I’m Jennifer Lyons, product manager for Connected Red Button in the TV and Mobile Platforms team in BBC Future Media.

Twelve months ago the BBC launched the new Connected Red Button service on Virgin Media’s TiVo platform. Today I am very happy to announce that we have now extended this service to more platforms by launching a beta version of Connected Red Button on a number of Sony Freeview Smart TVs. This new service will run alongside the existing Red Button service during its ‘beta period’, giving viewers a chance to try the new service whilst it is tested and refined.

Connected Red Button brings the best of the Red Button and the BBC online to your TV by simply pressing red. The service offers a lot more content including BBC TV programmes via BBC iPlayer as well as live events and the latest news, sport and weather, yet is powerfully simple for anyone to use.

The Connected Red Button is being launched as a beta service on supported Sony Smart TVs, with Samsung and LG Smart TVs launching in January 2014. Viewers will be able to try the new service, gain familiarity and provide feedback that we can potentially incorporate into the product as we continue development. They can do this while continuing to use the existing Red Button service as usual. More devices and platforms will be added in 2014.

Viewers can access the new Connected Red Button via the featured section

To access the new service, viewers with supported Smart TVs that are connected to the Internet can press red on a BBC TV channel such as BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four or BBC News and BBC Parliament to access the Connected Red Button beta via the ‘featured’ menu.

Viewers of the new beta service can enjoy the following:

• TV – including up to 10 featured BBC iPlayer programmes from the channel you are watching or explore more catch-up TV via the BBC iPlayer button

• News – keep up to date with the latest UK news and select headlines to read or news videos to watch along with a link to ‘News home’ for more news coverage

• Sport – watch live sport and highlights and read the latest sport headlines, with a link to ‘Sport home’ to access the dedicated BBC Sport application

• Weather – check the latest 5 day forecast for your location

• CBBC and CBeebies – easily get to up to 10 featured BBC iPlayer highlights from CBBC and CBeebies

The TV section in Connected Red Button

Right now Connected Red Button beta is available on selected Sony Smart TVs, with more makes and models coming soon. However, if you bought a Smart TV in the last 2-3 years, you may still be able to access BBC iPlayer, BBC News or BBC Sport when pressing red or via the TV app store. For older TVs or those that are not connected to the Internet, don’t forget you can still get the existing Red Button service for great digital text and video content from the BBC.

The Connected Red Button is built using HTML and JavaScript and supports standards-based browsers and streaming technologies. It uses a modular, scalable, shared (with Connected Red Button on Virgin TiVo) architecture that enables us to easily add features, modify sections or bring new TV platforms on board. We continue to work closely with the industry to bring Connected Red Button to a broad range of TVs, devices and platforms. Connected Red Button is built using the TV Application Layer which simplifies development, porting and certification. For more on the development of Connected Red Button visit Duncan’s blog post "Building Connected Red Button."

Sport section in Connected Red Button

As Matt mentioned in his previous blog post with up to 13 million people pressing red each week, the existing Red Button service remains very popular and we continue to support the service.

Connected Red Button represents the next step, bringing together the best of Red Button and BBC online content and services with the advantage of modern design and making the best use of the connected services that internet enabled devices have to offer.

We hope you enjoy this new service and I would like to hear your feedback in comments. There are also details on our BBC FAQ page. As the name suggests, we’re still at the ‘beta’ stage and I hope to have more updates in 2014 on the progress of Connected Red Button.

Jennifer Lyons is the Product Manager for Connected Red Button.

Update 8th May 2014:

BBC Connected Red Button is now available on supported LG and Panasonic Smart TVs. Please see the list of supported devices to check if your Smart TV can access this new service.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by baabaa

    on 16 Jan 2014 20:36

    My 2013 Sony 47" TV has the Beta Red Buton. The live snooker is showing in 4:3 ratio. Is this a known bug or is there a setting I have to change?

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by BRC

    on 15 Jan 2014 23:25

    Please can you extend the connected red button to older TVs. All of the elements needed seem to be available on my D7000 Samsung which I bought early in 2012 so I feel sure you could.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Nick Reynolds

    on 10 Jan 2014 19:37

    Further to Jennifer's comment you can find the FAQ here and the press release here.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 7. Posted by Jennifer Lyons

    on 10 Jan 2014 15:55

    Update: The beta version of Connected Red Button is now available on Samsung 2012 Smart TVs. To check if your Samsung model is supported please visit our FAQ and for more information about the release please visit our Media Centre

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Jennifer Lyons

    on 20 Dec 2013 15:13

    Nathan Lock - The update from the BBC News team is that we're working with Freesat to make the BBC News app available to our audience on this platform and we anticipate this be available in early 2014 on supported devices

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by Jennifer Lyons

    on 20 Dec 2013 14:04

    Thanks for all the comments so far.
    Nathan Lock - I've passed your question regarding the News app onto our News team. We intend to add more devices in 2014 including devices on the Freesat platform.
    lotrjw and Jamie Ellis - thanks for your comments. We will be supporting more devices in 2014. The Connected Red Button is designed to work alongside the broadcast experience and is therefore currently only available on devices with a tuner. Along with more device support we will also refine and enhance the offering with more features next year.

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by lotrjw

    on 20 Dec 2013 11:46

    I wonder if at some point all new digital TV receivers will be mandated to work with connected red button!
    Then shops will stop selling outdated SD only boxes and Sky will have to put connected red button on their platform!

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Jamie Ellis

    on 20 Dec 2013 01:12

    It would be nice if they included 'Smart' enabled Blu Ray Players such as those from Samsung.

    iPlayer should come in 2 sections - iPlayer/TV and iPlayer Radio.

    Lottery and Radio is additionally available on the BBC Connected Red Button (CRB) for the Virgin Media Tivo platform.

    On the BBC Homepage there is the following sections:
    News
    Sport
    Weather
    iPlayer
    TV
    Radio
    CBBC
    CBeebies
    Comedy
    Food
    History
    Learning
    Music
    Science
    Nature
    Local
    Travel News
    Full A-Z

    I highly expecting Travel, Local and Learning etc at sometime to appear!

    Next up Freesat's Freetime Platform!

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by lotrjw

    on 19 Dec 2013 20:02

    Will it be possible to launch it as an app on connected bluray players?

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Nathan Lock

    on 19 Dec 2013 16:45

    Please can we have the connected BBC news app back on freesat that appeared for 3 days briefly in september?
    It seemed to work fine, so why pull it?

    Secondly why are you developing for other vendors platforms before your own freesat platform?

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