ITV Local is now open for business in London and Central, after a year of trials in the Meridian region. The online service offers local news, documentaries and films, bulked out with the inevitable user-generated content.
Being able to call up the last episode of London, Central and Meridian Tonight (or Today) is the biggest feature, with stories broken down by area and subject.
Other content includes features on local events and documentaries covering local interest. The user-generated content is sparse, but the quality is high - though how long that continues will have to be seen.
The content is strangely compelling in an on-demand format, and viewers who would never consider watching their local roundup might find themselves drawn into a documentary on steam trains near London, or a feature on the nightlife of an Underground station.
Advertising is kept to a minimum: with only in-programme sponsorship in video, and a standard (static) banner advertisement or two. Links to classified advertisements and other services such as Friends Reunited (bought by ITV 18 months ago) are also provided, and should go some way towards paying for the free-to-customers service.
As an entry to the world of on-demand TV, it's well worth a look, even if you're not interested in knowing the secret talents of London's bus drivers. ®