ITVX
ITVX logo.svg
Logo of ITVX from 2022 onwards
Type of site
OTT streaming platform
Available inEnglish
Area servedUnited Kingdom except northern and central Scotland (ITV1 programming)
United Kingdom (ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe, CITV and licensed programming)
ParentITV Consumer Limited (ITV plc)
URLwww.itv.com/watch Edit this at Wikidata
Launched5 December 2008; 14 years ago (5 December 2008)

ITVX (formerly ITV Hub) is a British online video-on-demand service operated by ITV. The service offers predominantly features content from ITV1, as well as ITV Digital channels and some licensed content.[1] The service was known as ITV Player from its inception until 2015. On 23 November 2015, ITV gave the app (ITV Player) and the website (ITV.com) a revamp, it was renamed 'ITV Hub'. As of August 2021, the service has at least 30 million registered users.[2]

ITVX was rolled out on 17 November 2022, and it officially launched on 8 December. ITVX will have substantially more exclusive programming than ITV Hub, positioning ITV's digital offering more in line with its competitors - the BBC and Channel Four Television Corporation. ITVX includes access to BritBox and a selection of FAST channels, which will see programmes such as The Chase and Hell's Kitchen have their own virtual linear channels. [3][4][5][6][7]

History

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ITV Player logo used until 2015.
ITV Player logo used until 2015.

The service started out as a website before being extended to television and other platforms. Initially, the website version used Microsoft Silverlight as opposed to Adobe Flash (used by BBC iPlayer and Channel 4's 4oD) and Windows Media Video. ITV adopted Flash for its player on 15 September 2009.[8] In November 2009 the website was revamped again improving navigation as well as making the site more visually appealing. The service is free to use and funded by pre-, mid-, and post-roll adverts. Previously users have been able to use ad-blocking software to skip the adverts shown. During the Summer of 2010, the ITV website was upgraded to detect ad-blocking software. Video is sent at multiple-bit rates and uses adaptive technology in the player to best determine the rate based on the user's connection. Nowadays ITV Hub uses HTML5 Media Source Extensions with Encrypted Media Extensions to deliver video.

Improvements were made in June/July 2011 to the website version to incorporate subtitles and CITV programming. The website version was relaunched with a cleaner, less cluttered new look on Monday 22 August 2011. The new look seamlessly fits in with the redesigned itv.com and has upgraded search features, images, and a new Flash video player designed to make playback more reliable. In January 2012, the site was due to be overhauled to offer paid-for content in addition to the existing free 30-day catch-up,[9] however, this was delayed until 29 October 2012.[10]

Content that has only aired on ITV (rather than also on ITV2, 3, 4, or CITV) is only available to viewers located in ITV plc regions (in England, Wales, southern Scotland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and on UTV in Northern Ireland). If the same programme was also broadcast in central and northern Scotland, then users located in those areas may be able to view it on the STV Player. The ITV Hub website will attempt to detect user location automatically, using that provided by the ISP. On 6 June 2016, ITV Hub replaced the UTV Player service in Northern Ireland, following the latter's sale to ITV plc in February 2016.

ITVX Premium

ITV brought out a paid subscription service called ITV Hub+ which enables viewers to watch and download shows without adverts. Following the launch of ITVX, ITV Hub+ was combined with BritBox to form ITVX Premium.[11]

Platforms

Television platforms

Sony Bravia

As of July 2017, ITV Hub is available on YouView-enabled Sony Bravia TVs.

BT TV

In December 2008, ITV Hub was added to BT TV's TV Replay service, the deal was ITV's first with a set-top-box VOD operator.[12] It allows access to popular ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 shows up to 8 days after their transmission as well as a selection of archive shows.[13]

Freesat

A place for a full version of ITV Player has been reserved on Freesat channel 903.[14] A beta release was made available in December 2010 for Humax receivers, requiring the input of a code.[15] The beta was made public on 26 July 2011, with support expected to be extended beyond Humax devices.[16][17] On 31 July 2012, an update was released for Manhattan receivers which included support for ITV Player.[18] In November 2012, both EchoStar and Samsung receivers also received ITV Player support.[19][20] Although the ITV Hub Player app is available to viewers around the UK on multiple platforms, it is not available to Freesat viewers using second generation Freesat receivers if their regional variation is set using postcodes starting DG or TD. It is not clear why this contradiction exists.[21]

Now TV / Roku

On 29 January 2014, ITV announced it would make ITV Player available on Sky's Now TV box.[22] It was later made available on the NowTV & Roku devices on 11 June 2014.[23]

Sky

On 30 January 2012, it was announced that ITV Player would be added to Sky's On Demand service on 31 January 2012.[24] The service is accessible through the main on Demand menu as well as a dedicated ITV Player section. ITV Player initially only offered archive content, with catch-up programming becoming available on 26 September 2012.

ITV Player Beta as displayed by Freesat
ITV Player Beta as displayed by Freesat

Samsung Smart TV & Blu-ray players

On 6 July 2012, it was announced that ITV Player had been made available on Samsung's Smart TVs and Blu-ray players through their Samsung Smart TV service, for 2011 and later devices.[25]

As of 8 December 2022, ITVX is only available on Samsung Smart TVs 2016 and above. [26]

Virgin Media

On 8 January 2009, it was announced that ITV Net Player would be added to Virgin Media's digital cable TV service.[27] The deal allows Virgin Media's 3.5 million TV customers to view over 40 hours of programming from ITV, ITV2, ITV3, and ITV4 each week. Popular shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale are all available for seven days after being broadcast as part of Virgin Media's free Catch up TV service. The service began a three-day deployment programme on 24 February 2009. Virgin Media's viewers were able to choose from 500 hours of ITV comedies, documentaries, and dramas, on demand through the TV Choice section, however, the contract to supply archive content ended on 23 February 2013.[28]

YouView

ITV Player was one of four services available at the launch of YouView in July 2012. At launch, the ITV Player app contained options to resume watching recent programmes and browse by channel, day, and A-to-Z, but lacked integrated search and contained non-skippable adverts.[29] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player on YouView.[30]

Games consoles

PlayStation 3

ITV Player was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network[31] utilising the web-browser to distribute content rather than an app. It was free and ad-funded with pre-, mid-, and post-roll video ads being sold and served by ITV. Under the terms of the deal with Sony, STV, UTV and Channel Television were able to add their own equivalent services so they were also accessible from the PS3 platform on a similar basis to ITV Player. After the re-brand to ITV Hub, the service is no longer available on the PS3.

Xbox One and Xbox 360

ITV Hub was launched for Xbox One on Friday 10 February 2017, this was made possible by a new Universal Windows Platform app which integrates with Windows 10 and Xbox One. The STV Player app run by STV, who currently hold the ITV licence for Scotland, has been launched on Xbox 360. The STV Player app contains much of the content found on ITV Player and requires a Scottish postcode to be entered prior to use.

Mobile platforms

ITV Player as displayed on iOS (as of January 2013)
ITV Player as displayed on iOS (as of January 2013)

On 11 May 2011, ITV chief executive Adam Crozier announced that a dedicated ITV Player application would be released on a "wide range of mobiles and tablets" during 2011.[32] The app features programming from ITV, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 for up to seven days after broadcast. However content is only available to view in the UK and ITV programming is blocked in the STV and UTV regions. A Wi-Fi connection is also required. The mobile apps were developed by digital agency Candyspace.[33] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player across all mobile platforms.[30]

Android devices

An application for devices running Google's Android operating system was released on 20 June 2011.[34] The app requires Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher and Adobe AIR. Each show is broken up to feature non-skippable advert breaks. Users are forced to register an email address to use the app to allow ITV to "keep you informed about improvements and other exciting developments at ITV."[35] On 14 January 2013, ITV Player 2.0 was released adding support for Android 3.x Gingerbread to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a re-engineered user interface.[36]

Due to Adobe not updating support for Android, Flash is not readily available for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean so the existing ITV Player cannot be used. A new app was trialled but was only available on Samsung products and received poor reviews on Google Play Store. Upon the release of the app on 9 May 2013, Samsung entered into an exclusivity agreement with ITV, with the ITV Player app available exclusively on Samsung devices until 31 August. ITV's online product director, James Micklethwait, cited "fragmentation of the Android ecosystem" as the motive behind the deal.[37] New ITV hub doesn't work with many android devices.

ITVX is available on devices using Android 5.0 and above. [38]

iOS devices

An application for Apple's iOS (iOS 4.3 or later) operating system and either the iPad (1st generation or later), iPhone (3GS or later) and iPod Touch (3rd generation or later), was launched on 1 July 2011.[39][40]

In June 2013, the iOS app was updated to add a trial premium section, allowing subscribers to watch catch-up content without advertising, as well as pay to view live streams of ITV3 and ITV4.[41] Early reviews of the updated app on the App Store were generally negative, with users commenting that the subscription option provided poor value for money.[42]

Windows Phone

As of May 2014, the ITV Player has been released for Windows Phone which is just like the Android and iOS versions.[43] However, the STV Player app run by STV, who currently hold the ITV licence for Scotland, has been launched on Windows Phone. Users of the STV Player can input their postcode to verify they live in Scotland, thus allowing users who are visiting other regions of the UK, to use the app and view content. The STV Player app contains much of the content found on ITV Player. As of January 2020, the ITV Hub is not supported on Windows Phone. The UWP app can only be installed on the Xbox One and videos cannot be played through Microsoft Edge whether you're in Mobile view or desktop view.

Streaming services

Amazon Prime Video

ITV Hub+ as displayed on Prime Video (as of July 2022)
ITV Hub+ as displayed on Prime Video (as of July 2022)

ITV offers most of its programming as part of ITV Catch Up subscription channel on the Prime Video platform.[44][45]

Sponsorship

Since 6 March 2018, Domino's Pizza have sponsored ITVX (then ITV Hub), being the platform's first ever sponsor.[46][47]

ITVX FAST channel line-up

The channel line-up at launch was:[48]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "ITV looks forward to digital future with BritBox and advanced advertising". Digital TV Europe. 24 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Introducing ITVX – Britain's freshest new free streaming service launching later this year". Press Centre.
  4. ^ "What is ITVX? ITV's new streaming service explained". 4 March 2022.
  5. ^ Writer, Senior Staff. "New UK streaming service ITVX will offer both free and paid tiers". Tech Advisor.
  6. ^ "ITVX: Everything you need to know about the new ITV on-demand service". 3 March 2022.
  7. ^ Levine, Nick. "Another New Streaming Service Is Coming To The UK (& It's Packed With Teen Dramas)". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
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  9. ^ "ITV to launch TV micropayment system in January". The Guardian. 27 July 2011.
  10. ^ "ITV unveils new ITV Player". ITV Media. 29 October 2012.
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  16. ^ "Freesat Launches ITV Player (channel 903)". Join Freesat. 26 July 2011.
  17. ^ "On Demand on HD boxes and TVs". Freesat. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  18. ^ "Manhattan Plaza HD-S v1.45 Update Available". Join Freesat. 31 July 2012.
  19. ^ "ITV Player now on Echostar receiver". Join Freesat. 14 November 2012.
  20. ^ "ITV Player now on Samsung receiver". Join Freesat. 14 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Freesat ITV Hub availability in Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway". 25 August 2016.
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  36. ^ "ITV Player for Android Gets New UI and Support for Android 2.3+ Devices". Softpedia. 14 January 2013.
  37. ^ "Samsung lands exclusivity deal for new ITV Player app". Digital Spy. 9 May 2013.
  38. ^ "ITVX on Android". ITV. 8 December 2022.
  39. ^ "ITV Player launches on Apple's iPhone, iPad". Digital Spy. 1 July 2011.
  40. ^ "ITV Player By ITV". Apple.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  41. ^ "ITV introduces Apple subs fee". Broadcast. 11 June 2013.
  42. ^ "UK broadcaster ITV introduces £3.99 live TV streaming for iOS but viewers are not impressed". The Next Web. 12 June 2013.
  43. ^ "- Microsoft Store". microsoft.com. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  44. ^ "How to watch Love Island 2022". Radio Times. 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  45. ^ "Do you have to pay for ITV Hub on Amazon Prime?". alloutfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  46. ^ "Domino's is to be the first ever sponsor of the ITV Hub - see how!". ITV.com. ITV Media, ITV plc. 6 March 2018. Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  47. ^ Gwynn, Simon (5 March 2018). "Domino's to sponsor ITV's video on demand offering". Campaignlive.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  48. ^ ITVX arrives with 18 streaming channels RTVX. 17 November 2022. Retrieved 20 December 2022