ITV’s older streaming service, ITV Hub, will continue to work on the Manhattan T3 and T3-R Freeview boxes (for now) – despite the on-screen messages that say otherwise.
This peculiar situation is happening because ITVX, ITV’s replacement app for ITV Hub, still isn’t quite ready to be released on Manhattan’s Freeview boxes – therefore, for the past few months, ITV Hub has continued to work on those devices.
However, in the past couple of weeks, customers who own these boxes (and, possibly, on a few other devices as well) have started seeing a warning message that shows up when the app is launched – claiming that ITV Hub will stop working by the end of April.
Well – we can confirm that is not the case, at least on the Manhattan T3 and T3-R (see full details below).
But why exactly is all this happening? Here’s a quick recap.
Chapter 1: ITV Hub Removed From Older Boxes
A few months before the launch of ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX, the broadcaster announced that its predecessor – ITV Hub – would be removed from several older TV and streaming devices.
In addition to removing ITV Hub from those devices – it was announced that ITVX would not be coming to them either – effectively leaving customers who own those boxes / smart TVs without access to ITV’s streaming service (unless they buy a new device).
Chapter 2: ITVX Launches On Freeview… But Not On Manhattan’s Boxes
ITVX is a free-to-watch (with adverts) service that replaced the long-running ITV Hub app, and is now a full-fledged streaming destination.
In addition to the on-demand content, you can also stream all of ITV’s live channels via the app, as well as several “themed” ad-supported live channels that are dedicated to a single series or theme (but not on Freeview Play devices and TVs).
But there was bad news for owners of the Manhattan T3 Freeview Play box, and the Manhattan T3-R Freeview Recorder box – despite early hopes that ITVX will be available on them at launch, technical difficulties prevented that from happening.
Manhattan was planning to finally push the ITVX update in April – but it looks like some more testing is needed, therefore we all have some more waiting to do.
Chapter 3: ITV Hub Is… Staying Put, For Now
Unlike other older boxes that lost ITV Hub completely, and then never got ITVX – Manhattan’s Freeview boxes managed to keep ITV Hub – which was meant to be a temporary placeholder streaming app until the arrival of ITVX.
So, for the past few months, T3 and T3-R owners were able to keep using ITV Hub, with most of ITV’s catch-up content being available to stream on it.
Many of ITV and ITVX’s box sets were also made available on this somewhat-crippled version of ITV Hub, but not all – some of ITVX’s exclusive original shows (like Nolly, for example) are not available on this old ITV Hub version.
This brings us to ITV’s message, which started to appear on Manhattan’s version of ITV Hub recently:
“ITV Hub will no longer be supported after April 2023. To watch all your favourite shows, please get the ITVX app from your app store”.
Worried owners of the T3 and T3-R took to social media (and to our comments section) to voice their concerns. How would one get the ITVX app, if that app isn’t supported on that device yet?
The good news? Manhattan confirmed to us that there’s no danger of ITV Hub being turned off – at least until ITVX is launched for the T3 and T3-R.
I have also tested this myself today on the T3-R Freeview Recorder – and indeed, as of this writing, you can still stream content from ITV Hub.
Of course, things can always change (especially if the ITVX app keeps getting delayed) – but for now, Manhattan’s customers will be able to keep streaming ITV’s catch-up content via ITV Hub.
As for the future – we’ll update you once we know more about ITVX’s final launch date for the T3 and T3-R.
And don’t worry – the new T4 and T4-R will include ITVX support from Day One.
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