The best Freeview Play set-top boxes and TVs: Which Freeview Play product should you buy?

There was a time when Freeview and Freeview HD were the default way to watch TV, but Freeview Play no longer has the same luxury. It’s going to have to fight hard against streaming boxes and YouView to stay relevant.

The best Freeview Play set-top boxes and TVs: Which Freeview Play product should you buy?

It does have one big advantage though. Freeview has been around so long that it has many long-standing partnerships with device manufacturers that ensures it’s going to be built right into many new TV sets and Blu-ray players. You should definitely read up on it before jumping in to Freeview Play, but if you know your onions, and it sounds right for you, there’s a number of options to choose from. 

For the time being, choices are thin on the ground, but with Vestel, Manhattan and LG all announcing Freeview Play devices for the market, that is sure to get competitive in time. LG’s device will be aimed towards the same premium market as Panasonic, while Vestel and Manhattan will produce cheaper devices under their own branding or as budget offerings for supermarkets and other brands.

The best Freeview Play devices

Humax FVP-5000T 500GB, £229


It might not look like much, but the Humax FVP-5000T lets you record up to four programmes at once while watching a fifth. It comes with either 500GB of storage (suitable for 125 hours of HD recording and 250 hours of SD shows, according to Humax),1TB or 2TB, and there’s built-in Wi-Fi as well as an Ethernet connection. 

Panasonic DMR-PWT655EB 3D Blu-ray player with Freeview Play 1TB, £300


Incredibly dull and cumbersome names are a running theme here, but this 3D Blu-ray player with Freeview Play and 1TB of HDD space built in is a bit of a steal compared to the everything else on the market. Strangely, the 500GB version seems to be more expensive than the 1TB one, despite having all the same features and half the storage space.

With 1TB of hard drive storage, you should be able to record just shy of 260 hours’ worth of HD footage and, thanks to its Blu-ray disc drive, you get the added bonus of being able to watch physical media too.

Buy now at Currys

READ ALSO: What’s the best streaming service in the UK?

Panasonic DMR-HWT150EB Freeview Play 500GB, £179


If you don’t need a Blu-ray player and don’t fancy the look of the Humax, Panasonic’s Freeview Play recorder is a great deal, especially as it’s dropped well below its initial £300 asking price.

One neat feature of Panasonic’s box is its Long Record feature, which more than doubles its HD recording capacity. It’s also just a big, black slab of metal and plastic, so it will sit under your TV looking rather unobtrusive, if that’s appealing to you. 

LG 55UJ701V 55in 4K Ultra HD HDR TV (£599)

lg-55uj701vNot only is this a decent price for a 55in 4K TV, but the LG 55UJ701V also lets you enjoy Freeview Play without having to deal with cables or set-top boxes. With a 100Hz refresh rate and built-in Freesat HD, too, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Buy now from Currys PC World

Prices are correct at time of publication

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