVs can now show you what's available to watch online with support for all the free to air channels (SBS, ABC, 7, 9 and 10) with catch up TV support built in to almost every new TV in Australia. Freeview Plus allows you to not only watch something live but also watch your favourite show anytime.
Now you can access all of the available Catch Up TV programs in one place on your TV. Go backwards in the program guide to find available Catch Up programs or go straight to the network's Catch Up service.
The FreeviewPlus help tells you that recording from the FreeviewPlus EPG on a PVR (though we haven't found one on the market with FreeviewPlus so far) may be pretty much just a matter of pressing the record button, but it doesn't tell you that on a TV with PVR function there's no connection. You have to exit the FreeviewPlus EPG before you can schedule a recording either via the TV's EPG or manually. Not very helpful, really.
There are some good features to FreeviewPlus such as:
- the display of all TV networks' programs without the need to change channels
- a search function
- picture in picture, so you can still see the program you're currently tuned to
- a program synopsis
- the ability to set reminders for favourite TV show.
However, it's slow to start and doesn't keep information locally on the TV. Every time you restart it, it has to link to its database via the internet and there's a delay before the program information is available. Of course, no internet means no FreeviewPlus and you'll have to resort to the EPG supplied by the TV manufacturer.
At this stage, you can't make FreeviewPlus the default EPG, so you have to put up with the logo and instructions popping up on your screen when you change channel and use the coloured buttons on your remote to access it.
On the whole it's an OK EPG with some nice extra features. But it feels like a beta version, and until the integration with the TV's remote control, PVR and the various catch-up apps improves, it won't be finished.