Tom Williams, development editor for red button and dual screen in BBC Vision, said the consolidation of the video service, which will take place on October 15, was necessary because the cost of using linear broadcast technology to deliver multiple streams. The Freeview version of the service delivers only a single video stream.
Williams said the change “in no way signals the demise of BBC Red Button”. He said the service would continue to support a wide range of TV and radio output including events such as Wimbledon and the Glastonbury Festival. However, the reduction in the number of video streams will mean that the BBC will no longer be able to offer multiscreen coverage of big events via broadcast platforms. The multiscreen services will continue to be available online, meaning that viewers with access to connected TV services will be able to view them on TV. Williams said the BBC was “developing new ways of bringing enhanced coverage of major events to your televisions in the future”.
The BBC will move forward with plans to develop its ‘Connected Red Button’ service, outlined earlier this year by BBC on-demand general manager Daniel Danker, combining elements of the Red Button service with elements of BBC Online. New functions will include live restart of programmes. The first version of the service is set to launch later this year.