Freely is a new free UK TV TV service which will bring together live schedules and on-demand shows from the four public service broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) into one platform has been announced.

Freely will operate via apps on Smart TV and other internet based devices.

It will provide a guide for all the channels, and so viewers will be able to browse and watch live TV channels together in one online place, rather than having to go to the broadcasters individual apps like iPlayer and ITVX.

So for the first time for free, British TV viewers will be able to easily browse and watch live TV channels together with on demand content streamed straight to their smart TV via the internet.

Freely will be run by Everyone TV, which is is jointly owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Everyone TV is also the operator of Freeview and its satellite counterpart Freesat.

Viewers will be able to browse channels through a programme guide and use new functions to find shows directly from live TV. Full details of exactly what these new functions will be and how the new platform will work have not yet been revealed, but we’ll update this article with more information when we have it.

“According to the latest audience figures, 15 per cent of British households already watch content solely through the internet, and they have not even connected their television to an aerial; Freely was created to “reflect this fact”, explained Everyone TV’s chief executive, Jonathan Thompson.

Will Freeview still exist when Freely is launched?
It’s not clear yet if Freeview will still exist after Freely is launched

Will Freesat still exist when Freely is launched?
It’s not clear yet if Freesat will still exist after Freely is launched, but Freesat is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

When will Freely be launched?
No official launch date has yet been announced, apart from “some time in 2024”.

Will Freely be available on all TVs?
Freely will be available on all smart TVs with internet capabilities, although some older versions of TV may not be compatiable.

How can I get Freely?
No details have yet been released on how people with existing smart TVs can get Freely, but there is a chance it may be pre-loaded onto TVs which are made after the launch date next year in similarity to how Freeview and smart hubs are inbuilt to TVs now.

Will I be able to receive Freely in Spain?
Officially no. The Freely service will, like the other UK TV content services like iPlayer and ITVX, will be geoblocked, and will only operate on UK IP internet addressed.

Of course with services like VPNs and Smart DNS services, Freely should be available in other countries.

First look at the Freely EPG

Everyone TV, the organisation responsible for free TV in the UK, has offered a first glance at the user-interface and features of Freely.

Freely says that viewers will be able to switch seamlessly between live and on demand TV from the UK broadcasters.

Freely is not expected to allow ad-skipping, as this would upset some of its main backers, the UK’s commercial broadcasters.