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Oct 04 2012

From October 15 it will reduce the number of video streams on red button from five to one. This will bring it in line with the Freeview offering.

The interactive service is high cost and the streamlining is part of the Delivering Quality First drive for savings.

“This will be a disappointment for many viewers,” admits Tom Williams, Vision’s development editor for red button and dual screen, “particularly sports fans.”

Around 20 million viewers press red each month, and the multiple streams prove particularly popular during major events such as the Olympics, Wimbledon and Glastonbury.

BBC Online will continue to provide a choice of streams, while plans are afoot for Connected Red Button. The new service will launch later this year and promises to bring the best of red button and BBC Online content to connected tvs via the web.

Williams believes Connected Red Button – which will only be available to those with smart tvs – will be a step forward. “[It] will lay the foundations for new creative opportunities; new ways of thinking about television and radio programmes,” he writes on the BBC Internet Blog.

“Our goal is to create the best possible tv experience for our viewers in a way that is cost effective and flexible.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ariel/19816006

31 Responses to “BBC to cut red button streams this month”

  1. J.Griggs Says:

    Yet another step backwards under the banner of “technical improvement” when really what they mean is they are saving money. The next step will be to make you pay for every second you watch if different to the normal programmes.

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  2. Derek Says:

    Absolutely appalling and shows just how out of touch the BBC are with their customers.

    The red buttom streams are one of their best forms of resource.

    Cut some of the meaningless radio stations or managers instead.

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  3. Barry Says:

    I think this is the right decision, with the capacity now available I expect major events like Wimbledon will follow the lead of the Olympics and Paralympics with extra linear channels. For other red button uses, I bet the BBC see the majority of their additional streams coming from their website, so this is the logical choice since all new hardware has internet connectivity.

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  4. al catraz Says:

    will “connected red button” be supported on the new G2?

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  5. Keith (original) Says:

    This would be ‘okay’ if many (most) ISPs didn’t have download caps.

    @3, Barry’s idea of linear streams would be great – but surely this would be more expensive than the interactive streams?

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  6. ian Says:

    So sick and tired of the BBC cutting everything yet still having the gall to spend offensive amounts of money on bull entertainment shows that flop all because they don’t want ITV to have it!
    The BBC are not that cash strapped, lets remember, that ALL profits BBC Worldwide makes, goes back into the BBC to boost the LF.

    So because of this stupid move, extra F1 screens, Wimbledon multi-screens, Snooker, Football, Glastonbury, music events, will all be peddled back because the BBC are ‘poor’!
    But hey, they have cash to go ahead with BBC One HD national versions.. Woopy-do!

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  7. Recycled Teenager Says:

    Appalling. Yet another backward step to the Lowest Common Denominator (FreeView).

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  8. Gordon S Valentine Says:

    Keith (original) said:
    This would be ‘okay’ if many (most) ISPs didn’t have download caps.
    @3, Barry’s idea of linear streams would be great – but surely this would be more expensive than the interactive streams?

    Also no use via the Internet, since I can’t record it! Which I do a lot. So I can watch things once I get back from work.

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  9. Roger Says:

    Its all part of the continuing drive by Murdoch interests to sideline the BBC.

    With the licence fee being frozen (until when, exactly?) and the BBC being divested of all its external “commercial” income streams because they might “compete” with the aforesaid “interests”, its no surprise that the BBC is strapped for cash and can’t afford to pay for extra satellite capacity.

    What puzzles me is why the BBC is not allowed to:

    Run multiple newspapers
    Provide multiple satellite broadcasting channels
    Act as an ISP
    Act as a telephone provider

    like……

    :-)

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  10. Soldierboy 001 Says:

    Roger @ 9, All I can say is that you are easily puzzled, and it’s not really relevant. I am certainly no Murdoch fan but why do people always seem to blame him for everything that does not please you on Freesat?

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  11. Richard Crichton Says:

    It’s absolutely nothing to do with the minority shareholder in BSKYB and lots to do with the need to save money due to the current state of the economy though you wouldn’t think so if you saw the cars at Gleneagles yesterday where a room for the night with breakfast costs £1500.

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  12. kuergun Says:

    I love the red button when the snooker is on I can choose which frame to watch.Now just when its about to come back to the TV they cut the red button. I feel that Sky is behind all this..!! think about it the more the BBC cut the more chance Sky have of buying it…! Snooker is in trouble too, so they could quite easily contact Sky..!! But that’s only one example I once read that the future was pay TV…!! I feel little by little it’s going that way.And what about elderly and people who don’t have TV with internet or even internet.It is assumed that every one has internet..!! Well I know a lot of people who like their TV but don’t have internet..!! Even for that it would have to be a good connection or it will be buffeting..!! This could result in a lot of TV’s in the street and broken front windows. In the end why don’t we the people say OK ENOUGH..!! how much extra do you want per year Mr BBC if it is reasonable then we pay and we get the F back The red button back and hopefully better programs and less repeats. Because if we don’t pay the BEEB then we will end up paying Sky…!!!

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  13. kuergun Says:

    in my last quote it should have read F1 (formula 1) sorry..!

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  14. admin Says:

    With the price freeze on the television license, the BBC are having to make their budget stretch further. Yes there are still question marks over over-priced execs but do believe that the BBC are doing the best they can with the money they have. Expecting more new programmes, F1 back, more sports etc is unreasonable at this time whilst the country is going through difficult times.

    Unfortunately this does fall in to the hands of Sky, especially for sport, as they will offer the big bucks, but that sadly is just the way it goes.

    In addition, the future of television will go the way of the Internet, as it is significantly cheaper to broadcast. Suspect that most of the BBC’s red button/interactive services are viewed via their website or iplayer, so they’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t pay to support them on satellite based platforms; they probably would if they also had the same exposure on Freeview which is understandable.

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  15. al catraz Says:

    admin said:
    In addition, the future of television will go the way of the Internet, as it is significantly cheaper to broadcast.

    that’s already been discussed in the house of lords:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/31/digital-television-internet-revolution

    the next digital switchover!

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  16. mike65 Says:

    Does this mean no more 5live cup football chit chat on the red button?
    For shame!

    Seriously though, it is a pity and its clearly not some plot involving SKY or SMERSH just the BBC having to live within its means but possibly not doing so
    in the most effective manner – how much will those BBC1 HD regions cost?

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  17. Clive Says:

    The red button’s what made the BBC the quality network, a bit more classy than the rest. Their loosing this fast, this is totally embarrassing!!

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  18. Dave P Says:

    And just another bit we’re loosing to Sky!!!!!!!!.
    It was just about the most useful bit that the BBC were actually showing.
    With all the Olypmic coverage, the powers that be all of a sudden want everyone to get interested in sport. Yes you can go out and play it, but if you want to watch it on terrestial TV then that is another matter – sorry guys, we can’t afford it.
    Don’t even get highlights of the cricket world T20 on ANY of the main 5 channels.
    whing over with!!!.

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  19. cotswoldred Says:

    If bringing platforms in line with each other, BBC – can you get off your fat behind and bring the android iplayer service in line with apple.

    Your argument doesn’t wash with me. Sick of the lot of you. Including Jimmy Savile.

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  20. Neil Says:

    Maybe the beeb will rent some ad-hoc capacity for big events like Snooker and Wimbledon? I doubt it and instead they’ll offer them online or via a connected RB service, but just a thought?

    Knocking up a mux with three or four red button streams on one of EB1’s ad-hoc capacity transponders wouldn’t be difficult. I sadly doubt it will happen though, not even for Wimbledon which is a big event for the beeb, probably their only biggest sports event they have left.

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  21. JezB Says:

    It seems such a shame that Freesat has to be linked to the bandwidth starved Freeview.

    Who knows what will happen picture quality wise, to the poor souls, whose Freeview receiving aerials point towards base stations, where new 4G transmissions will be transmitted from.
    Blocky I expect if you recieve one of the higher frequency bands.

    Freesat could potentially gain many new viewers when 4G starts, is this why I get about 5 fliers a week through my door advertising cable tv?

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  22. Richard Crichton Says:

    The future is connected and satellite delivered tv. Freeview is good for local tv stations serving a city or county.

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  23. Rosco Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    The future is connected and satellite delivered tv.

    Connected – only if you live in a town. I get 1.8 meg on a good day, and at times even Youtube struggles to play content. Im less than 2 miles from the town centre..

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  24. Patrick Says:

    oh well, all us poor people will be making our own crystal sets again soon, as the big money men bleed us dry

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  25. Neil Says:

    Richard Crichton said:
    The future is connected and satellite delivered tv. Freeview is good for local tv stations serving a city or county.

    Indeed! There’s just no bandwidth left any expansion.

    I wait with baited breath to see what the ‘connected’ BBC Red Button service is like, hopefully they’ll add more flexibility and even the possibility of a return to things like on-demand multiscreens, something Freesat never had.

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  26. Richard Crichton Says:

    Neil said: Indeed! There’s just no bandwidth left any expansion.
    I wait with baited breath to see what the ‘connected’ BBC Red Button service is like, hopefully they’ll add more flexibility and even the possibility of a return to things like on-demand multiscreens, something Freesat never had.

    Spectrum shortage is certainly a problem for Freeview.
    http://recombu.com/digital/news/mobile-broadband-shortage-could-force-drastic-freeview-re-tune-in-2018_M10199.html

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  27. admin Says:

    Sorry all for the inability to comment recently; problem should now be fixed.

    (thanks Neil for pointing it out)

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  28. Keith (original) Says:

    This conversation has probably fizzled out now, but I thought I’d add…

    It’s not only a licence fee freeze that’s causing problems for the BBC – the Foreign Office no longer pays for the external foreign language radio services. I think they also used to part-fund the BBC World Service and BBC World TV (news). This now comes directly out of the licence fee we pay. So in effect they have suffered a significant cut in income for domestic services. At the same time $ky now has a near monopoly in many areas.

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  29. Segedunum Says:

    I am not bothered about red button “streams”, you might as well regard it as a short cut to their 301 and so on extra channels.
    None of this is “interactive” because there is no way of varying the content according to your input – red button is merely a text and short-cut button.

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  30. Segedunum Says:

    Patrick said:
    oh well, all us poor people will be making our own crystal sets again soon, as the big money men bleed us dry

    Unfortunately crystal sets only work on AM broadcasting so are near to useless if you want any variety of programming :)

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  31. Anthony Says:

    If Freeview had MPEG4 from the start it could have more channels inc. HD at better quality all with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound.

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