If you purchased LG TV in 2019 or 2020, you may have had problems accessing Freeview Play, a free UK broadcast service on both live and catch-up TVs. Freeview Play includes a myriad of free live and on-demand channels in the UK, which may not be the case on TV.
In fact, you may have seen a blank screen or an “invalid service” error message. This means that you will not be able to access BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport, BBC News, ITV Hub, STV, All4, My5 and more. , UKTV Play, CBS Catchup, etc. but why?
Freeview Play has been a hot button issue for LG for the past two years. As of 2019, British television began to lose service support. This is very important for the vast number of viewers in the UK. The company’s 2020 TV will have limited support for some Freeview Play channels and apps mid-year, and the 2021 set will completely avoid the problem, but the cause of this confusion is even more annoying than the symptoms.
This is not a shared issue with the new Samsung and Panasonic TVs, but keep in mind that Android TVs manufactured by Sony, Philips and others will only support Freeview Play in 2020.
It took nearly two years to reach the root of this bizarre obstacle, but after doing a lot of digging, cross-references, and some remote control throws about the location, I finally figured out the cause and nothing else. I found hundreds of users. Someone who had the same problem on their TV.
So let’s explain for them and you how LG TV’s Freeview has become such a mess, and what’s being done to sort it out.
Freeview covers two different services, Freeview and Freeview Play, the latter adding PVR, Internet and HD capabilities to the Freeview platform.
The launch of Freeview Play opens the door to other types of channels such as streaming media and hybrid IPTV. These services work by assigning channel numbers, but the content comes from the live internet stream. This allows Freeview to broadcast more channels to channels that have compatible devices and an internet connection.
Freeview’s broadcast standards are held in what is called a “D Book”. This is a manufacturer’s guide to the exact manufacture of Freeview products. Since the days of ONDigital, DBooks have had to use the MHEG codec for interactive services.But globally, the industry is heading in a more efficient direction HBBtv (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband) Standard – And there is friction there. When the D Book was last revised, it introduced the requirement that HBBtv become the standard for the future. There were two problems with this.
First, existing broadcasters have no transition deadline, and as of April 2021, most IP services are still broadcasting on the old MHEG standard. Two of these channels, Channelbox and Vision TV, are portals with a range of services of about 60 (known as “OTT” or “over-the-top”, which is via the Internet, not via the Internet. A catch-all for all IP services delivered on. Cable or broadcast).
Second, some manufacturers used “use HBBtv” to mean “remove MHEG support.” Sure enough, LG released the 2019 range without support for MHEG. Therefore, the “Invalid Channel” message is displayed. That doesn’t mean the TV can’t decode MHEG. It’s just that LG has aggressively decided to turn off the facility for UK users.
Finally, some answers. The problem was that only LG could “repair” the TV, so to speak, but LG’s stance should talk to Freeview. So we did.
Freeview states: “The Freeview Play specification eliminates the need for manufacturers to support MHEG channels, and some manufacturers are currently manufacturing HbbTV-only devices. Whether to serve MHEG-only or HbbTV-only. It is the responsibility of each channel provider and is compatible with some of the new HbbTV-only devices.
“Currently, most Internet distribution channels are still on MHEG. As the number of HbbTV-only devices grows, we expect more providers to decide to move to HbbTV. However, for the foreseeable future, this impact. If you are a recipient, we encourage you to contact the channel in question for advice on how to continue watching the service, and work with all your partners to share this information with your viewers. Make it easy to understand. “
The plot gets thicker
This leaves a question, why was the D-book updated without a deadline for channel migration? You can prevent all of this from happening by setting a switch date. The decision was made in 2018, so we had plenty of time to go through the migration process.
The most disturbing part of all of this was LG’s first attitude to stop supporting MHEG with new products. Customers who contact the company “It’s not our problem” reaction.Some even claim that it was said to be “Because the signal is too strong”.. Finally, the company issued a statement about the problem, asking more questions than it could answer.
LG’s statement said: “Initially in 2017/18, LG supported dual stack receivers (that is, running both HbbTV and MHEG), but due to a shortage of engineers around the world, maintenance is not immediately feasible. Therefore, since 2019, LG has created a dedicated device for HbbTV. HbbTV strictly adheres to the W3C Internet-based specifications, making it a more suitable economical technology to deploy. I will. “
However, the confusing thing is that the LG set also supports MHEG in other countries. If you switch the TV location between “Ireland” and “Saorview”, the MHEG service will also start working. (However, this has some side effects and cannot be used as a suitable workaround).
LG said, “It was a decision that broadcasters weren’t catching up. LG wasn’t participating in such discussions,” said customers, whenever needed, with full support from Freeview Play, “used models.” You can “buy”. This is amazing. Listen after spending hundreds of pounds on a brand new TV.
What are channel providers doing?
We asked the major providers of these OTT streaming services if they plan to move to the HBB format.
Owners of Synapse TV, Channelbox and some other Freeview services are ready to launch the HbbTV version of Channelbox “and many other OTT and standalone MHEG services” when they arrive “within a few weeks”. Told.
Vision247, which runs the Vision TV portal, has confirmed that the HBBTV application is in progress and may be launched by the end of 2021.
It’s nice to know that these providers are planning a transition, but the in-depth timescales involved suggest that this could remain a problem until 2022. The lack of urgency (or Freeview’s provision of deadlines) shows how badly this process is being rolled out. Within the next few years, Freeview will begin offering Internet streams as a backup of broadcast signals. In short, a cohesive policy becomes even more important.
The services affected here are primarily minority interests. Overseas news channels, religions, shopping and children’s channels. However, Freeview is the default way to watch TV in the UK, so it’s reasonable for consumers to assume that they can buy a TV or STB marked “Freeview Play” to get all the services. It’s no exaggeration to say that Freeview-enabled devices sold today can receive all traditional DVB-T channels (if reception is permitted).
Moreover, no one has actually done anything wrong here, as all parties have a hard time pointing out. But that simply means that there is no place to stop the money – and the customer is the victim.
Freeview adds: “Freeview supports the transition to HbbTV, but also operates an open TV platform. It is MHEG-only or HbbTV-based for each individual channel provider. It means making a decision and making it compatible with some of the new HbbTV-only devices. Currently, most Internet distribution channels have decided to continue broadcasting on MHEG.
“However, this is expected to change as the number of HbbTV-only devices grows. We are actively discussing with the affected channels to support the transition to HbbTV.”
Within a few years, this should all be behind us (hopefully), but if you buy a TV in the meantime, the only advice I can give you is the product details before you buy. It is to confirm the specifications.
It shouldn’t be necessary – the Freeview Play brand should guarantee compatibility – but as we’ve revealed, it’s a very “buyer beware” case.
This is not a problem when buying a new 2021 LG TV, but if you use the 2019-2020 model, you need to look at older or newer models to get the features you expect. Buy a new TV in the UK.
Like many, technology is moving faster than policy, and it’s the end user who carries the can.
Freeview is a mess on LGTV, but it has a broader problem
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