Run out of things to watch on Freeview? An exclusive new service has just launched

7 mins read


Bored of the same old boxsets? There’s good news as award-winning US broadcaster PBS America has just launched its first-ever catch-up service on Freeview Play. The PBS America Player is now exclusively available to watch and features numerous factual, documentary or arts programmes which can all be enjoyed without paying a penny. If you fancy giving it a try you’ll find it on Freeview channel number 100.

There’s not long left until all new cars sold in Britain will have to be powered by batteries but what is it like to own an electric vehicle (EV) and is the UK really ready for this monumental shift? To put this latest technology to the test StarTech took delivery of the award-winning Hyundai IONIQ5 and set off on a 1,000 mile road trip. Our journey took us from London to The Lakes then across to Newcastle before returning to the capital. The IONIQ5 is one of the best EVs on the market and thanks to its adaptive cruise control and clever lane assist we soaked up the mileage with ease. With a full battery, you can get around 230 miles of range which is impressive but nowhere near enough to get us where we wanted to go.

That meant the inevitable stops at service stations and supermarkets in a bid to juice things back up.

To our surprise, most of these refills were pretty stress-free with a short stopover and a quick cup of tea giving us enough power to keep on moving.

However, some of the UK’s biggest service stations are woefully short of chargers and, if you get unlucky, there can be a lengthy wait to plug in.

One EV owner told StarTech that he often waits up to an hour to get a battery boost when stopping on the motorway.

As more of us buy EVs this problem is only going to worsen and the queues for a plug will get longer and longer.

The Hyundai IONIQ5 seriously impressed but the UK’s charging infrastructure is a long way off being ready for the future of motoring.

CAR: Hyundai IONIQ5

PRICE: From £41,650

RANGE: 240 miles

TOP SPEED: 115mph

0-62: Around 5.5 seconds

CHARGING TIME: 20% to 80% in 20 minutes via 150Kw chargers

BEST FEATURE: Vehicle-to-load technology lets you boil a kettle using the IONIQ’s battery

PRICE OF CHARGING

Topping up the battery isn’t always cheap. During our grand tour, we found refilling points on the M6 charging over 60p per kWh which is almost as much as petrol. The cheapest place on our trip was a Tesco superstore in Newcastle that wanted just 25p per kWh making a boost much more affordable.

ENDS

If you’re not already aware, PBS is an American public broadcaster that for decades has been known for the variety and quality of its programming.

Popular PBS shows such as Frontline and American Experience will be available to watch on the PBS America Player along with documentaries like The Civil War and Country Music which can be watched on-demand.

This will be the eleventh app to join Freeview Play with it now joining other services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play, CBS Catchup Channels UK, Legend, STV Player, POP Player, and BBC Sounds.

Unlike regular Freeview, to access Freeview Play you’ll need more than just a TV aerial – you will also have to have a compatible Smart TV or a set-top box and be connected to the internet.

If you don’t have a Smart TV then Freeview Play can also be accessed via the official Freeview app for iOS and Android.

The platform offers access to over 40,000 hours worth of content and over 700 boxsets.

Speaking of the release of the new PBS app Deep Halder, the chief commercial officer for Freeview Play, said: “We are thrilled to be PBS America’s launch partner in the UK. We are now home to eleven on-demand players, with over 95 percent of the UK’s most watched programming, alongside new exclusive titles, all for free.

“There has never been a better time to become a Freeview Play viewer.”

While Richard Kingsbury, the general manager at PBS America, added: “Freeview Play is an obvious place to launch our first catch up service.

“Most of our linear audience is on Freeview with a reach of two million viewers per month. Freeview Play provides a trusted environment of high-quality channel brands that we are very happy to join.”

Freeview Play is available straight out of the box on Smart TVs made by the likes of LG, Panasonic, Sony, JVC and Hisense.

In fact, most Smart TVs these days have Freeview Play built-in. If not set-top boxes are available which offer Freeview Play access from £70.



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