Advantages The navigation on the website is very easy to understand
Disadvantages The constant stop start scenario and the adverts being shown
This review is for ITV Player which can be found at the following web address www.itv.com/itvplayer.
The programmes are usually available for 30 days after they have been screened for people to watch and not all the shows you do see on ITV are used on the site which is something to take into consideration.The site was launched in 2008 and has since become a very popular source of video on demand servicing and is very useful if you have forgot about a programme to watch, the service is free and easy to use.
The website is one of those which is created to make the navigation as easy as possible and that is evident on the first page you come to. At the top of the page there are various tabs which give you an idea of where you might like to go.
You can explore the rest of the ITV.COM website via this page or you could find a specific programme you might like to watch as well.
You have the most watched list which displays the shows which are in the leader board for being viewed the most and sometimes looking on there can help you find the programmes you are after instead of going around searching for them.You have the what’s on section as well and this could be useful to find out what is currently on at the moment during the day and you have got at the bottom of the screen the last watched programme you saw just incase you want to revisit in a hurry this is there waiting until the website kicks it off for being on over the 30 day period they keep the programmes on there for.
When you are searching for a programme the place to go is at the top via a tab setting. You click on this setting and a whole new page opens up with plenty of helpful ways of finding the programme your after.This tab will open up a new page which will display various programmes you might like to watch or in my view the most popular. You have a few programmes per channel to help the search process and if you find a programme such as Coronation Street (which is always in the top category) you get told some information about the show in a side column next to it.
You get told how many episodes are there to watch and when the last broadcast was just incase you were not sure. You can even click a link to watch the last episode immediately and this will bring up the window for that to happen.If you want to watch previous episodes of a programme you click on the title of the show you wish to see and it then brings up all the recent episodes and you can find out a brief bit of information about the episode and the date it was broadcast. You even get told on the duration of the show as well and how many days it has remaining before it disappears of the site for good.
If this way of searching is not the best you could go alphabetically. You get this option at the top of the page and you can choose which letter the show begins with and find it this route, but you need to remember not all shows are there.
You can even find a show by the date it aired which sounds a complicated procedure but sometimes people remember a date rather than the shows name and this could also be a huge benefit of finding a programme for people.
These are two features on the main page of the website and I have to say they are not exactly the best. You have the television guide which will let you view what is coming up today and tomorrow which is helpful and I admit to that part.
You can choose which channel on the ITV team you wish to explore and monitor and that again is helpful but for me the part I find funniest is the Most Watched section and that is a part of the site I feel is totally false.
The TV guide has got this way of showing you programme which is fantastic and I appreciate that help but I think it is rather small and needs to be bigger on the page somewhere.
So far so good, it was easy to find the programme and a new page loaded instantly but it then took 3 minutes to load up the page and begin to start the programme and at the start you see the advertisement of the sponsors for the show and then it begins with the starting theme music and it kept freezing on me throughout this part. I was already getting fed up.I then waited for the show to finally load up and every 4 minutes the show would stop and wait to buffer up again and it got annoying because it showed that it had uploaded quite a large chunk of the show already for me to watch. When it came to the advertisement breaks I thought I would be clever and attempt to skip past them and cheat but I was caught out when the show began from the start again and I was left not amused. Every time it got to the adverts I had to sit and wait for them to end but throughout they would slow down for me and it go annoying.
This episode was actually only on for just 22 minutes but with the adverts and the stop and start situation taking place it ended up taking over an hour to watch and that is not acceptable at all.
I would try and make sure around 99.9% of shows were screened because there are a few big ones which are not available and I feel those shows not being allowed to be shown are letting people down who deserve something.I would put accurate information up such as people filling in ratings for each show, this way people can view how others found the show and even a short 100 word review as well and it would help people determine perhaps if the show is for them.
There are many good parts to the sight and the ability to navigate so easily has to be the top good point to notify people about and for me that is something which makes the site so useful. I get angry when I visit a site which is taking me round a maze to find the right destination and this website does the opposite and just takes you there straight away.I like the fact they keep shows on display for 30 days and this can help people who might have been on holiday and have returned to find that the shows they wanted to see could be obtained on this website and sometimes we assume they might not last as long so this method is extremely helpful.
I think the amount of information they provide for each episode they show is very useful for people because at times we all get slightly fed up with the little bits of information here and there but this websites keeps up in the knowledge of how long the show is on, the air date and the episode guide as well to help us know if we have seen it before.I like the fact the site has got all the latest shows you have watched because sometimes a computer can shut down and you could just knock the webpage off accidentally so when you return this page is waiting for you at the bottom of the website, although not sure how long it would keep the most recently watched list there it is a helpful part to the site.
I do not like the fact that the most watched list is a total fabrication. Someone cannot tell me that Katie Price show on what she did next is higher rating then shows like Midsomer Murders and others on during the week. I think this show gets a few thousand viewers each week and yet it is on the top of the list so for me this is a part of the site I find wrong and false.I think the television guide would be better if they actually tried to make it on a separate page perhaps and had a link to display the next seven days on a list and then people could view things better. I think at the moment just providing the next 24 hours helpful but it could be done with more effect.
I think the website could try and remove the advertisements when the programmes are on because it can ruin the viewing. I admit sometimes I refuse to watch ITV shows due to the adverts as they do wind me up being repeated throughout the day but even on the ITV Player you cannot avoid them as they play them as well when you watch the show. It seems if you watch the show again it will actually stop the adverts from being shown but for me there should be an option there for us to avoid those sorts of problems.Not all shows are there to watch and some of those are The Bill and Loose Women and there are many more as well. I am not sure if this is due to contracts between the producers of the shows or not but they are two huge shows and there are more which are not available so there is a few issues with this.
You cannot view the programmes from the past further then 5 days ago and that is not good enough for me. They provide shows dating back a few weeks ago and yet they do not have the option of viewing programmes from a date which is over 5 days ago and for me that is not good enough and needs altering.Sometimes the speed of the show loading up can take a while and if you have a quick laptop like myself it can actually be too fast for the programme so it ends up stopping and starting throughout at times which is extremely off putting to say the least.
The website has plenty of good parts to it in some ways but there many problems you might not see and that for me is what lets the site down quite badly.You want to be able to compare this site to the BBC iplayer but sadly in my view this option is worse even if you can watch the programmes for longer than the 7 days on other video on demand services.
It is a 50/50 decision to use this service but for me use the record feature if you have it and this way you skip breaks and know for sure you can watch the show whenever you wish to do so.
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