Freely TVs Are Here: Hisense Freeview Alternative Unveiled

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This week brought with it the launch of Freely, the new free-to-stream TV platform that aims to eventually be the broadband-based replacement for Freeview and Freesat. And with it – a brand new range of TVs from Hisense is coming to our side of the pond.

After a brief delay following the Freely launch earlier this week, Hisense’s latest range of 2024 TVs that support the service, is now starting to appear in online stores.

While the new models were initially hard to find in the first couple of days following the official launch, making some early adopters worried, the new Hisense range is now available on Argos and AO, with Currys, Amazon, and Very expected to follow suit soon.

What Is Freely?

For those yet unfamiliar with Freely, the new platform that officially launched this week aims to transform the free-to-air television landscape in the UK.

Freely TV guide

Freely devices will work with both broadband and aerial connections, providing viewers with a unified Electronic Programmes Guide (EPG) that seamlessly combines over-the-air and IP-based channels.

However, despite these lofty ambitions, Freely’s initial channel lineup has left some viewers disappointed. At launch, the platform will only feature streaming channels from five main broadcasters – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and STV.

This limited selection pales in comparison to the extensive range of channels currently available on Freeview, and even falls short of the offerings on Freeview Play, the existing broadband-based aspect of Freeview.

Similar services from the pay-TV companies – Sky Stream / Glass and Virgin Media Stream, also stream Freeview channels over broadband, but with a much broader selection of channels.

However, those are, of course, paid services – while Freely is, as the name suggests, free – if you don’t take into account the TV Licence fee, and the need to buy a brand new TV at this point.

It’s worth noting that connecting an aerial to a Freely TV will provide access to all the over-the-air channels currently available on Freeview, in addition to the broadband-based channels – but without the more advanced features like Live Pause or programme restart.

And of course, it’s also important to remember that Freeview and Freesat aren’t going anywhere in the next few years – though Freely can be a solution for those who don’t have decent reception at their home.

One of the main issues facing potential Freely users is the platform’s limited availability and compatibility at launch.

Even the brand-new Manhattan T4-R Freeview Recorder, which is expected to launch this month, won’t support Freely at this stage, and older TVs and set-top boxes are also excluded.

While support could be added to older devices in the future – I’m told this is unlikely.

Therefore, for now – Freely will only be available on 2024 Hisense TVs, and later this summer – on Vestel TVs.

Hisense’s 2024 TV Range with Freely Support

Today, Hisense has introduced its 2024 TV range, which includes the U8N, U7N, U6N, and E7N PRO series – ranging from 50″ to 110″ in size (as well as several new projector models).

All of the new 4K TV models support Freely.

The new range incorporates advanced technologies such as Mini LED, Quantum Dot Colour, and AMD FreeSync Premium to deliver enhanced picture quality and smooth motion for gaming and sports.

Hisense E7NPRO
Hisense E7NPRO

The TVs also offer improved audio performance with multi-channel surround sound, built-in subwoofers, and Dolby Atmos support in select models.

With the addition of Freely, Hisense now offers TVs that support a very wide range of streaming platforms and operating systems – the company has Roku TVs, Freeview Play TVs, Amazon Fire TV, and its own Vidaa operating system.

Arun Bhatoye, Head of Marketing at Hisense UK, expressed his enthusiasm for the company’s latest lineup, stating, “This year’s lineup is our best yet. We’re constantly innovating and looking at ways to bring customers the best products at the best prices, and we’re confident that our new range achieves this.”

He also highlighted Hisense’s pride in being the first manufacturer to introduce Freely to the UK market, transforming the way consumers watch their favourite shows and movies.

U8N Series (65″ and 75″)

The U8N Series, available in 65″ and 75″ sizes, is one of Hisense’s “hero” models for 2024.

Hisense U8N living room

It features Mini LED PRO technology, which utilizes thousands of LED lights smaller than a grain of sand, grouped together for extra precision.

This technology offers dynamic contrast and brightness, immersing viewers in the intricate details on the screen.

The U8N also incorporates Hisense’s proprietary Hi-View Engine PRO, which employs real-time frame-level analysis to optimize every scene for the ultimate visual experience.

The Low-Reflection Screen promises a clear view even in well-lit environments, while the Dynamic Tone Mapping Pro automatically adjusts the contrast and brightness of the picture to optimize it for the viewing environment, guaranteeing lifelike HDR performance.

The U8N boasts a Mini LED HDR 3000 rating and Full-Array Local Dimming, featuring 1600 zones for the 65″ model and 2000+ zones for the 75″ model. 

For gaming enthusiasts, the 144Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) ensures smooth, tear-free gaming and entertainment.

The U8N also features Multi-Channel Surround 2.1.2CH for immersive sound and a freshly designed front-firing speaker that eliminates distortion.

Additionally, the TV includes eco-friendly features such as a Solar Powered Remote and an Energy-Saving Mode. The Octagon Stand provides a sleek and sturdy base for the television.

Prices for the U8N Series start from £1799.

U7N Series (55″, 65″, 75″, 85″, and 100″)

The U7N Series offers an expanded lineup of TVs available in 55″, 65″, 75″, 85″, and 100″ sizes.

Hisense U7N

Some of the series features include:

  • Hi-View Engine PRO for real-time frame analysis and optimization
  • Quantum Dot Colour technology with over 1 billion colours
  • IMAX Enhanced and Dolby Vision IQ for cinematic HDR performance
  • Dynamic Tone Mapping PRO for enhanced contrast and colour accuracy
  • Total HDR Solution (Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG) for dynamic adjustments to brightness, colour, and shadows
  • 144Hz Game Mode PRO and AMD FreeSync Premium PRO for smooth, responsive gaming
  • Game Bar for quick access to gaming settings without exiting the game screen
  • Built-in subwoofer and Dolby Atmos for immersive audio

Prices for the U7N Series start from £1299.

U6N Series (50″ to 75″)

The U6N Series, available in sizes ranging from 50″ to 75″, aims to be the perfect all-rounder for those looking to elevate their everyday viewing experience.

Hisense U6N

  • Hi-View Engine for enhanced colour and clearer text
  • Adaptive Light Sensor for adjusting brightness to complement the room
  • TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light for reduced eye strain

Prices for the U6N Series start from £799.

E7N PRO Series (55″ to 100″)

The E7N PRO Series, available in sizes ranging from 55″ to 100″, is Hisense’s gaming TV for 2024.

  • 144Hz Game Mode PR, AMD FreeSync Premium, and 240 High Refresh Rate for ultra-responsive gaming
  • Dolby Audio for immersive gaming sound
  • Game Bar for quick access to gaming settings without exiting the game screen
  • AI Sports Mode for enhanced motion clarity and detail in gaming and sports
  • Full Array Local Dimming Pro for individually controlled brightness zones and enhanced clarity
  • AI Adaptive Depth for dynamic depth perception and enhanced realism
  • Ultra Motion technology for smooth motion handling and reduced blur
  • AI Picture technology for real-time content optimization

Prices for the E7N PRO Series start from £999.

As mentioned, the Hisense models that support Freely are all 2024 4K TV models, excluding the A4N and A5N. The full list of compatible models includes:

  • U8N
  • U7N
  • U6N
  • A85N
  • E7N
  • E7N PRO
  • A7N
  • A6N

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10 thoughts on “Freely TVs Are Here: Hisense Freeview Alternative Unveiled”

  1. Abusing their monopoly of what should be “Free” to make money out of deals with TV manufacturers which forces people to buy a new TV – not very Green either is it. Give people an app which they can put on the firestick or such device, then it would be truly free. But doubt they’d make money then would they

    • Freely has a long way to go to get anywhere near public recognition. As you say, people are not going to buy a new TV just to get a service which, let’s face it, already exists, albeit without a fancy combined EPG.

      That Hisense has jumped onboard doesn’t really say that much. Until we see the likes of Sony, LG, Panasonic and so on offering the service, it will remain a fringe service.

      Freely will have to release an app., and that app. will need to be compatible with TVs across the board going back several years, say to 2020, in order to get any uptake.

      There’s still no indication as to what quality will be offered. Will it match that offered by linear HD TV — 1080p picture, 5.1 audio (where available) or will it rely on the low rent current UK streaming services to provide a poorer service to that which we enjoy now via Freeview and Freesat (certainly for HD channels).

      Hisense may yet regret offering to support Freely so soon. A rubbish, blocky 720p picture viewed on a huge 4K-cable screen will be enough to disenfranchise the very people that Freely is trying to attract.

  2. Big Mistake not selling a settop box. I aint crashing out for a new TV, just to save the little hassle of using a firestick. no recording box. Might as well put this in the museum with Betamax videos.

  3. Hisense are the one TV make I automatically mix out when looking for a new set.

    On a different topic completely, are me and my family the only ones who NEVER use the dedicated streaming service buttons on our several remotes about the house?

  4. Remember youview ? my guess Freely will go the same way. The current Freely service can be accessed by using the current channels player and selecting the watch live option or by using amazon firestick live TV option if you only want to watch an itv channel.

  5. Still no mention of the picture or audio quality offered by Freely. Will it deliver 1080p picture quality on HD channels like BBC1HD, 5.1 audio where available, or just provide the low-rent offerings from the existing streaming services? Right now, all Freely seems to be to me is a fancy EPG, certainly not worth buying a new TV just to get it.

  6. Freely seem to have missed the boat on this one! Why just new models? When the likes of the 50 inch Roku TV I have is definitely capable, even if it’s through an app, this is where they seem to have gone wrong I’d love to be able to stream all Freeview channels, especially as here in Rhondda Valleys, Freeview channels are limited due to relay transmitters, if I’ve got it correct that’s only 30 to 40 channels worth over the air (OTA)
    I doubt my family and I will buy the Freely TV’s, not just because of the prices, we have a whole Roku ecosystem around the home, which is the best thing for us, plus I run a Plex media server with Terabytes of TV shows and films that we stream around the home and mobile phones while we’re out.
    If they bring a standalone app out for those stubborn people like myself, they would realise how many viewers they would be tapping into, but for now sadly, greed is the route some, sorry most, companies have decided to take.
    Who knows what the future will bring? 2033 is still a few years off, it just needs people to email them to bring a standalone app for devices that aren’t broken and users aren’t ready to replace!

  7. The costs are going to be way too expensive for most people. It would be better if a Freely box was available. That way more people would be willing to adapt to the Freeview/Freesat replacement. As it stands Freely will end up as dead as a dodo.


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