About a month ago my bedroom TV went to jet black with a white line across the middle. It lasted 24 hours. It went to a white line again on Saturday, and its still there. So it’s on to the computer for online and on demand TV. Many people are watching most of their TV online only now and BBC3 is to be 100% online next year. With many more niche stations offering on demand TV the whole industry is preparing to move to Internet TV and a whole new model of paid media, combing your live TV experience with the internet, which I think is going to be the best fun. I have already ordered my new Smart TV with my Amazon vouchers and ready for the revolution.
So with no TV I have been watching back-to-back Pawn Stars (no, it’s a reality TV show about a pawn shop) all week on the ITV Player and then old Minders with Arthur Daley from tomorrow. For some reason the Channel4 On demand service wont work on my smartphone or my Samsung notebook and so its been Quest, BBC Iplayer and ITV Player all week. I saw two cracking documentaries on the BBC Iplayer about Spike Milligan and the history of TV darts. Baring in mind they are pretty sharp high def images they look fantastic, even on a ten inch notebook. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the Comedy Awards on the 4OD Channel 4 Player, one of my favorite live shows of the year, one to watch on demand on my new TV next week. I don’t think it likes Windows XP.
The ITV player is pretty smooth and no real buffering or sticking. The Quest one is much worse and grinds down to slow motion growls after about 15 minutes, messing up my American Pickers reviewing this week. The BBC Iplayer remains the best by a country mile. The ITV Player, like most others, plays most of the stations programs live all day and all night long and you can watch the back-catalogue for up to a week thereafter. They then disappear and you have missed your chance although ITVs record of repeats I’m sure they will be back soon on one of their 6 current channels.
The ITV player will play all of their channels live (at the same time if you open new windows) plus a substantial back-catalogue of their stuff, including stuff from their new channel. ITVbe and CITV, their kid’s channel. You ay think The Professionals and Minder are dated but they are great to watch all over again and just as good. There is an extensive TV Guide and a 24/7 news loop service. You can watch repeated programs in advance on their TV listings, like River Monsters or Pawn Shop. With films there are different rules to stop copyright, especially new films.
The ITV Player’s biggest irritant this it plays the same commercials over and over again and you can’t fast-forward them.
ITV Player is ITV's answer to the hugely popular BBC iPlayer which gives people the chance to watch or listen to TV or radio programmes on demand, 7 days after broadcast. ITV Player takes shows from ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4.
There are few differences between ITV Player and the iPlayer but one of the most notable is that all programming is available for up to 30 days (one month) after the most recent broadcast on TV - three weeks longer than the BBC (usually) allows without downloading. Plus there are adverts in the same places as they were when ion TV. Not as long but still annoying.
One of the most frustrating things with ITV Player is that alot of the ITV schedule is missing from the website. For example, some US dramas which they don't have the on demand rights too are not featured - frustrating if you were planning on watching it on demand and not on TV.
Another issue is that it always seems to be one step behind the BBC or Channel 4's (4oD) equivalent on demand services. It was the last of these on demand services to be added to Virgin Media - making it available to watch on the TV without the need for a PC. There is also little facility for it to be used while on the go via mobile platforms or for programmes to be downloaded on to your computer/laptop making it watchable abroad or when the Internet is not available.
In recent years increased investment has seen the website improve considerably along with the adoption of the widely used Abode Flash Player as opposed to Microsoft Silverlight, meaning more people could access the player. But despite this there is still a long way to go to catch up with the iPlayer's of this world (not the least the shows that ITV broadcast!)
This is just going to be a short and quick review about itvplayer.com.
I'll keep it short because I'm sure many of you reading this will already know, or at least have some idea, about what the ITV Player is. Some of you have probably even used it before now. If you have then I doubt this review will be of much use to you, so I am going to take it that if you are reading this it is because you want to know if its any good, right? Therefore I don't suppose there is much point boring you with what you already know, and providing you with useful information for you to scroll through.
Summary of what ITV Player is
ITV Player is a website featuring programmes from ITV that have broadcasted during the last 30 days. The idea is, if you've missed a programme on ITV, say for example Coronation Street, then you can go to the website www.itvplayer.com and search for it. Then when you get to the Coronation Street page you choose the episode you have missed and then you can watch it there and then.
What's great about this is you don't need to sign up or register to use it, and its completely free to use. As far as I know you don't even need a TV licence to use it.
There are loads of ITV shows over there just waiting for you to watch them. Emmerdale, Coronation Street, The Bill, Gossip Girl, A Touch of Frost, The Vampire Diaries, to name only a few. Shows from other ITV channels such as ITV 2 are also shown on the website.
The layout and design on the site are excellent. The colour scheme, for me, works well. The background is a proffessional looking dark blue which I think is rather nice. The layout is simple to follow and navigation on the site is also very simple. It only takes seconds to find the programme you want to watch.
As far as I can see the site is updated every day. The reason I think this is because after 30 days a programme is no longer available to watch, and there is a number on each episode of the programme telling you how many days that particular programme is available to watch. The fact it is updated so often has to be an advantage as it means it is always up to date with the most recent ITV shows.
Something else good is that you are able to pause programmes when you want to leave the room.
Unfortunately, as I have already mentioned, episodes are only available to watch on the site for 30 days. This means you wouldn't be able to sit back and watch all the episodes correspondingly on the same day, at the end of a series, as the first episodes would have already been deleted from the site.
Another disadvantage is one I find much more annoying. It is that the site is very slow, hence my spaced out title. I find that what I have to do is pause a programme for about twenty minutes before it properly starts, and wait until I think the whole programme would have loaded on. Otherwise when it is playing it keeps stopping and starting again and again, and can be very irritating.
Something else that bugs me is the long list of adverts that are shown at the start of every programme. However this occurs on all catch up sites bar BBC and you get these on the telly so I'm not going to compain too much.
I wish there were subtitles! I'm one of those strange people who likes to have the subtitles on when I'm watching TV, but you can't get these on this. For me this is a disadvantage, and I imagine it would be for those hard of hearing as well.
I believe this is a good website; the fact you can watch TV programmes for free on your computer would seem a great idea to everyone. But it is much slower than other channel's catch up websites and there are no subtitles.
It's a satisfactory website, but it isn't brilliant and I much prefer BBC iplayer and 4OD. However I would still recommend it - for those with patience and if you have a very high speed internet connection
This is one of my favourite sites, it makes catching up on your soaps so much easier. I am a fanatic soap fan and try to never miss an episode of my favourite soaps.
I usually catch up when doing the house work or dishes and its great to just move the laptop into the kitchen although it can be annoying when you loose your internet connection, and unlike BBC Iplayer you have to watch the programme from the beginning.
As soon as you enter the site the home page pops up, this page is simply laid out making it easy for you to access the programme of your choice. The search box in the top left hand corner allows you to input the programme you are looking for and it will bring up a list of available programmes in relation to your request.
All ITV programmes are available to view on this site and it also gives you links to the programmes home page.
I don't think this is the best online catch up service as I find BBC Iplayer and 4oD provide a better service, for a start ITV Player programmes still include a annoying amount of adverts and although 4od shows have adverts they are minimal and tolerable. I also think the ITV Player is slower than the other two and sometimes takes a long time to load or can sometimes stop working all together.
Although it is not the best, if you can only watch the program on ITV then it's definitely watchable and better than missing your show all together.
I do find that the site is improving over time and hopefully it will be of the same standard as the BBC Iplayer soon.
Overall i would say that improvements could be made to the site although it does make life more manageable and is simple to use.
Any online service like the ITV Player will find competing with the BBC iPlayer extremely tough if not impossible purely because the BBC really does seem to set the standard and also I personally don't think that ITV have a really strong choice of programming. I love the British Broadcasting Corporation and I hope the changes they have to make to their online services are not too drastic but due to their funding they can afford to be the market leaders while ITV constantly seem to have to operate on a tight budget especially during this economic downturn.
Taking all of this in to consideration I really quite like the ITV Player, I think it is well organised and easy to find what you are searching for. I think it is well designed and the presentation is sharp.
The home page which you can go to directly or follow the link from itv.com is really vivid and vibrant and near the top are displayed more often than not five programmes which ITV would maybe consider their flagship shows at that time, the selections they think the public would access the site to find and there they are with out too much bother.
Under these, similar to the BBC is a box displaying what has been popular with other viewers recently and then to the left of this is what's on listings from yesterday and today from all four ITV stations and then underneath these are full listings of what is available from all four channels.
The best way I have found of searching for shows on this player is to use the A-Z database and there you can find a variety of programming. ITV is a commercial operation and so you get advertising during your selected shows but they have always streamed fine when I have used this site. I have watched Harry Hill's TV Burp and some of the Piers Morgan life story shows and if there was more that appealed to me then I would watch that as well, I have not ever had a bad experience when using this online service.
ITV player is the place where I generally gravitate if I'm looking for a bit of light entertainment that won't require too much brainpower. I find ITV's schedule to be skewed towards reality shows and light drama, so while it's not my channel of choice for deep and intellectual documentaries, it's perfect when your brain is scrambled or you just want a laugh.
The idea is the same as the other catch up channels- after ITV programmes have been broadcast on TV, they are uploaded onto the player, where you can watch them at your leisure. The homepage presents a list of 'Most Watched' programmes, so you can get a good idea of the highlights from the last few days. There's also a list of prime time programmes, from the day before and today. This is handy for scanning through what's coming up and seeing what you might be interested in.
The 'Find Programmes' funtion enable you to view the latest uploaded programmes from the different channels (ITV, ITV2 etc) and to view the whole catalogue of programmes available to watch, in alphabetical order. There are currently 83 recently broadcast programmes available, some of which have several episodes, so it's easy to catch up on a whole series.
ITV player also boasts an archive in the category 'TV shows'. Under the heading 'TV Classics', you can watch whole series of classic TV such as...Paris Hilton's British Best Friend and Britain's Biggest Babies (???). I'm not entirely sure what their definition of 'Classic' is, but it's a little different to mine! I was a bit disappointed with this section to be honest, and ITV's promise to update it regularly doesn't seem to have come to fruition, at least not in the 6 months or so I've been looking.
There are, however, a few old classics which are rebroadcast on ITV, and thus find there way onto the player- The Forsyte Saga and Brideshead Revisted are two I've noticed recently, so it's not all bad news!
As for quality of viewing, I'm sorry to say that ITV player comes bottom of my list. The picture is often jumpy and pixellated, and sometimes, halfway through a programme, the sound gets ahead of the picture which is really irritating. Also, there are quite a few adverts inserted into programmes- about the same as you'd get on ordinary TV, but often the Player will repeat the same ad 3 or even 4 times in a row, which drives me mad and completely turns me off the product being advertised!
ITV have recently updated their player, and the model they've used seems to have been directly lifted from the BBC's iplayer. The main improvement from this update is that now the player displays the last few programmes you've watched, and enables you to resume them from where you left off- very handy.
Like the other online players, you'll need Adobe Flash Player to watch programmes, but that's all- you don't even need a TV license, unless you're going to be watching live streaming. So it's a great free service, which makes criticising it seem like looking a gift horse in the mouth! But it just doesn't come up to the polished standard of the other players, despite the welcome updates ITV have made.
I have been a user of the BBC iplayer for some time now and personally, think it is one of the best inventions for the internet. As a result, when the ITV player was announced, I was excited. Although I now own a Sky + box, this is only a recent addition and so previously, if I missed or forgot a programme, I was doomed to search for repeats on the TV or go without.
The one big benefit of the ITVplayer, especially over the BBC iplayer is that it stores programmes from the last 90 days. The player covers the ITV, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 channels - not that there is much on any of them that I watch reguarly enough to want to catch up but it is certainly useful.
My first use of the ITV player was over a year ago and I was incredibly disappointed. It didn't help that the browser I was using at the time was out of date, so I had to update the browser, update the flash, download something from their website. The whole thing took upwards of an hour and quite frankly, by the end of it, I was giving up on the whole idea. When I did finally get around to watching the programme I wanted to watch, I found it slow to load. The screen kept freezing and at one point, the sound and the vision were out of synch. In the end I gave up.
Cut to a week ago and I decided I wanted to watch something else. With a heavy heart I clicked onto their website, only to discover that it had been updated. To my joy, the process was faster and smoother and on the whole, much easier to use.
As a result of the upgrades, the ITV player is now much more like the Iplayer in terms of ease of use and the ability to watch TV.
To be honest, there really are only two downsides to the ITV player. The first one being the adverts. I know we live in a day and age of adverts and that ITV is a commercial TV station, but it still rankles that I have to sit through the adverts whilst watching it on catch up. I'm used to fastforwarding through them on the sky +. The other downside is that it isn't available on the wii. I don't really enjoy watching long programmes on the computer and the wii is obviously much easier due to it being connected to the TV.
ITV player works like BBC iPlayer in that you can use it to catch up on programmes that have been aired in the past month or so on the ITV channels. This includes things like ITV2, 3, etc. and cover things like Coronation Street and Emmerdale, various reality TV shows including The X Factor, Jeremy Kyle and Dancing on Ice, and various light entertainment shows.
ITV isn't everyone's cup of tea, and I have to say that I've leaned more towards Channel 4 in recent years thanks to Peep Show, Come Dine With Me and various comedies and documentaries. So there's no point in trying this out if you dislike ITV. Personally, I tend to watch ITV player if I'm doing something else at the same time, like tidying, eating or doing my eyebrows, because most of the programmes require very little attention.
The player is located at itv.com/player (or itv.com/itvplayer), and the page loads pretty quickly first time, though loading a programme takes a bit longer. I recommend you have the latest version of Flash installed and use Internet Explorer - it's not compatible with a lot of browsers, and you may have some trouble with a Mac. iPhone and iPod Touch users won't be able to view programmes at all from the site as they don't support Flash.
There are various small pictures and text boxes to entice you to the most popular programmes, or you can use the drop down menu to search a complete list fairly quickly. So if you're not really sure what you want to watch you can flick through to see if there's anything you fancy or read summaries before you start watching.
The player has been revamped fairly recently and is much more reliable than it used to be. Often programmes would just cut off in the ad break or seem to freeze, but it runs more smoothly now. Unfortunately there are more ads than there used to be, and it's possible to get the same one twice in a row. It's also possible to have the same ad every ad break, which gets very irritating. Unlike the BBC or Channel 4, ITV programmes don't tend to make it to YouTube that often, otherwise I would go there.
Hopefully ITV will follow in the BBC's footsteps and make a Wii channel for the ITV player so I can catch up on my TV instead of my laptop. Other than that, I'd say they've put a lot of work into it and it's fairly good, with fairly good quality viewing, but needs more work to be fully reliable.
I had been keen to try out the ITV player for a while, so a few weeks ago, in need of a Coronation Street fix, I decided to give it a go.
The application was easy to find by going to: www.itv.co.uk.ITVPlayer . I found that it was easy to browse through the television programmes on offer, all the prime time shows were listed and everything was available for a 28 day period.
So I selected a particular episode of Coronation Street, sat back and relaxed. The programme took a few minutes to load and the picture was a little grainy, it wasn't as clear as it is on a television screen, but it was certainly watchable.
After about fifteen minutes the application ran into problems, it completely stopped, it wouldn't reload and in the end the whole page closed down. I thought this was a one off glitch and I rebooted my computer hoping to pick up where I'd left off. However I wasn't able to open up Google Chrome like I usually do and my computer wasn't allowing me to view web pages for long. In the end I had to revert back to my old Internet Explorer application in order to use the internet.
A week passed and I decided to give the ITV player another shot, this time though Internet Explorer. However, when I was unable to load anything at all, the ITV player had a completely blank screen and it didn't give me any indication as to what was wrong. At this point I was getting irritated, so I went to the BBC i-player application to see if that would work. On the BBC i-player page I was told that I needed a new version of Flash to watch the television show I'd selected. I downloaded this application and I then decided to try the ITV player once again, to see if installing this new piece of software made any difference, miraculously the problem had been solved and I was able to watch my ITV programme. However I was a bit miffed that the ITV application didn't inform me of the issue, it was the BBC i-player that made me aware of what was hindering my viewing.
I don't think I will be using the ITV player again because I am still unable to access Google Chrome and I think this application has hindered my internet viewing.
I think ITV need to up its game and work on developing its ITV player technology. However, when the application worked, it was okay. Three out of five stars from me.
If I were to make a direct comparison between ITV's online catchup system (this ITV player) or another such as BBC's iPlayer, then I would have to go with the BBC's version. The main reason for this isn't to do with streaming speed or the quality of programmes available, but more the adverts.
While it's great to see that so many programmes are jumping on the online catchup bandwagon, and that most programmes on the 'terrestrial' channels can now be watched at our convenience for a few days or weeks after the show, the fact that we have to sit through numerous ads at the same time is a bit annoying.
Unlike the BBC, ITV relies on advertising for a great deal of its funding, and so the adverts must be shown in return for the money the TV channel gets. I imagine there was an agreement that the ads be shown no matter the format, and when you use the ITV player, you can fast forward through the programme, but as soon as you get to the ads, which are set at each break as you would see them on TV, you can't fast forward through them.
This itself is enough to annoy me. I like watching programmes at my own leisure, and having an internet catchup system, with often limited broadband speeds, means that sometimes I have to let it stream ahead for a bit before watching, otherwise it keeps pausing while it buffers. With ITV player, I can only do this up to each episode break, and when it gets there, you're forced to watch the ads. After that, another pause while I let it buffer. I know this is an issue mainly with my broadband speed, but the fact that the BBC iPlayer isn't affected by this makes it all the more appealing.
The site itself is laid out quite well, and it's not all bad news. The programmes are generally available quite soon after being aired, so they don't waste any time after they've been on TV. I managed to catch up on the TV show Trinity after I missed a few weeks, and also the occasional X Factor show if I wante a recap or if I had missed it. Other programmes I tend to not worry so much about, but there are some quality ones on there, and the odd one off show I try to get hold of if I have missed it for any reason.
It's quite user friendly, and easy in its navigation. I find that some sites, such as Channel 4's On Demand service, aren't soa ppealing to the eye or easy to navigate, which does bug me. Why make things overly complicated. ITV player lays things out quite nicely, and this is a plus point for me.
Overall, it's still a good service. The ads do annoy me, it's true, but I understand that they have to be there. I much prefer the BBC's iPlayer, but then I don't go online to use the best streaming catchup service, I go on there to watch the programme I'm looking for, regardless of the channel it's on. ITV's player is decent enough, and without the ads, it would rival the BBC's, so I it's still a good service, as this is an unavoidable element.
In this day and age of choice I am often left in a dilemma as to what television programme to watch if there is a clash, this doesn't happen very often but when it does there are plenty of ways to catch up with a show that I might have missed.
Similar in concept to the BBC's Iplayer, ITV's equivalent the unremarkably named ITVPlayer offers viewers the chance to watch shows that they may have missed from any of the 4 ITV stations. There are obvious comparisons to the BBC service that are inevitable and the whole the service is user friendly and accessible to all.
Linking directly from the ITV homepage the website is clear and well set out, you can select which of the 4 channels you want to view your programme through and choose what you want to watch, a recent update to the site now allows you to view the screen in a separate window and it's just a case of sitting back and enjoying the show.
Except it isn't always that easy sometimes, and this is my only real complaint about the service, up until recently it was extremely glitchy and often would stick mid way through a programme and then crash completely. I have a fairly new computer (about 12 months old) with plenty of memory and am on unlimited broadband with no upload/download restrictions yet I often would be sat waiting for the service to complete its buffering and updates before continuing on with the selected show. BBC's Iplayer on the other hand has always been a dream to watch with no interference or glitches and I have watched many a programme on that service with no complaints whatsoever.
It does appear though that ITV had made some improvements to their service now though, and testing out a programme for the purpose of this review I was pleased to see no glitches or buffering. It is just after 1pm though so may not be a busy time on the website and I have not tried it in peak times so can't say if there are any improvements on an evening time.
Another annoying part of watching via ITVPlayer is that adverts are still included, and although I realise that the station is a commercial business and therefore relies on the advertising revenue it generates there does appear to be more and more advertisements appearing online then there used to be. It has been well reported that ITV have been in a sticky financial situation for a while now so must be trying to drag revenue in by any means necessary, but as a viewer I do find the ad's on the ITVplayer to be obtrusive and far too frequent.
The recent updates have been long overdue and the service is slowly getting there in comparison to the almost faultless BBC iplayer. For being able to watch TV online and catch the shows you may have missed it is invaluable and a great service to offer customers whilst bringing in some much needed cash to the network, if they reduced the amount of adverts then it would be perfect.
For the choice it offers and the layout of the website ITVplayer should warrant a perfect 5 star rating, however due to the glitches and frequency of the ad's I would only award 4 stars.. Saying that though if there is a programme that I am desperate to see and is not repeated at another time the service is invaluable and I am happy to see it available online. Not quite as good as the BBC service, but still impressive nonetheless.
The ITV Player is not the best catch up system, as surely you would need to be able to watch the shows in the first place in order to miss them. There really isnt a huge choice of programmes that you can catch up on as the shows on ITV do not seem to be as interesting as those on other channels these days.
The only programmes I tend to watch on ITV/ ITV2 these days are X Factor, Paris Hilton's BFF and the new Fearne Cotton programme. At a push I will watch the Katie Price or Peter Andre shows, but they are not really my style.
My complaints I have for ITV is not the actual ITV Player functionality nor the usability, but the actual content. ITV really do need to get some good quality programmes. In comparison to BBC and Channel 4, ITV doesnt even have 5% of my viewing time!
The ITV Player site is actually really easy to navigate around and is definitely user friendly. On the home page, you get some show suggestions and get the list of what programmes have been watched most. When watching TV, my favourite category is without a doubt a good comedy. With ITV Player, you are unable to search by category, so if I wanted to see what comedies ITV Player has to offer, I would have to literally go through each programme and maybe read abit about it.
Surely if ITV are at the bottom of the competition, they should be doing abit more in order to rival their competitors but it doesnt seem they are helping themselves. I wouldnt mind finding a new programme to watch, but I am not going to start watching something based on the title and would prefer to know the genre or category it belongs to.
I know I shouldnt be complaining seeing as this service is free, but if you look at what BBC and Channel 4 offers, ITV really are lacking and need to step up the competition. I only watch ITV when there is absolutely nothing to do. Sorry ITV but you have alot of improving to do!
ITV Player follows in the footsteps of the BBC I-Player - an online service offering the opportunity to watch the shows you have missed for up to 28 days after they are first aired. For those without a DVD recorder of a VCR this service offers an excellent opportunity to catch up.
This service was a new experience for me and having read several reviews as to the poor quality of the programmes screened I wasn't expecting an awful lot. However I made my way to ITV.co.uk and followed the link for ITV Player. The website is extremely accessible and very user friendly. The ITV Player link takes you to a sub site specifically adapted to allow the user to find the programme/show they wish to watch and then to watch it.
I was seeking Wuthering Heights, Part 2 having seen Part 1 last Sunday evening. The show wasn't available online immediately after airing on ITV but I found it had been uploaded the next day and was being advertised on the main page.
The site offers 5 shows as "today's choice" with options of a drop down list offering shows alphabetically or by the programme title you wish to watch as well as a link to the Soaps. There is also a "most viewed" list with the top 5 most viewed programmes on the Player.
Once you click on the programme you wish to watch you go to a page which details the programme title, length, a brief synopsis and any warnings such as mild swearing, violence and sexual scenes, as warned for Wuthering Heights. If you are choosing a programme that is part of a series you get the option to choose any one of the programmes which have been aired within the 28 days. On clicking the desired programme you are presented with a small screen which works just like Windows Media, there is a start/stop option, a pause button, rewind/fast forward button and slider which tells you when the programme is playing/buffering and also buttons to offer a full screen and volume changes.
On clicking play I was presented with an advert for Aviva the brand currently sponsoring ITV 1 dramas.
I found that once the advert ended I had to rewind and go back to the beginning twice for the programme to start automatically. This meant I watched 3 adverts before the programme began.
Once started, I found that the buffering system didn't really keep up and for the first 10 minutes of the programme I was unable to watch it properly. The screen was hindered by pauses which did catch up but it was quite frustrating. The same happened when I rewound the programme. Problems like this could also be down to the speed of the internet connection.
However after the first 10 minutes of technical problems the other 1hr 20minutes went without a hitch. From reading previous reviews on ITV Player I was expecting lengthy breaks with lots of adverts sporadically placed throughout the programme. This wasn't the case; the adverts were scheduled as they would be on the television. However they weren't as lengthy. For example the Aviva sponsorship advert was followed by 3 short Natwest banking adverts before the programme resumed.
The quality of the programme wasn't as it would be on your LCD/Plasma television, but it wasn't too bad. Some of the picture became grainy/pixilated, especially when there was a dark background or a lot of fast movement, but overall I would say that for an internet stream the quality was quite good, certainly much better than the first 10 minutes would have led me to believe.
Also, I watched Wuthering Heights in full screen. As I write this review I have it playing in the background on small screen and the quality looks better. The pixilation is less noticeable on a small screen, so I would imagine if it caused a problem you could always watch your selection on the smaller screen. The sound quality was also very good; it was clear and in no way distorted.
The length of the programme is monitored on the slide at the bottom; it tells you how many minutes you are into the programme. In the case of the programme I was watching it told me how many minutes until the end of the part, the slide then began recounting once the adverts had finished so you could work out when the next set of adverts would begin.
I cannot compare this service to others of its kind because I haven't the experience to do so, however based on my one-time experience I would certainly use the ITV Player again in the future and would recommend others do too if they have missed something they had wished to watch.
Also on Ciao under Carysb
ITV Player is an online video on demand service offered by the UKs largest commercial broadcaster, ITV. The service is found at itv.com/itvplayer. It is a free service offered to everyone living in the UK.
The video player used Microsoft Silverlight, a fairly new video processing technology competing against Adobe Flash player. Because Silverlight is still new compared to other video services, it sometimes has problems. Some people have trouble installing the service. This begs the questions 'Why are ITV using this service which many people seem to have problems with rather than using a proven service such as Adobe Flash?'
ITV Player lets people catch up on many ITV shows found across the range of channels including ITV2, 3 and 4 as well as on the main channel ITV1. Not all programs are available for one reason or another, usually due to rights.
Viewers can find programs from one of several methods, they can either use the A-Z menu, choose the date the program was on, look at the top 10 viewed programs or used the drop down menu which shows all programs. On the main page there is also a selection of popular programs shown at the top.
Once viewers find a program, it will play in an embedded video player on the site. The embedded video player is quite small and not very nice to watch a full length program on. Viewers can choose to watch programs in full screen, but the quality of most programs in full screen is not great. So its a lose lose situation for viewers really.
Before and during programs, adverts play. You usually get about 2 adverts each time. This is where some people have problems. ITV stream adverts from one server and the actual program from another server, if the program server is having problems or being over-loaded, more adverts will play and the actual program will never end up playing. Many people have complained about this problem but as yet nothing seems to have happened.
Most of the time programs will play fine and you can watch a full program, but you will need a good internet speed to watch the program in full. If your internet speed is not brilliant the video will keep buffering and loading every few minutes which puts many people off.
If ITV seriously is trying to compete against the likes of BBC's online video service iPlayer and Channel 4's video service 4 On Demand (4OD) then they need to make several improvements. The main improvement is better quality videos and a larger embedded video player. They also need to improve/change how and where the adverts and programs come from.
If you have missed a program you love and its not repeated on tv then ITV Player is an option, but until ITV sort it out and improve it then its not a viable solution.
The good thing about it is it is a completely free service which is why you get adverts on it so this is one good thing about it.
No where near the standard of the BBC iplayer, not at all.
You would think that this would be a neat little service, if you miss your favourite show, you recorder didn.t record for whatever reason, and it won't be repeated. Fine I'll watch it online. Or will I? Because for some odd reason, ITV put all of it's shows oline that nobody watches, maybe a few people, but then doesn't put on thee some of it's highest profile shows from the prime time slots, like the Bill for example. We went on holiday last week, set our digital recorder to record but there was a power cut, so it didn't. Now we can't even watch it online.
I personally find that the ITV player isn't that easy to use either, and it isn't too nice to look at. Not only that, if your programme is on there, when it finally comes up, it is constantly buffering so that you can barely even watch the program with so many interruptions.
I find the pictue quality isn't all that great either.
Overall, the player is in no way up to par with it's main rival, th BBC iplayer, or even really with 4od.
One more thing I should just comment on though. We all pay for our TV liscences to watch these programmes on TV, so sure if we miss something, fair enough that it is on the internet to catch u. However, those people who don't have a TV liscence can also watch these programs for free, and wht right do they have. They see little point in getting a TV liscence because they can watch them all online anyway for free, AND choose when they want to watch them, rather than having to stick to the TV schedules!