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Removing Press Red Icons

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James Parkin James Parkin | 10:32 UK time, Monday, 16 February 2009

Although we in the Red Button team love it when our viewers press red, if you don't wish to have the "Press Red" icon (also known as the trigger) on screen at all times then you might be interested to know that you can remove it at the press of a button.

If you want to hide it and are watching Freeview try pressing the green button. On services other than Freeview, you need to press a different button to remove the trigger. Here is the complete list:

  • Freeview - Green
  • Sky - Back Up
  • Virgin Media- Blue
  • Freesat - Green or Back

James Parkin is a software engineer for the BBC Red Button service


The following comments were originally posted on the BBCi Labs blog

At 11:28am on 16 Feb 2009, jwfrancis wrote:

Doesn't work if you use a PVR though :-(

At 2:16pm on 16 Feb 2009, djce_uk wrote:

Where's the option for not having it appear in the first place?

We're not constantly nagged to press the button for the EPG, or to press the button to go to BBC One, or to press the button to raise or lower the volume. But for some reason we are constantly nagged to press red.

It's very distracting, and it spoils the content that I'm trying to watch.

At 11:23pm on 16 Feb 2009, James Cridland wrote:

You can also, incidentally, tell Sky to stop showing it after a period of time.

Hit "Services", choose "System Setup", "Picture Settings", and make "On-screen Icon Timeout"to be "ON". Then save your settings.

It's there on my Sky HD box - messages exhorting me to "Press Red And Miss The End Of This Programme By Watching Something Else" last for 30 seconds or so, and just disappear.

At 4:57pm on 17 Feb 2009, Sue_Aitch wrote:

I still would like an updated version of Ceefax pages 695-698 (minus the stuff about how to recieve Digital Television and Ceefax) migrate to Red Button Help pages, James: is this in the offing before the end of June 09, say?

At 9:40pm on 18 Feb 2009, jtemplar wrote:

I do wish the BBC would get rid of the "Press Red" icon (also known as the trigger) altogether. Stupid choice of colour for a start - why RED to GO interactive - wouldn't green be more intuitive?

Using the same rationale as used for showing 'The Trigger', (stupid name), perhaps you should have a Ceefax 'trigger' so all those analogue viewers can be made aware that teletext is available. WE KNOW IT IS!!

At the very least give us the option to remove it permanently, without deactivating interactive services. It is particularly annoying on BBC News where, despite removing it, it just keeps coming back with increasing regularity.

I have deactivated interactive services on my Freeview box so I never see 'The Trigger', but then I never use interactive services. On my Sky box I use the method described by James Cridland - why didn't James Parkin (software engineer for the BBC Red Button service), mention this method; that would have been helpful.

Joke: My grandma pressed red and the telly went off!


At 3:40pm on 20 Feb 2009, James_Parkin wrote:

Thank you for all your feedback.

I'd be interested to find out what the make and model of the PVR is that didn't work.

With regard to the Ceefax pages on 695 to 698, which contain BBC information and BBC contact details, much of this content can be found on the BBC Red Button service in the help section. Over the next month we intend to update the Help section on Virgin Media and Sky. Longer term we hope to transfer some of the BBC information pages into the Help section but this is dependent on space.

Thank you to James Cridland for providing details on how to disable the press red trigger on Sky. Unfortunately it isn't possible to describe disabling the press red trigger on all boxes and indeed many don't support this option at all. However, if you do want to find out more about what your box can do I suggest heading over to the Digitial Spy forums where they have lots of discussion about digital set top boxes and the broadcasting industry as a whole. You can find them here: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/


At 3:49pm on 20 Feb 2009, Andrew Bowden wrote:

jtemplar - those press red triggers are, we know, a contentious issue.

On one end, we have users who don't like them.

On the other, we have people tell us they don't know they can press red, or even don't think there's anything to actually see unless there's a prompt on screen!

The BBC tries to find a balance and use them relatively sparingly and to promote related content that viewers may not realise exists - e.g. if there's more sport options on the Sport Multiscreen during a football match, or to promote the alternative commentary options during the Six Nations.

At 4:51pm on 20 Feb 2009, jwfrancis wrote:

@james_parkin - the PVR is a Panasonic DMR-EH50. It's just recording a video stream, so I don't understand how it can possibly respond to a 'command' after the fact?

At 10:13am on 23 Feb 2009, Sue_Aitch wrote:

@james_parkin -

I have a couple of ideas for clearing some space from Freeview Red Button to make it possible to include, say BBC Tours on the service:

1. Stop publishing the Top 40 on CBBC Extra pages as the Charts already appears on Entertainment Extra.

2. Stop publishing Nev's Horoscopes.

At 2:23pm on 23 Feb 2009, James_Parkin wrote:

@jwfrancis - Sorry I misunderstood. You are correct, you can't remove the trigger from a recorded video stream.

At 4:11pm on 26 Feb 2009, si_lumb wrote:

@All - on the Freesat Sport Multiscreen video links you can also quickly minimise the on screen information using green if you don't want to wait a few seconds for it to disappear on it's own.

At 2:28pm on 02 Mar 2009, Brekkie wrote:

A time-out would be best for the press RED icons. In the early days of Freeview I'm sure they used to fade out after 30 seconds or so. I'd imagine if people haven't pressed red within 30 seconds, they've no intention of pressing red - or if they do intend to later they don't need a constant prompt their to remind them.

At 1:04pm on 05 Mar 2009, Hymagumba wrote:

I've never been overly bothered by the small press red icons however a time out would be good.

What I did object to however was that THING that appeared on Virgin over christmas advertising iPlayer.

Exactly who thought that having a hideous ugly giant bauble based lump covering a large portion of the screen and then not timing out.

I had three friends of the "but they now look too thin since you fixed widescreen" variety call me to ask how to get rid of it so it obviously wasn't just us obsessive types who noticed it.

Please don't ever put that on my telly again. Please.


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