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STV Player is an online video on demand service accessible through the main STV website as well as being available on a variety of smartphones, tablets, consoles, set top boxes and Smart TVs. Current programmes are available for 30 days after transmission on the main STV channel, with archive programming available longer-term. The service was established to hold full programming and "long-form" content, separate from the existing STV Video site, which would then be rebuilt to hold "short-form" content, news, weather and clips.
|Developer(s)||STV Group plc|
|Initial release||July 2009|
|Operating system||Windows, Mac, Linux|
|Platform||Online, PS3, YouView, Windows Phone 8|
|Type||Television catch-up, archive, live broadcast|
Most STV primetime, and some daytime, shows are available on the website; however, some sports, movies, imported programming and network programmes with copyright issues are not.
In February 2019, STV Player+ launched as an advert-free subscription video on demand service.
The STV Player is intended to combine ITV programming shown by STV, such as Emmerdale, Coronation Street and This Morning, plus regional programming, such as Made in Scotland, Scotland Tonight and STV Rugby, and archive STV programming, like The Steamie, Take The High Road and High Times, in a separate site from other, "short-form" videos.
In general, programmes are available in their entirety to those resident in the STV broadcast area, but in some cases, STV does not have the right to broadcast all the content online; in these instances, the segments of the show which are not subject to these rights issues are loaded onto STV Player, with the un-cleared segments excluded.
Since 2018 STV Player has been building up its catalogue of international dramas and shows and has made these available to all residents in the UK for free. High profile American and Australian shows such as The Bridge, Janet King, Party of Five and Pan Am are among the 1000's of hours of shows available on the online player.
In April 2014, STV Player experienced downtime during its broadcast of Salmond & Darling: The Debate—the first televised debate for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. STV had secured exclusive rights to the broadcast, and refused to offer it to any other broadcaster (including the BBC and Sky News), while STV's network ITV did not choose to pick up the live airing of the debate across the rest of the UK (excluding the ITV Border region), leading to higher-than-anticipated demand for the internet stream. STV apologized for the capacity problems, while BBC Parliament aired the full debate broadcast the next day.
The website uses Brightcove Flash technology, similar to those used by the services provided by the BBC and Channel 4. It is available on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac and Linux, and multiple internet browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
In December 2020, it was announced that STV Player would be installed on Now TV devices, automatically appear on the home screens for all users. At the same time STV Player becomes available UK wide to Sky Q customers.
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