THE BEEB (BBC) has launched a Beta version of its Connected Red Button service across a range of Sony and Samsung Smart TVs, in order to get its internet connected content to as many eyes as possible.
The BBC announced its overhauled Red Button television service just over a year ago in December 2012, launching it on Virgin Media's Tivo service and integrating "a connected experience triggered right from TV".
The update builds on the widely used red button service, but the BBC reinvented it with a redesigned dashboard and additional features, as well as relying on an internet connection to deliver more content and a "seamless experience".
The British broadcaster said the service will also hit LG Smart TVs in "early 2014" to broaden its exposure.
"Over time, the BBC will add more features to the service, including lottery results, detailed weather forecasts and improved functionality. The BBC will also extend the service to other Smart TV platforms in the future," said the Beeb.
BBC viewers that press the red button on their remote controls can now access what the broadcaster calls the five core facets of its entertainment services - TV, news, sport, weather and radio - in a completely new way.
For example, on the traditional red button service, viewers would choose from programmes being broadcast and had to watch them from the point they were at, however the update means that viewing audiences don't have to wait for programmes on the schedule. Clicking on BBC 4, for example, you can just watch it now, as it links to BBC iPlayer without seeming like you've launched an app.
Powered by the BBC's iPlayer TV catchup service, which is inherent in the technology, audiences don't need the app to run in the background. However, the TV box that the red button service is being accessed from has to be hooked up to the internet. Those without an internet connection will be sent to the traditional red button service. µ
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