ITVX, the new streaming service from ITV that’s replacing ITV Hub, is already available on several devices – but many users are still suffering from early-day bugs, buffering and crashes.
Although the official launch of ITVX is set to December 8, a “soft roll-out” began on November 17, with the new ITVX app already available on quite a few streaming devices, such as Roku, Samsung Smart TVs and web browsers – with more being added every week.
Therefore, with ITV Hub no longer available on devices where ITVX is already live, many users are now using the new app, especially with World Cup matches already streaming on ITVX – but for some, ITVX is not working.
Therefore, many users have taken to social media in the past week, with multiple problems and issues – some just annoying, and some that prevent people from watching.
While it’s expected for a brand new service/app to have early-day bugs and teething problems, the timing – right along the 2022 World Cup – is proving problematic for those affected.
What Is ITVX?
ITV’s new streaming app, ITVX, is a free-to-watch (with adverts) service that’s replacing the ageing ITV Hub app.
ITVX is set to become much more than a “catch-up” service, and more of a streaming destination: it launched with more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, including 35 flagship shows (that will be coming from December 8), 200+ series and 250+ films.
In addition to the on-demand content, when things work you can 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.
While ITV is focusing heavily on the ad-supported free tier, ITVX also has a paid Premium tier, which removes all the adverts when you’re watching on-demand content.
Premium tier subscribers will also get access to the entire content library of BritBox (on ITVX – see more on that below), which includes more than 4,000 hours of classic British shows and films.
The Premium tier currently costs £5.99/month or £59.99/year.
But alongside the impressive new interface and bigger content library, the soft launch of ITVX has brought along some problems.
Here are some of the issues that I’ve either seen myself – or have been reported by others, on social media or to Cord Busters’ e-mail, in recent days, along with some solutions and workarounds for when ITVX is not working for you.
ITVX Is Not Out On All Devices Yet
ITVX’s official launch date is December 8 – but somewhat confusingly, a “soft launch” already started on November 17.
The early roll-out was possibly due to different devices having different app update cycles, along with the need to test things out gradually – but this now puts us in a place where some devices have the new app, while others are still stuck with ITV Hub.
Therefore, in the same household, people may see the new ITVX on their iPhone, for example – while their Smart TV is still showing ITV Hub. Or they may get ITVX on their PC’s browser, and ITV Hub on their Amazon Fire TV stick.
The good news is that this should be resolved within a couple of weeks, with ITV saying that all supported devices should be getting ITVX by December 8 (or earlier).
You can follow ITVX’s official roll-out devices update list here.
ITVX Is Not Available On Sky Yet
A lot of people are also wondering when ITVX will be coming to Sky’s devices – Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream.
Sky Q never supported the full ITV Hub app (it only has ITV on-demand catch-up programmes), but ITV has long said that they’re hoping to bring ITVX to Sky Q at launch.
While there’s no definite word yet – it looks like that won’t be happening, and ITVX’s launch on Sky Q will get delayed – but hopefully not by much.
Hello Andrew, thanks for reaching out 😊 The ITVX app launches on Sky Glass and Sky Stream on Monday 28 November. Thanks, Michelle
— Sky Help Team (@SkyHelpTeam) November 25, 2022
ITV Hub / ITVX Switching Back And Forth
Along with the gradual roll-out of the new ITVX app, some are facing a back-and-forth ITV Hub / ITVX switcheroo phenomenon.
That is, you’ll get the ITVX app working on your device in the morning (sometimes with the app icon still showing as ITV Hub), and then come tea time, ITV Hub will be back on your device with no sign of ITVX ever being there.
Possible Workaround: In some cases, this may be due to caching issues – you can try to restart your streaming device (as that sometimes deletes the cache), or even try to completely uninstall ITV Hub and then reinstall it from your device’s app store (at that point it may already show up as ITVX on the app store).
Keep in mind that if you delete and re-install the app, you’ll have to log back into it with your e-mail and password.
ITVX Not Coming At All To Some Devices
A couple of months ago, the ITV Hub app was removed from several older – albeit popular – devices, such as Humax’s Freesat (and some Freeview) boxes, older Samsung Smart TVs and more.
This was done due to software upgrades – some having to do with copy protection – but the unfortunate bottom line is that those devices won’t be getting ITVX either.
Workaround: There isn’t much you can do if your device is on the list of those that won’t be getting ITVX, other than to get a new streaming device (such as a cheap streaming stick) that does support ITVX.
Can’t Log In To ITVX / E-Mail Verification Not Working
People who are signing up to ITVX for the first time, have to set up an account with an e-mail address and password – and then verify their e-mail address by receiving an automatic e-mail from ITVX.
People who already had an account with ITV Hub can use those same credentials – but, if they don’t remember their password – they’ll have to reset it – also via e-mail.
The trouble seems to be that some people aren’t getting ITVX’s e-mail verification messages for some reason. Of course, this may be down to simple reasons – such as ITVX’s e-mail going to your spam folder.
But, according to ITV, there’s a specific issue with Microsoft email addresses. Those can be both @hotmail.com and @outlook.com, and the two are quite popular – so it’s hard to say how many people are facing this problem.
Let’s talk about password/verification. Our email service provider is having some troubles with Microsoft email addresses, we are working on a resolution with them! 🔧
— ITVX Help (@ITVXhelp) November 24, 2022
And then there are people who swear they know their login details and their passwords – and yet they also can’t sign in for some reason.
Christ a lot of people moaning about @ITVX and issues. At least they can log in 😂 4 days and counting!
— Alan Townsend (@alant90) November 25, 2022
ITVX Problems On Chromecast And Nvidia Shield
Although users across the entire range of devices are experiencing buffering issues and crashes, apparently there are particular issues on Google’s Chromecast streaming devices as well as on the Nvidia Shield (which is also based on Android TV).
According to ITV’s official help pages, casting ITVX’s content to a Chromecast device should be working, and there’s also an app for the updated Google TV OS.
Nevertheless, users with those devices have been reporting problems – from constant buffering to crashes – on Nvidia Shield devices…
@ITVX your ITVX app on Nvidia Shield does not work for more than 2 minutes for Live channels. Constantly crashes, I have two shields and both with the same problem. Picture freezes regularly too
— Gøoner 🏴 (@ArsenalCrack) November 24, 2022
…And on Google’s Chromecast:
Still doesn't work with Chromecast – buffering every 30 seconds, and completely unwatchable.
— Gee Walsh (@GeeWalsh) November 25, 2022
Somewhat confusingly, Google’s official “Made by Google” account tweeted this week that “ITVX/ITV Hub isn’t supported on Chromecast”.
Hey Andrew, thanks for bringing this up. ITVX/ITV Hub isn't supported on Chromecast. We're always looking for ways to improve so we'll take this as feedback. Stay tuned for updates!
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) November 25, 2022
Eventually, ITVX’s official “Help” account acknowledged the problems people were having on these devices – saying that “Our technical team are working on it”.
ITVX’s Live Panel Is Too Small
Users have been complaining that, on the desktop browser version of ITVX, the Live video window is too small – primarily because there’s a ginormous list of channels to pick from on the left.
You can, of course, switch to a full-screen video player with those arrows on the bottom right – but then you lose your browser controls and the other tabs or windows, which is an issue for people who want to keep an eye on other windows while they’re watching, for example.
What people really want is a way to collapse/hide the channel picker on the left, thus making the video player expand into most of the browser tab.
Instead, ITV tried to help by publishing a workaround video that showed people how to… make their browser window smaller (which will indeed make the channel picker disappear – but will also reduce the size of the video player).
We’ve noticed some of you are having trouble with the channel picker on Live. Check out the video below on how to adjust the channel picker bar! 👇🎥 pic.twitter.com/sw2rDZ3bX5
— ITVX Help (@ITVXhelp) November 24, 2022
Hopefully, this is a UI issue that will be improved in the near future.
Live Broadcast Lagging on ITVX
In ITV’s defence, this is an issue that plagues all live streaming services, including BBC iPlayer and Sky Stream – there are delays, sometimes of 30 seconds, sometimes of up to a minute or two, between the “real” world and what you see on live streaming, including on ITVX.
The trouble is that on streaming, these delays are longer than on TV services like Freeview, Freesat and Sky.
Therefore, if your neighbours are watching a World Cup game via a Freeview aerial, for example, – there’s a good chance you’ll hear them screaming and cheering long before the goal reaches your live ITVX feed.
And, as one Twitter user noticed – it can get even worse:
You know what's great, is watching the world cup on @BBCiPlayer and @ITVX , then getting a notification on your phone that a goal has been scored 30 seconds before you see it on TV. @BBCSport what do you think about maybe like delaying your notifications by 2 minutes?
— Jack Shepherd (@jackwshepherd) November 25, 2022
Video Buffering On ITVX
There are a lot of issues that can cause buffering on a streaming video platform.
What is Buffering?
Streaming TV is being downloaded to your device in real-time. In order to prevent disruption in the middle of the programme/movie/game you’re watching, a small portion of it will be preloaded into your device.
Then, while you’re already watching, the device will keep downloading the next chunk and the one after that, with you still watching the previous chunk that was already downloaded.
If, for whatever reason, the streaming device can’t keep up – you will ‘finish’ watching the preloaded part before the next one has enough time to download, and your programme will STOP, until the device can fill the buffer again – i.e., download the next chunk.
There are plenty of potential reasons for buffering: often it’s because your broadband connection isn’t fast enough (or several people at home are using it to stream at the same time), or perhaps your WiFi connection isn’t strong enough (a WiFi range booster might help).
Then again, with a new app like ITVX – and with so many people streaming World Cup matches at the same time – there’s always the possibility some of the buffering is caused by either an issue with the app, or with ITV’s live stream not being able to handle those big numbers.
@itvx @ITVXhelp Your live stream is unwatchable, glitching, buffering every 20 seconds, crashing… not good when the footy's on. Can't you roll-back to ITV Hub for now? As bad as that was, it was better than this! Thank god for @bbc5live
— Becky Lipscombe (@Beckstatic) November 25, 2022
Possible Workarounds: First, make sure the issue isn’t with your broadband speed or WiFi connection. If everything is fine there, ITV suggests you try to:
- Restart your router (unplug it/power it off for 30 seconds and then turn it back on).
- Clear app data/restart your device if you are viewing on a mobile or tablet.
- Clear your browser’s cache and cookies if you are viewing on the ITVX website.
Frankly, as someone who’s been around tech for many, many years – restarting and clearing cookies rarely helps in these cases. But you can try.
Can’t Log In To BritBox With ITV Hub Premium (and vice versa)
This isn’t really a bug – it’s a feature (at least for now).
ITVX has a paid Premium tier that includes all the content from BritBox as part of the same subscription.
Therefore, for a long time, people assumed (myself included) that existing BritBox subscribers will be “ported over” to ITVX in some fashion.
However, that’s not the case – the two subscriptions are completely separate. Therefore, you can’t access ITVX Premium with your BritBox account details, and you can’t access BritBox (the standalone app/website) with your ITVX account details.
Instead, BritBox’s content has been added to ITVX’s Premium section, and the original BritBox continues to operate alongside ITVX as a standalone app/service.
According to ITV, BritBox subscribers who wish to get access to ITVX, can cancel their existing BritBox subscription – and take out a new ITVX Premium subscription.
If you’re on the annual BritBox subscription, ITV also confirmed to us that you can contact BritBox’s customer support directly, and will be given a refund which you can then use to subscribe to ITVX Premium.
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