Archives for April 2012

What's on BBC Red Button 28th April - 5th May

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Tess Foster Tess Foster | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 28 April 2012

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In It To Win It

Dale Winton returns with another series of In It To Win It, the game show where people compete on general knowledge for a big money jackpot.

Think you can do better? Every Saturday press the Red Button during the show to pit your wits against our studio contestants. Come the final round will you still be In It To Win It?

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Six Months in the Life of the Radio & Music Product

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Andrew Scott Andrew Scott | 13:00 UK time, Thursday, 26 April 2012

Nine people clustered around a whiteboard of sticky ntoes

Team Eno's morning SCRUM meeting

I joined BBC Future Media in January 2011 as Head of Radio and Music with the job of defining and delivering the new Radio and Music product as part of BBC Online's 10 products, 4 screens 1 service strategy.

I manage around thirty people which breaks down into:

  • Product Management (decide what we build)
  • Project Management (decide when we build it)
  • Development (decide how we build it and actually build it)

I was extremely lucky to inherit teams of very smart and passionate people with a deep understanding of the portfolio of sites that make up the product, and of the infrastructure which supports that. I am also very fortunate to have a great partnership with the fantastic editorial team in Audio and Music under Mark Friend, who work directly with the Radio Network staff and help us to understand their priorities.

On Friday 4th May at the next BBC Online Briefing Mark and I will be presenting an update on the Radio & Music product. So this seemed like a good time to give you an in depth look at what we've been doing in the past six months.

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BBC Red Button Blog 21st - 28th April

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Tess Foster Tess Foster | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 21 April 2012

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Ceallach and Hacker

CBBC Extra

Press red on the CBBC channel this week and join special guest presenter Ceallach from Friday Download as he and Hacker T. Dog introduce exclusive clips from all new Horrible Histories and Trade Your Way to the USA as well as revisiting CBBC favourites, Dani's House and Sam and Mark's Big Wind Up.

You can also read Chris and Dodge's blog, answers to some of your questions, read your horoscopes and see if the jokes that made Chris and Dodge LOL will have the same effect on you.

Go on, press red... You know you want to!

CBBC Extra website

Available on all platforms

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Connected Studio 1: home page, search and navigation

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Adrian Woolard | 11:05 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

Last week I told you about the Connected Studio programme.

Places are now available to work with the Homepage, Search & Navigation teams at the first event on May 4th. This post is about how to apply.

You can read the innovation brief (PDF) and watch videos from the teams (see below) explaining how the homepage, search, and navigation products work and the teams' future ambitions.

We have also drawn up "Principles of Engagement" (PDF) and - inspired by our research partners at The Creative Exchange - a Connected Studio "What you give, what you get" chart (PDF) to explain the benefits of getting involved.


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BBC Mundo iPhone app

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Phil Buckley Phil Buckley | 15:11 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Screengrabs of the iPhone app

The app offers two different default homepages

A month or so ago I blogged about the iPhone app for the BBC Russian service, and about how we hoped to roll out further apps very quickly; and today you can see the next step with the release of our iPhone app for our Latin American Spanish Service, BBC Mundo.

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Digital Public Space: Data Guides

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Mo McRoberts Mo McRoberts | 09:00 UK time, Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Last year, my colleagues in BBC Archive Development and I wrote some blog posts about the Digital Public Space project, which uses Semantic Web technology as a way to help unlock the value in the archives of the BBC and other publicly-funded institutions.

Since those posts, our efforts have been focussed upon delivering the technology platform for a joint project with Arts Council England called “The Space” which will be available between May and October this year.

However, we haven’t lost sight of the vision for the Digital Public Space project, and I wanted to share with you a piece of work which has come from that.

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Sports Refresh: Dynamic Semantic Publishing

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Jem Rayfield | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Hi, I'm Jem Rayfield, and I work as Lead Technical Architect for the News and Knowledge Core Engineering department.

This blog post describes the technology strategy the BBC Future Media department is using to evolve from a relational content model and static publishing framework towards a fully dynamic semantic publishing (DSP) architecture. The DSP architectural approach underpins the recently re-launched and refreshed BBC Sports site and indeed the BBC's Olympics 2012 online content.

DSP uses linked data technology to automate the aggregation, publishing and re-purposing of interrelated content objects according to an ontological domain-modelled information architecture, providing a greatly improved user experience and high levels of user engagement.

The DSP architecture curates and publishes HTML and RDF aggregations based on embedded Linked Data identifiers, ontologies and associated inference.

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What's on BBC Red Button 14th - 21st April

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Tess Foster Tess Foster | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 14 April 2012

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Olivier Awards


Watch the 2012 Olivier Awards live and uninterrupted on BBC Red Button. Radio 2's Anneka Rice will present from the red carpet at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House. The ceremony, including star-studded musical numbers, begins at 6pm.

Tune in on Monday 16th April to watch highlights from the event.

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Connected Studio: Launching Phase One

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Adrian Woolard | 16:40 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Server racks

Servers for BBC Redux, an innovative research project around serving on-demand audio and video

Late last year Ralph Rivera, Director BBC Future Media, unveiled his vision for the Connected Studio. As the person responsible for delivering the first phase of the Connected Studio, I’d like to give you a sense of what we aim to deliver over the next 12 months, and why.

Connected Studio enables the creative community and BBC staff to work in partnership to develop new features for BBC Online. Today we’re launching phase one of that initiative, a 12 month series of events where external and internal creatives can get together in a room with BBC tools and assets, and brainstorm and pilot new formats and functionality.

Focused on the ten BBC Online products, the programme will make available up to £2m of investment to fund pilot projects which audiences will be able to trial.

The first set of Studio events will be based around the Homepage, Search and Navigation Products running their first Creative Studio event in MediaCityUK. Check out the call for ideas and sign-up at to join us at these events starting on May 4th. Once you’ve registered interest, you’ll also be kept up to date about all forthcoming Connected Studio events.

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BBC Sport App on Connected TVs: launches on TiVo

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Aaron Scullion | 10:28 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Mock-up of the new BBC Sport App for Connected TVs, showing live Formula 1 coverage

In my role as Executive Product Manager in BBC Future Media, I'm responsible for launching and developing BBC products - such as News and Sport - on Connected TV.

It’s a hugely exciting time to be working on such products, with the Olympics on the horizon. They are set to be the first truly digital Games and last week Roger Mosey announced that 2,500 hours of live Olympics coverage will be available in HD, via BBC Red Button and 24 dedicated channels.

My main focus for the past year has been working out how we would also make this content – which will also be available on the BBC Sport website - available on internet-connected TVs.

As such, I'm pleased to announce that today we have launched the BBC Sport app for connected TVs, enabling audiences to access the BBC’s interactive coverage of major sporting events via the BBC Red Button.

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What's On BBC Red Button 7th - 14th April

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Tess Foster Tess Foster | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 7 April 2012

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6 Music's 10th birthday - a Look Back


De La Soul

Some of the best live music from 6 Music's recent 10th birthday celebrations at Maida Vale and Southbank will be on the Red Button this week.

Featured artists included Paul Weller, De La Soul, PiL, Graham Coxon, SBTRKT, Spiritualized, Orbital and many more!

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Blue Room: The Easter Bunny goes Digital

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Lindsey Suter Lindsey Suter | 12:40 UK time, Thursday, 5 April 2012

View of mobile devices on a desk in the Blue Room, with a corner of a living room and a car dashboard in the background.

A digital easter egg on a tablet in the BBC Blue Room. Photo taken with the Blue Room's OWLE camera attachment and an iPhone.

Happy Easter from the BBC Blue Room

My job is demonstrating amazing technology to other staff at the BBC Blue Room - and the Blue Room has been redesigned, just in time for Easter

The BBC Blue Room is the BBC's technology showcase, designed to raise awareness amongst BBC staff on how the world of consumer technology is changing the broadcasting industry. The new room - as you can see in the photos - is closer to places you consume BBC content, whether that's a living room or the front seat of a car.

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Delivering the digital Olympics: 24 live streams via the red button

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Phil Fearnley Phil Fearnley | 10:11 UK time, Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Black and white photo of office with cabinets of 1950s electronics

Vision switching centre in Broadcasting House, during the 1952 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Phil Fearnley hopes that the Olympics will do for digital and connected TV what the coronation did for analogue TV.

In August last year, Roger Mosey, the BBC’s Director for 2012, and I set out our editorial and digital ambitions for the BBC’s coverage of the Games at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. We have come a long way since then, and over the past year, my team has been bringing those digital ambitions to life.

One of the key elements of that strategy is to bring our audiences over 2,500 hours of live sport online via 24 High Definition streams - every sport, from every venue on every day – across four screens: PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV.

Today, we have announced plans which allow cable and satellite providers to deliver the same 24 streams that will be available on the BBC Sport website, via the BBC Red Button service and corresponding EPG channels. Roger Mosey has blogged about this, and I wanted to outline how this will work technically in a little more detail.

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