BBC 'reinvents' red button TV service so viewers can access iPlayer from their sofa
Service aims to bring internet content to TV viewersInitially available to Virgin Media customers with Tivo boxes, and rolling out to other with internet connected TVs within months
16:45 GMT, 4 December 2012
The BBC has revealed a radical new version of its red button interactive service.
It adds access to iPlayer and can show information from the web in a bid to see off the threat of dedicated online TV services.
Daniel Danker, general manager of BBC
Programmes and On-Demand, said the move would 'seamlessly' bring the
internet together with live TV.
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The new connected red button service gives viewers access to programmes on the Corporation's iPlayer service and information from the web – all via their existing TV and remote control
THE RED BUTTON
The red button service was one of the first interactive TV services to launch.
It is often used during sporting events to provide multiple camera angles, for instance following players.
The current red button service attracts a
monthly audience of around 20 million.
More than 24 million watched
it during the Olympics when it was used to screen more sports coverage with 24 streams.
He said: 'This is red button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television.'
The Connected Red Button will work on Virgin Media’s TiVo service, which has 1.2 million customers, before being rolled out to other internet connected sets in the future.
The service, billed as offering 'next-generation TV experiences', will allow round-the-clock access to children’s channels, BBC3 and BBC4 and increased sports content.
The current Red Button service attracts a monthly audience of around 20 million and more than 24 million watched it during the Olympics when it was used to screen more sports coverage.
Victoria Jaye, head of IPTV & TV online content, said: 'With BBC Connected Red Button, we’re starting with the TV audience who love our broadcast output and we’re curating online content on the big screen in ways that add value to their TV viewing.
The new connected red button service will also allow access to the BBC's radio archive and live stations
'The audience can sit back and relax – the internet just made TV better.'
Cindy Rose, Virgin Media Executive Director of Digital Entertainment, said: 'The BBC understands as passionately as we do how important connected television is for home entertainment.
'We’re delighted the BBC is working with us to launch another milestone in interactive services.
'Our commitment to this partnership of innovation means Virgin Media TiVo customers are the first to experience the latest interactive services at the press of a button.'
Viewers can also switch easily between different sporting events being shown live without having go through complex menus or turn to a laptop or iPad