ITV Hub

Last updated

ITV Hub
ITV Hub Logo.svg
Screenshot
ITV Hub partial screenshot.png
ITV Hub homepage
Developer(s) ITV plc
Initial release5 December 2008
Stable release
23 November 2015
Operating system Windows, macOS, Linux
Platform Online, cable, IPTV, mobile
Available inEnglish
Type Video on demand
Website itv.com

ITV Hub (formerly ITV Player) is an online video on demand service accessible through the main ITV website itv.com. The service offers a variety of programmes from homegrown programming to imports across ITV, ITV2, ITVBe, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV. Some sports programming is available to watch again via the service, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and highlights being examples. Some programmes, imports and movies are not currently available due to rights issues, and until the latest version, most children's programming in particular was generally unavailable. Programmes are available for 30 days on the site after being first shown on ITV. The service was originally called ITV Catch Up but was then rebranded 'ITV Player' on 5 December 2008 as part of ITV's aim to create a recognisable and consistent brand for video-on-demand content across the web and TV. [1] ITV Player was also branded as ITV Net Player and referred to as the ITV Network Player in branding and communication around programming intended for consumption across the UK, such as on Virgin Media, [1] before adopting the current name.

Contents

On 23 November 2015, ITV gave the app and website a revamp, it was renamed 'ITV Hub'. As of July 2019, the service has 29 million registered users. [2]

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

Web platforms

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. [3] 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 funded by pre-, mid- and post-roll adverts. Previously users have been able to use ad-blocking software to skip the adverts shown. During Summer 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 rate based on users connection.

Improvements were made in June/July 2011 to the website version to incorporate subtitles and CITV programming. The website version 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, [4] however this was delayed until 29 October 2012. [5]

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, the Channel Islands, southern Scotland, 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 your location automatically, using that provided by your 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.

ITV Hub+

ITV brought out a paid subscription service called ITV Hub+ which enables viewers to watch and download shows without adverts. While abroad in another EU member state, subscribers will continue to receive access but will be limited to catch-up. As of 1/1/2021 ITV Hub+ was no longer available in the EU due to the U.K. leaving the European Union. [6]

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. [7] It allows access to popular ITV, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 shows up to 8 days after their transmission as well as a selection of archive shows. [8]

Freesat

ITV Player Beta as displayed by Freesat ITV Player Beta.jpg
ITV Player Beta as displayed by Freesat

A place for a full version of ITV Player has been reserved on Freesat channel 903. [9] A beta release was made available in December 2010 for Humax receivers, requiring the input of a code. [10] The beta was made public on 26 July 2011, with support expected to be extended beyond Humax devices. [11] [12] On 31 July 2012, an update was released for Manhattan receivers which included support for ITV Player. [13] In November 2012, both EchoStar and Samsung receivers also received ITV Player support. [14] [15] 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 genereration Freesat receivers if their regional variation is set using postcodes starting DG or TD. It is not clear why this contradiction exists. [16]

Now TV / Roku

On 29 January 2014, ITV announced it would make ITV Player available on Sky's Now TV box. [17] It was later made available on the NowTV & Roku devices on 11 June 2014. [18]

Sky

On 30 January 2012, it was announced that ITV Player would be added to Sky's On Demand service on 31 January 2012. [19] 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.

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. [20]

Virgin Media

On 8 January 2009, it was announced that ITV Net Player would be added to Virgin Media's digital cable TV service. [21] 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. [22]

YouView

ITV Player was one of four service 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. [23] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player on YouView. [24]

Games consoles

PlayStation 3

ITV Player was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network [25] 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. [26]

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 (iOS).png
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. [27] 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. [28] During 2013, ITV intend to introduce paid-for content into ITV Player across all mobile platforms. [24]

Android devices

An application for devices running Google's Android operating system was released on 20 June 2011. [29] 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." [30] 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. [31]

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. [32] New ITV hub doesn't work with many android devices.

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. [33] [34]

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. [35] 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. [36]

Windows Phone

As of May 2014 the ITV Player has been released for Windows Phone which is just like the Android and iOS versions. [37] 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.

Syndication

ITV does not syndicate its content to other providers such as YouTube and SeeSaw like Channel 4 or Channel 5. Although some ITV programmes can be seen on such services, this is where these services have negotiated rights with the production companies involved and not ITV. The beta launch of the Virgin Media Player saw ITV programmes become available but Virgin Media have licensed ITV's archive (a separate service also available on ITV.com under the TV shows section) which is not currently part of the ITV Player.

Sponsorship

Since 6 March 2018, Domino's Pizza have sponsored the ITV Hub, being the platform's first ever sponsor. [38] [39]

See also

Related Research Articles

Regular television broadcasts in the United Kingdom started in 1936 as a public service which was free of advertising, while the introduction of television and the first tests commencing in 1922. Currently, the United Kingdom has a collection of free-to-air, free-to-view and subscription services over a variety of distribution media, through which there are over 480 channels for consumers as well as on-demand content. There are six main channel owners who are responsible for most material viewed. There are 27,000 hours of domestic content produced a year at a cost of £2.6 billion. Since 24 October 2012, all television broadcasts in the United Kingdom have been in a digital format, following the end of analogue transmissions in Northern Ireland. Digital content is delivered via terrestrial, satellite and cable, as well as over IP. As of 2003, 53.2% of households watch through terrestrial, 31.3% through satellite, and 15.6% through cable.

BBC iPlayer Internet streaming, catchup, television and radio service

BBC iPlayer is a video on demand service from the BBC. The service is available on a wide range of devices, including mobile phones and tablets, personal computers and smart televisions. iPlayer services delivered to UK-based viewers feature no commercial advertising. The terms BBC iPlayer, iPlayer, and BBC Media Player refer to various methods of viewing or listening to the same content. Viewing or recording live television broadcasts from any UK broadcaster or viewing BBC TV catch-up or BBC TV on-demand programmes in the UK without a TV licence is a criminal offence.

Freesat is a British free-to-air satellite television service, provided by joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc. The service was formed as a memorandum in 2007 and has been marketed since 6 May 2008. Freesat offers a satellite alternative to the Freeview service on digital terrestrial television, with a broadly similar selection of channels available without subscription for users purchasing a receiver.

ITV HD

ITV HD is a British free-to-air high-definition television channel operated by ITV plc, the company which is contracted to provide 11 ITV services across the UK. ITV HD is available to view in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders on Freesat via channel 103, Freeview channel 103, Sky channel 103, Virgin Media channel 103 and in Switzerland on SwisscomTV.

itv.com

itv.com is the main Web site of ITV plc, the UK's largest commercial television broadcaster which operates 13 out of 15 regions on the ITV network under the ITV brand. The website offers online streaming, the ITV archive, news, sport, entertainment, soaps, lifestyle, drama and an interactive TV guide. Each of ITV plc's channels, ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, and CITV has a page with information on its programming. There are also pages for the ITV regions owned by ITV plc. STV Central & STV North, the only regions not owned by ITV plc, have their own separate website at stv.tv.

UKTV Play Video-on-demand service owned by UKTV

UKTV Play is a video on demand service owned by UKTV, launched in August 2014. The service offers catch-up programming from UKTV's free-to-air channels including Dave, Drama and Yesterday.

My5 Video-on-demand brand name

My5 is the brand name of video-on-demand services offered by Channel 5 in the United Kingdom. The service went live on 26 June 2008.

All 4

All 4 is a video on demand service from the Channel Four Television Corporation, free of charge for most content and funded by advertising. The service is available in the UK and Ireland, and viewers are required to have a TV licence when watching live, but not when using on-demand services. The service launched on 16 November 2006 as 4oD. The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and 4Music and shorts. However some programmes and movies are not available due to rights issues. The service may be used without registration; however, (free) registration provides some additional features. The service is available without advertising on payment of a subscription, under the name All 4+.

STV (TV channel) Television channel in Scotland

STV is a Scottish free-to-air television channel owned by STV Group plc and is a part of the ITV network. It operates the two Channel 3 licences in northern and central Scotland, formerly known as Grampian Television and Scottish Television.

Virgin TV

Virgin TV is a digital pay cable television service in the UK, owned by Liberty Global. Its origins date from NTL and Telewest, formerly two of the UK's largest cable operators, which merged on 6 March 2006. All NTL:Telewest services were rebranded as Virgin Media in February 2007. Since the acquisition of Smallworld Cable in 2014, Virgin is the sole national cable TV provider in Great Britain. Currently about 51% of UK households have access to Virgin's network, which is independent from BT's Openreach network.

On Demand (Sky)

On Demand was the brand name of a range of video on demand services from Sky UK designed to compete with rival companies such as Virgin TV or BT TV as well as internet television services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.

High-definition television in the United Kingdom is available via cable, IPTV, satellite and terrestrial television. The first high-definition broadcasts began in late 2005 and since then the number of channels available to view has grown to a maximum of 87 that can be viewed on pay-TV service, Sky.

ABC iview is a video on demand and catch up TV service run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Currently iview video content can only be viewed by users in Australia. As of 2016, ABC iview attracts around 50 million plays monthly and accounts for around half of the total time streamed by Australian TV video services.

Sky Go

Sky Go is an online television service from Sky Group provided free for Sky TV subscribers that allows users to watch live and on demand Sky TV via an internet connection. The Sky Go app is available on Windows and Mac computers and also on Android and iOS devices.

YouView

YouView is a hybrid television platform in the United Kingdom developed by YouView TV Ltd., a partnership of four broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5; and three telecommunications operators, Arqiva, BT Group and TalkTalk Group.

RTÉ Player Irish demand video service

RTÉ Player is an on demand video service provided by Irish public media broadcaster RTÉ.

STV Player is an online video on demand service accessible through the main STV website as well as being available on a variety of smartphones, tablets, consoles, set top boxes and Smart TVs. Current programmes are available for 30 days after transmission on the main STV channel, with archive programming available longer-term. The service was established to hold full programming and "long-form" content, separate from the existing STV Video site, which would then be rebuilt to hold "short-form" content, news, weather and clips.

A smart TV, also known as a connected TV (CTV), is a traditional television set with integrated Internet and interactive Web 2.0 features, which allows users to stream music and videos, browse the internet, and view photos. Smart TVs are a technological convergence of computers, televisions, and digital media players. Besides the traditional functions of television sets provided through traditional broadcasting media, these devices can provide access to over-the-top media services such as streaming television and internet radio, along with home networking access.

TVPlayer is an Internet television service in the United Kingdom, owned by international digital distribution company Alchimie. It provides access to free live television channel streams using a web browser or application software via big screen and small screen mobile devices. Alongside the free service, TVPlayer offers multiple no contract monthly subscriptions each carrying different premium live television channel streams.

References

  1. 1 2 "ITV's Catch Up rebranded ITV Player". Media Week. 5 December 2008.
  2. "ITV looks forward to digital future with BritBox and advanced advertising". Digital TV Europe. 24 July 2019.
  3. "British TV firm dumps Silverlight". The Register. 15 September 2009.
  4. "ITV to launch TV micropayment system in January". The Guardian. 27 July 2011.
  5. "ITV unveils new ITV Player". ITV Media. 29 October 2012.
  6. "ITV Hub+ - All of the action. None of the ads". ITV Hub. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  7. "ITV signs catch-up deal for BT Vision". ITV plc. 17 November 2008. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  8. "BT Vision to offer ITV catch-up service, box gets firmware update to help it cope". Home Cinema Choice. 19 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  9. "Freesat Assign BBC iPlayer and ITV Player Channel Slots". Join Freesat. 16 December 2010.
  10. "ITV Player Beta Code Released". Join Freesat. 3 January 2011.
  11. "Freesat Launches ITV Player (channel 903)". Join Freesat. 26 July 2011.
  12. "On Demand on HD boxes and TVs". Freesat. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  13. "Manhattan Plaza HD-S v1.45 Update Available". Join Freesat. 31 July 2012.
  14. "ITV Player now on Echostar receiver". Join Freesat. 14 November 2012.
  15. "ITV Player now on Samsung receiver". Join Freesat. 14 November 2012.
  16. "Freesat ITV Hub availability in Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway". 25 August 2016.
  17. "ITV Encore to launch on Sky". ITV. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  18. Langshaw, Mark (11 June 2014). "ITV Player now available on Roku, Now TV". Digital Spy . Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  19. "Sky Anytime+ goes from strength to strength with more content and increased reach". BSkyB Corporate. 30 January 2012.
  20. "ITV Player on Samsung Smart TVs". Advanced Television. 6 July 2012.
  21. "Thousands of hours of ITV shows to be made available on demand by Virgin Media". Virgin Media. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  22. "Re: itv On Demand gone ?". Virgin Media. 11 March 2013.
  23. "Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review". Expert Reviews. 24 July 2012.
  24. 1 2 "ITV Player pay-per-view downloads coming to YouView and mobiles". Recombu. 27 February 2013.
  25. "ITV Player to launch on PlayStation 3". ITV plc. 18 August 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012.
  26. "Itv player on ps3". ITV plc. 20 December 2015.
  27. "ITV plc Interim Management Statement". ITV plc. 11 May 2011. Archived from the original on 14 March 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  28. "ITV brings TV catch-up player to iPad and iPhone". New Media Age. 1 July 2011.
  29. "ITV Player catch-up service now available on Android". Eurodroid. 20 June 2011.
  30. "ITV Player Launches Android App". Trusted Reviews. 22 June 2011.
  31. "ITV Player for Android Gets New UI and Support for Android 2.3+ Devices". Softpedia. 14 January 2013.
  32. "Samsung lands exclusivity deal for new ITV Player app". Digital Spy. 9 May 2013.
  33. "ITV Player launches on Apple's iPhone, iPad". Digital Spy. 1 July 2011.
  34. "ITV Player By ITV". Apple.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  35. "ITV introduces Apple subs fee". Broadcast. 11 June 2013.
  36. "UK broadcaster ITV introduces £3.99 live TV streaming for iOS but viewers are not impressed". The Next Web. 12 June 2013.
  37. "- Microsoft Store". microsoft.com. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  38. "ITV Media | Domino's is to be the first ever sponsor of the ITV Hub". www.itvmedia.co.uk.
  39. Gwynn, Simon. "Domino's to sponsor ITV's video on demand offering". www.campaignlive.co.uk. Retrieved 13 July 2019.