BBC launches Connected Red Button

The BBC has unveiled improved red button functionality that will allow viewers with Internet-enabled TVs to access iPlayer with a press of a button. The new Connected Red Button will utilise net connectivity to deliver catch-up programming, news, weather, and multiple streams of sports coverage.

The feature has gone live but is only available on Virgin Media’s Tivo service, as it will receive a staggered rollout to other connected-TV providers in the coming months. New features are also set to be added over time as viewers will initially be limited to only accessing content showed on CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Three and BBC Four.

The Red Button was originally launched 13 years ago as a replacement for the now defunct Ceefax service. The BBC hopes that the makeover will future proof the supplementary feature in time for a predicted surge of Internet-connected TVs estimated to achieve an installed base of 22 million UK households by 2016.

"The BBC is seamlessly bringing the internet together with live TV, while making the technology completely invisible. This is Red Button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television," said general manager of BBC programmes, Daniel Danker.

“We also see a world where mobile and tablet editions team up with Connected Red Button on the big screen to deliver some truly immersive and versatile experiences,” he added