TV providers and services
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Everything you need to know about ITV Player - or to use its new name, the ITV Hub - plus tips and tricks on how to get the best out of the on-demand service.
Missed the latest Downton Abbey? Or fancy streaming Coronation Street on the go? ITV Player (recently renamed ITV Hub) is the one-stop shop for getting ITV programmes and channels on-demand.
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How to get ITV Player
Many people use the web version ITV Player, which is available over the internet on most browsers.
If you're subscriber to Sky, Virgin Media, BT or TalkTalk, then you can access ITV's catch-up service through your set-top box. If you don't want to get a pay-TV service, though, there are plenty of Freeview, YouView and Freesat boxes or PVRs (Personal Video Recorder) that can connect to the internet and get ITV Player.
Samsung smart TVs have offered ITV Player as an app for quite some time, but now selected Sony and Panasonic TVs can also offer the service through their adoption of YouView and Freeview Play electronic programme guides.
TV streamers are a handy way to add smart-TV features to almost any TV. They can cost as little as £10 and usually offer other apps like BBC's iPlayer and Netflix. You'll also have ITV Player if you already own a Playstation 3 or 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Wii.
If you want to want to enjoy your favourite ITV show on the go, you can download ITV Player apps on Apple, Android and Windows tablets and smartphones.
What you can watch on ITV Player?
ITV catch up: Whether you love Downton Abbey or Dinner Date, you'll never miss your favourite show again. You can use ITV Player to catch up on ITV programming up to 30 days after it was originally broadcast. Just as ITV has adverts on TV, it does the same with ITV Player. Plus, you'll need to set up an account before you can play the content.
ITV live: Depending on the version of ITV Player you are using, you can also stream live ITV channels, including ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3, ITV 4, ITV Be and CITV. On the ‘watch live' page, you'll see what's on all ITV channels at that moment - just click the play icon to start watching. Every time you start a live stream, you will be shown a series of adverts, regardless of whether the programme is at an ad break. Also, to stream live TV you'll need a valid TV licence – find out more about the licence with our expert guide.
ITV Player tips and tricks
Finding something to watch: On the web version of ITV Player, you can click on the ‘by day' tab to browse content by the date it was broadcast. Go to the ‘categories' tab and you can see programmes based around various genres, including entertainment, drama & soaps and sport. This also has tabs for all the different ITV channels so you can browse what they have to offer, with options to filter on the most recently broadcast shows and popular choices.
Search: If you know (or have a vague idea) what you want to watch, you can use the search bar to enter a full term, such as a programme, person or keyword. Alternatively, the A-Z tab shows search results starting with the same letter.
TV guide: Unlike BBC iPlayer, ITV Player on computers and laptops doesn't have an integrated TV guide. Rather, you have to click on the ‘more ITV' tab to head over to the main ITV website where the guide is hosted. The guide has integrated links to catch up or live stream programmes, but this curiously involves going back to ITV Player to actually watch the programme.
ITV Player Premium: You can pay a £3.99 rolling monthly subscription to have ads removed from ITV Player content. This will cost you nearly £50 for the full year, but considering that an hour-long ITV programme has more than 20 adverts, it could be worth it if you plan on watching a lot of ITV content and hate ads.
ITV Player tech tips: The quality of video streaming will depend on your broadband speed – we'd advise you to have at least 2Mbps to use it. Make sure you have the latest version of Flash player installed on your computer, too, and ensure your browser is upgraded to the latest version to get the best possible experience. More help and support is available from the ITV FAQs website.
Can I watch content while I'm abroad?
No. All ITV content is only available in the UK, so you can't enjoy it while on holiday. It's also shame that you can't download content to watch later, as you can with BBC iPlayer. This means your computer must always have an internet connection to watch ITV Player programmes.
Rebranding as ITV Hub
At the end of 2015 ITV announced that it was renaming the popular ITV Player service as the ITV Hub. However as most people still call it by its original name, we've stuck with that for the purpose of this guide.