New Zealand’s new Freeview On Demand service is setting the standard for video on demand delivery to smart TVs via HbbTV, said FreeviewNZ’s Jason Foden at the Mediatech Pacific Conference 2018 in Auckland yesterday.
Developed by leading Over the Top solution provider Switch Media, the On Demand service commenced a rolling launch earlier last month to replace the previous FreeviewPlus offering.
One of the key features of Switch’s technology, and benefit for ad agencies/media buyers/clients, is the ability of their technology to deliver streamed programmes without the annoying buffering. The system also “dodges” or goes around ad-blocker to ensure client ads are delivered to the viewing audience.
The service provides viewers with a major upgrade to the previous FreeviewPlus platform with seamless browsing, effortless streaming and optimised playback of TVNZ, Three and Maori Television content.
Foden said the solution, a single Freeview App supported by the Switch Media back end, met the needs of the changing face of media and entertainment consumption in New Zealand for now and the future.
“Switch Media provided a flexible and innovative framework for on-boarding of participating broadcaster content compatible with a range of popular Smart TVs in the NZ market,” he said.
“The viewer-centric approach taken in its development means viewers can now enjoy easier access to On Demand and a more seamless viewing experience.”
Switch Media delivers world-class OTT solutions for clients across a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers, through to educational institutions and government. They work with the major broadcasters in Australia – including Channel 7, Network Ten, SBS, ABC and Foxtel – and developed the world-first multi-award-winning Freeview FV mobile app.
“One of the key benefits for ad agencies/media buyers/clients, is the ability of the technology to deliver streamed programmes without the annoying buffering.”
Its Chief Technical Officer, Luke Durham, said the new delivery solution not only immediately enhances the viewing experience, but also presents Freeview and their member broadcasters the chance to grow the audience and realise new revenue opportunities.
“If we look at why leading streaming companies around the world are so successful, it’s because they give people what they want and make it easy for them to access it,” he said.
“The Freeview On Demand platform makes the viewing experience consistent across all programmes and expands the features to improve the overall experience.
“By pooling resources into a single service, it has enabled Freeview NZ and its member broadcasters to lower costs, as well as improve quality and reliability, and foster innovation.
“The platform we have delivered for Freeview NZ can easily be extended in the future beyond smart TVs and made available on companion services, so people can watch live and on-demand TV shows and movies anywhere at any time.”
The Freeview On-Demand platform also enables a range of new features that are, or soon will be available for viewers, including the ability to: browse and search the programme guide without interrupting the current program they are watching;
- plan viewing on the go using reminders and notifications;
- control their Personal Video Recorders (PVR) from anywhere so they can set up recordings remotely; and,
- record and playback programmes without a PVR, where the recordings are created in the ‘cloud’.
- The development of IP streaming on the Freeview service will also enable niche content offerings to be made available which is not feasible using the traditional broadcast approach.
Durham said the most significant optimisation that benefits advertisers and viewers alike is the introduction of server-side ad insertion.
“The ads are stitched into the VOD streams before they are sent to the screen, which eliminates buffering and gives a more seamless TV-like experience,” he said.
“Furthermore, the solution provides insights that enable broadcasters to deliver a personalised viewing experience for their audience. They can serve ads tailored to the viewer based on information such as viewing history, location or by specific rules, ensuring maximum ad revenue.
“Not only is this good for broadcasters but also for viewers. Research we recently conducted shows viewers don’t mind advertising, especially on free-to-air TV, provided it isn’t too intrusive or disruptive, and is relevant. Server-side ad insertion technology, such as AdEase, is a key solution to this problem.”
About Switch Media
Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video solutions for a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers through to educational institutions and government. Utilising its multi-screen video platform, Media Manager, coupled with a world-class technical team, Switch Media delivers OTT solutions for a superior Live and Catch-Up viewing experience – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Its services include content editing platforms, app development, tools to monetise content, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices.
Switch Media is excited to have provided end-to-end development and delivery of the Freeview On Demand platform. Read Freeview Limited press release below to find out more.
“Freeview NZ is pleased to have partnered with OTT service provider Switch Media to deliver the new Freeview On Demand platform. Switch Media provided a flexible and innovative framework for easy on-boarding of participating broadcaster content, compatible with a range of popular Smart TVs in the NZ market. The viewer-centric approach taken in its development means viewers can now enjoy easier access to On Demand and a more seamless viewing experience.” – Freeview CEO, Jason Foden
Freeview launches new On Demand Experience
Source: PRESS RELEASE | FREEVIEW LIMITED | Tuesday 3 July 2018
Freeview has commenced roll-out of a new On Demand TV Platform to replace the existing FreeviewPlus service. The new Freeview On Demand provides a more seamless experience and easier access to free shows and movies you can watch any time, directly on your TV. Implemented in collaboration with leading New Zealand broadcasters (TVNZ, MediaWorks, Māori Television and RNZ), the new platform supersedes the broadcasters’ own TVNZ OnDemand, ThreeNow and Māori Television On Demand apps previously linked to FreeviewPlus. By combining shows across all participating broadcasters into a single content library and streaming them all within the new Freeview On Demand platform, it greatly improves content discovery and access.
Viewers are free to browse by genre, catch up by channel or locate specific titles through the search feature.
And rather than being sent to a show page on a linked broadcaster app, the show or movie selected by the viewer in the Freeview On Demand library will now play straight
away. Viewers will be asked to register for a new Freeview account when they stream their first show, so they won’t need to register for multiple accounts as more content partners are added. Signing up to a new Freeview account can also provide viewing history and deliver personalisation features in the future.
Freeview CEO, Jason Foden, says the platform has been designed with the viewer at the heart of the experience.
“Everything about the upgraded platform is designed to give our viewers the best experience possible. Its simple design and streamlined playback help to improve performance, a simpler mini guide points to a compelling On Demand library, the TV Guide provides more information at a glance, it’s easier to use and remains free.
“I’m confident the simplicity of the new platform and its visually-compelling interface will give Kiwis a greater viewing experience.” Foden concludes.
The new Freeview On Demand is available now on selected Smart TVs and will roll out over the coming week to all Smart TVs released since July 2015, as well as connected
set-top boxes and recorders.
Viewers who already have access to On Demand content through Freeview (or FreeviewPlus) will get an automatic upgrade. Those who do not currently access Freeview On Demand, but have fairly new Smart TV (2015-2017) can get it by simply connecting to a working TV antenna and broadband.
And yes, as with everything from Freeview, the new Freeview On Demand platform, its full suite of features and content are all free to access.
Find out more about the New Freeview On Demand here.
New Freeview On Demand – key changes:
- Replaces FreeviewPlus and its linked broadcaster apps
- Easier access to On Demand and Catch Up TV
- Introducing a new Freeview account
- Simpler Mini Guide
- TV Guide provides more channels at a glance
- Universal search by title, genre or channel
- Browse by genres or by channel
- Featured and Popular bands highlight the latest and greatest TV
About Freeview www.freeviewnz.tv
For more details please contact: Sophie Wills One Plus One Communications
09 951 3947 | 021 889 362 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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