ITV's site lets you view live TV via a small onscreen window or enjoy broadcasts from the past 30 days using its Catch Up service.

A selection of ITV's most popular shows from further back are also available on ITV Catch Up for streaming over the web.

There's a choice of more than 60 programmes, including soaps such as 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale', as well as light entertainment shows and sport.

Since we were using the Firefox web browser, we were unable to stream any programmes from ITV Catch Up ( until we'd downloaded Microsoft Silverlight which took a few minutes. Mac users will also have to download Silverlight.

Internet Explorer users, however, shouldn't need to download any extra software as long as they have Windows Media Player 9.0 or above. We weren't asked to type in any personal details or pay a fee so, for ease of use and value, ITV Catch Up scores well.

Unfortunately, the quality of the video is a disappointment. ITV Catch Up programmes are presented in a window that's just 140x80mm, while the full-screen option is rather blurry.

A quick surf around ITV's website brought us to the Best Of ITV section. Here we were given access to one episode of a number of classic shows, from 'Press Gang' and 'Inspector Morse' to 'Heartbeat' and 'Cold Feet'. However, we think the absence of 'The Bill' – ITV's second-longest-running TV series after 'Coronation Street' – is a glaring omission.

Content can be streamed only, not downloaded and, given the size restrictions, we think the ITV Catch Up service lends itself perfectly to the smaller dimensions of a portable player or mobile-phone screen.


You can't fault the ease of use, and there's a lot of content on ITV Catch Up. A bigger, better quality view would be nice though - and where's the downloads?