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BBC News product for connected TV launches

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Phil Fearnley Phil Fearnley | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

BBC news on IPTV

Today's announcement of the launch of the BBC News product for connected TV represents an exciting step forward in the evolution of a truly multiscreen BBC News experience.

In a previous post I explained the BBC's new approach to product development, part of a single strategic vision for BBC Online and our plans to reshape the service: from 400 websites to ten products. Such synergies in news have helped us deliver a refreshed BBC News website and the continued roll out of a web experience optimised for mobile via our popular BBC News app. Ralph Rivera has published a post today about the importance of linking these screens via the concept of 'connected storytelling.

The BBC's sixth Public Purpose is to deliver the benefits of emerging technologies to the public, and the benefits of the coming together of broadcast and broadband are clear - new ways for audiences to enjoy content, enhanced availability of services and programmes, and opportunities for audiences to curate their own experiences.

Analysts are united in their expectation of huge growth in the number of connected devices in the market - whether internet-connected TVs or browser-enabled consoles. Internet connectivity can and will make TV even better for audiences.

Today's announcement is just the latest development in the BBC News interactive story. Ceefax, its digital BBC Text replacement, BBC Red Button, and BBC News Online have provided rolling access to breaking news and analysis, collectively, for decades. The BBC News product for connected TV builds on this by providing an on-demand, video-based news experience via video clips which can be navigated via your remote control.

BBC Online news editor Steve Herrmann will blog shortly on the BBC Editors' Blog explaining how this comes together editorially in the newsroom.

Although the connected TV market is still in its infancy and the medium is not yet a mainstream proposition, our plan is to build on this initial launch with Samsung and we're looking to work with other manufacturers to bring our product to their platforms as quickly as possible - technically, as it's built in HTML, it can be repurposed simply for a wide range of different operating systems and devices. By working with standardised products (we also build in Flash and MHEG) we minimise complexity for the market, and keep our re-versioning costs low.

We'd like to get your feedback, so please leave your comments under this post or tweet using the #bbconline hashtag.

Phil Fearnley is General Manager News & Knowledge, BBC Future Media

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