ITVX, the new streaming service from ITV, is now live in the UK, three weeks earlier than its original December 8 launch date.
However, the new service is only available – for now – on ITV’s website. (The “ITVX.COM” address now sends people to ITV’s website).
ITV Hub’s app on mobile phones, Smart TVs and streaming devices will be updated within the coming days and weeks, therefore the new ITVX experience is only available via web browsers at this time.
Nevertheless, the surprising switch-on of ITVX on the web finally gives us a glimpse into the full-service ITVX will be offering, including its Premium tier, the Live TV streams, and its BritBox implementation.
- Update: ITVX is now also live on Roku streaming devices, Samsung Smart TVs (2016 and above), NOW TV Smart Boxes and some Android and iOS devices.
What Is ITVX?
ITVX is ITV’s brand-new streaming service, which is replacing ITV Hub, the previous streaming app from ITV.
Much more than a catch-up service, ITVX is launching with more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, including 35 flagship shows, 200+ series and 250+ films.
Many of ITVX’s shows will be exclusive to the service (at least for a time), and will be available on the streaming service long before their airing on ITV’s linear channels.
Among the exclusive-to-ITVX shows is Litvinenko, starring David Tennant and Mark Bonnar, the four-part psychological thriller Without Sin starring Vicky McClure, cold war drama A Spy Among Friends starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce, and more.
A lot of the content on ITVX is available in Full HD (1080p), but Ultra HD (4K) content will not be available at launch.
ITVX is a free streaming service first and foremost, but with adverts. All of its content (except for BritBox) is available on the free tier, with Premium subscribers simply getting it all without adverts (though live broadcasts will still have advert breaks).
The Premium tier, which costs £5.99/month or £59.99/yearremoves the adverts and also gives you access to all the content from BritBox – ITV’s OTHER streaming service, which includes 4,000+ hours of classic British shows and films from ITV, BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
You can also sign up for a 7-day free trial for the ITVX Premium Tier.
For now, ITVX is only available via the web – but once the roll-out is complete, it will be available on most of the streaming devices, Smart TVs and mobile phones sold in the UK.
Some older devices, however – like certain Humax Freeview and Freesat boxes and Samsung TVs – won’t support ITVX.
ITVX: First Impressions
With ITVX now live on ITV’s website, we can finally see it in action for the first time.
As expected, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and is similar to most streaming services you’re familiar with – that is, you get rows of thumbnails with shows and films, divided into categories and box sets.
That being said, the design looks good, with big fonts, big thumbnails and pleasing colours – definitely better than the somewhat cold and dark presentation of the old ITV Hub.
Before you can watch anything, you have to sign up for a free ITVX account – but if you already had an ITV Hub account, it will be converted automatically into an ITVX account.
Once you have an account, you can add content to your Watchlist. As is the case with a few other streaming services, the “My List” row is unfortunately hidden somewhere down the main screen – hopefully it will get its own tab later on.
On the main screen, you’ll also see a “Continue Watching” row that lets you continue wherever you stopped – even if you watched the show on a different device (but on the same ITVX account).
Since content has been moving into ITV Hub for several weeks now, there are lots and lots of shows and films to choose from – British ones, as well as US imports.
Keep in mind, though, that ITVX’s new original shows will only be coming to the service on the official launch date – December 8.
In addition to box sets and catch-up content, ITVX also lets you watch Live channels.
The Live section includes all of ITV’s linear channels, as well as several “Themed” live channels – there’s one that shows back-to-back episodes of The Chase, there’s a Real Housewives of Jersey channel, a Hell’s Kitchen channel and more.
These channels are also free (with advert breaks) – and more will be added (and some replaced) over time.
BritBox gets its own category on ITVX – so you’re not getting access to the standalone BritBox app, but instead, all the content from BritBox is now available on ITVX’s native app/service.
Since you can only watch the BritBox shows and films with the Premium subscription, the BritBox thumbnails also have a “Premium” banner across them, so you’ll know they’re blocked without a subscription.
BritBox and ITVX will remain separate – BritBox subscribers won’t get access to ITVX Premium and vice versa – read more about that here.
- For now, to see ITVX, you can find it on itv.com.
We’ll be updating a lot more about ITVX in the coming days – so make sure you Subscribe to our free newsletter.