Feeds

BBC shrinks Red Button: Loses 8 channels after the Olympics

Extra 24 live HD streams during the Games

High performance access to file storage

The BBC will be dropping eight of its Red Button channels after an Olympic splurge, focusing on IPTV content instead of the alternative electronic programme guide that the Red Button had become.

The changes were proposed last year, but have now been confirmed by the BBC Trust as picked up by the a516 blog. Freeview has been limited to a single Red Button stream for a while, but will gain another couple of channels for the Games – only to lose them again as Red Button drops to a single stream across all the BBC broadcast platforms.

Over the Olympics the BBC will provide as many as 24 separate standard-definition channels, and 24 in high definition, though Freeview will only get one of the former and two of the latter, but once the international sports day is over that will drop to a single video stream across all the delivery mechanisms as the BBC instead uses IPTV to deliver additional content.

Screen shot of experimental channel The Space

Freeview isn't just broadcast channels these days, not on 117 at least

As well as providing access to digital text services, the BBC's Red Button has provided a way to link users to what are technically other channels but promoted as value-added content, so during the Olympics one might press the Red Button to view a particular sporting event though one could equally well change channel to 302 (on Freeview).

But once the Games are past that will drop to a single channel, which combined with the removal of BBC HD will leave more space for an HD version of BBC2, and reduce the satellite transponder space the BBC has to pay for.

The Trust's report (PDF, long) also confirms how few children are watching content on BBC1 and BBC2 these days, and almost all of those who do also watch CBBC or CBeebies so there's replication of content, which explains why Blue Peter is shuffling over to CBBC.

The BBC has been providing Red Button content since 2002, though (to our minds) it peaked with the Interactive Antiques Roadshow where one could guess the value ahead of the experts. Freeview HD boxes have IPTV decoding built in, good enough to run the BBC's iPlayer and other streamed content, so a shift of focus from broadcast to narrowcast makes sense, for additional content at least. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
FOUR DAYS: That's how long it took to crack Galaxy S5 fingerscanner
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.