As the astute reader of this site will know, I’m in the middle of testing some Freeview HD kit for Register Hardware. That article will obviously focus on how easy to use the boxes are. But there’s another point which is worth looking at – and I may come back to it in more detail when I hear more from Freeview.
Freeview itself – that is, the standard definition service – doesn’t really do much in the way of branding. Of course, they have a logo and a web site, and you will usually see the logo on the boxes of some receivers, but that really is about as far as it goes.
Now, take a look at these photos:
Sadly, I don’t have the proper Icecrypt box – the picture here is a crop of the ‘cut out and fold’ artwork instead. But I’m sure you get the drift. There is a remarkable degree of similarity in the packaging of these boxes, with them all featuring not just the FreeviewHD logo, which would be quite understandable, but also the hexagons, to at least some degree.
Add in the logo in the programme guide, and it’s quite clear there’s a much stronger attempt at establishing a brand image here than there was for Freeview SD. Of course, back when that came along, most people already had boxes with OnDigital or ITV Digital logos on them, so it would have been a bit peculiar.
But this definitely does seem to me a much stronger message; I gather there are guidelines for what goes on the packaging, and an approval process. Judging by the similarity of the text on those Icecrypt and Humax packs, there may even be some sets of words ready for manufacturers to drop onto their packaging too.
Will this give a much stronger feel to FreeviewHD when it’s on the shelves in shops? I hope so.