Archives for January 2013

The Blue Room at The Consumer Electronics Show

Post categories:

Richard Robbins | 10:54 UK time, Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hi, my name is Richard and I'm a technologist working in the BBC Blue Room.

It's my job to highlight immediate consumer technology trends and game changing media consumption devices and to bring them to the attention of our editorial, technical and management teams.

In the Blue Room we often find the strongest way to convey the importance and impact of new electronic equipment and content services is to put them in the hands of our colleagues and allow them to discover the potential for themselves.

Ultra High Definition TV screens at The International Consumer Electronics Show 2013

The Blue Room is our den of devices where colleagues can touch, test and trial new consumer cameras, emerging displays, fresh forms of digital content and connected experiences across mobile, tablet, PC and televisions.

One of the biggest events in the technology calendar is the International Consumer Electronics Show. It features 20,000 product launches, more than 150,000 attendees and over 3,250 exhibitors.

With the exception of Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft nearly every technology company from start-up to the multi-billion dollar global brand have a presence in Las Vegas in January.

My fellow Blue Roomer, Lindsey Suter and I were there too.

Read the rest of this entry

What's on BBC Red Button 19-25 January

Post categories:

Sorcha Clifford Sorcha Clifford | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 19 January 2013

What's On Red Button banner

We're busy on the Red Button this week preparing to host a maelstrom of great music for your viewing pleasure. It's an eclectic offering - from stadium rockers Bon Jovi to Asian Network collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic to the very best of Northern Ireland's music scene. Add to this insider exclusives from eccentric new comedy Blandings and firm favourite Miranda and we hope you'll agree it's a great week to stay on red!

Here's a look at what's in store - and if you want to stay updated throughout the week, why not follow us on Twitter or visit our Red Button page.

Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi play live for BBC Radio 2

Bon Jovi fans listen up - we've got a real treat in store this week as we bring you the band in concert from the intimate BBC Radio Theatre. Watch on your Red Button as they play some of their stadium-filling hits as well as an early taster of their new material.

Read the rest of this entry

External Supply Review

Post categories:

Richard Smith Richard Smith | 12:30 UK time, Friday, 18 January 2013


I'm Richard Smith and I look after feedback and public accountability for BBC Online (including managing the small team who produce this blog and plan and deliver our BBC Online Industry Briefings.)

Part of my role involves working with BBC commissioners and external suppliers to facilitate the working relationship between BBC Online and the UK's digital industry, whether these are big players or start-ups.

BBC Online is subject to a quota which ensures that we spend at least 25% of our eligible budget with external suppliers, with the aim of creating the highest quality service and the best possible value for money.

In 2011 the BBC Trust asked us to report back with answers to six key questions relating to what our quota aims to achieve and how we work with the digital industry.

Read the rest of this entry

US Elections: Mobile design on BBC News

Post categories:

Helene Sears Helene Sears | 10:10 UK time, Friday, 18 January 2013

Recently I had the pleasure of working on US Elections on the BBC News site, a subject I'm especially passionate about as an American living in London.

My team produces a huge range of infographics that accompany our daily online news stories and we also do the UX design for larger stories such as this.

Four years ago I followed the elections closely on the BBC and getting the chance to design for them this time around has been incredible.

US Elections on mobile

A lot of people worked very hard on this project but the team's greatest achievement (though there are many I'm proud of) has to be our mobile design success.

The design brief for the 'news story that brings the web to its knees'

The design challenge was to create an engaging and informative experience for the US Election results that would work across all mobile, tablet and desktop platforms and be consistent with TV.

The main focus of this was showing national and state-by-state presidential and congressional votes in an easy to understand yet visually exciting way.

US Elections has been described as "the news story that brings the web to its knees". It's a big worldwide story that only happens once every four years which means technology has moved on sufficiently enough that the last version can't just be dusted off and reused.

For this election there was no question that we had to create a great experience on our mobile site.

From the beginning of the creative process mobile was on the agenda and by presenting mobile designs at every team catch up we were able to make sure it never became an afterthought.

Read the rest of this entry

Knowledge & Learning's Connected Studio brief

Post categories:

Andrew Pipes Andrew Pipes | 10:20 UK time, Thursday, 17 January 2013

Hi I'm Andy Pipes, executive product manager for Knowledge & Learning at the BBC.

Knowledge and Learning (K&L) is a new product in the BBC Online portfolio.

When complete, it will exist as a standalone property while also connecting related content across the other nine BBC products. It will pull together over 100 existing BBC websites from Bitesize to Food to Science to History and bring them into a single, consistent user experience.

The vision is to channel inspiration from across the BBC and the world around us to spark our audience's natural curiosity and establish a positive relationship with learning.

Learning journeys based on the Thames Barrier

The new product is making a promise that is firmly rooted in the BBC's mission to Inform, Educate and Entertain. To meet this promise requires moving from the current portfolio of individual web sites to a single product with a central production system and innovative new content formats.

The content currently produced by the editorial team in K&L ranges from formal learning formats (revision guides for students, guides for adult learners, and BBC programme clips to be used by teachers in classrooms) to topical features around arts, food, science, history and health.

We are now in the process of redefining the way that our audiences consume that educational and factual content. We believe that technology combined with storytelling broadens horizons for our audience. We hope the new product will satisfy our audience's appetite for topical content in an experience that is optimised for learning.

Below are some of the challenges that the team faces in building its longer-term vision, and some scenarios and themes that those attending our Connected Studio could help us explore.

Read the rest of this entry

What's on BBC Red Button 12 - 19 January

Post categories:

James Aslett | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 12 January 2013

What's On Red Button banner

Here's a breakdown of what we've got on the Red Button this week. To stay updated on everything Red Button follow us on Twitter or visit


Mountain Hare camouflaged against the winter snow

Mountain Hare camouflaged against the winter snow

The Winterwatch webcams return, live from Aigas in the Scottish Highlands where the team hope to be following the beavers and pine martens again, as well as some new species.

Read the rest of this entry

News Connected Studio

Post categories:

Chris Russell Chris Russell | 14:15 UK time, Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Hi I am the head of product for BBC News Online and lead the product strategy and development of website, mobile, tablet and IPTV products for News.

The change of year is a good time to look back and also forward. In the BBC News Online product team in recent weeks we have been reflecting on a year in which we delivered a number of innovative product features to the audience while also planning an exciting event to kick off 2013: our first Connected Studio for News which begins on January 21.

Pages from BBC News Online

With the delivery of our brand new responsive design website, our coverage of events such as the Diamond Jubilee and the US Presidential elections, 2012 was a huge success in News for what we call our 'Four Screen strategy'.

In the UK alone we saw a 28% increase in weekly unique browsers to our websites and applications, the number of tablets accessing our product more than trebled following a massive increase during Christmas week and there has been a 50% increase via smartphones.

Considering that one-third of our users are now not using a desktop PC it is essential that we continue to deliver great experiences across all devices from phones to connected TVs - not only in 2013 but beyond.

This is where Connected Studio comes in.

Read the rest of this entry

The BBC Sport iPhone app

Post categories:

Lucie Mclean Lucie Mclean | 07:10 UK time, Monday, 7 January 2013

I'm Lucie McLean, executive product manager for BBC Sport's mobile services - including the new BBC Sport app which was launched today.

The iPhone version of the app is now available from iTunes in the UK and the Android version will follow within the next few weeks.

The main features of the BBC Sport app are explained by the head of Sport Interactive Ben Gallop over on the Sports Editors' Blog.

The new BBC Sport app

To support the amazing summer of sport in 2012 we focused on delivering a great mobile experience for big events including creating the BBC Olympics app which almost two million people in the UK downloaded.

Like the Olympics app, the Sport app is a hybrid app. It contains the same web-based content as the mobile sport website and adds extra features and functionality using native app technology.

The Sport app allows you to create quick links to your favourite sports using the standard native iOS pattern for adding, removing and re-ordering. We deliberately set out to use patterns that users recognise from others apps and we'll continue to do this in the other native features we'll add to the app over the next year or so.

Read the rest of this entry

What's on BBC Red Button 5th - 12th January

Post categories:

Tess Foster Tess Foster | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 5 January 2013

What's On Red Button banner

It's a new year and we've got lots of great red button content to keep you entertained throughout 2013.

For drama fans we have EastEnders and Casualty specials coming up this week plus a visit to the CBBC drama Dumping Ground where you can take part in a quiz and watch some extras too.

There's a showcase of the musical talent predicted to make waves in 2013 and the return of the ever popular Antiques Roadshow play along quiz where you guess the value of antique items - can you beat the team of experts?

Add to that a bit of Miranda and a lot of sport and you'll agree that we've got a great start to the new year on red button.

Here's a look at what's in store - and if you want to stay updated on Red Button, be sure to follow us on Twitter or visit

EastEnders - Dorothy Branning: The Next Chapter

Lorna Fitzgerald as Abi Branning and June Brown as Dot Cotton

What's up with Dot?

Why has Dot Branning stayed away from Walford for so long? Why won't she come home? We're about to find out when Abi Branning leaves the East End on a mission to seek out her Grandma Dot.

Available on Freesat/Sky/Virgin Media/Freeview:

Fri 11th January, 8:25pm-9:10pm
Fri 11th January, 9:45pm-11:30pm
Sun 13th January, 12:45pm-4:45pm

Read the rest of this entry

New Antiques Roadshow play-along app

Post categories:

Tom Williams Tom Williams | 09:45 UK time, Thursday, 3 January 2013

I'm Tom Williams, development editor for Red Button and dual screen in BBC Vision.

Today we launched the Antiques Roadshow play along app for mobiles and tablets. It's a first for the BBC and builds on the hugely successful Red Button play-along game we launched last October.

Play along with Antiques Roadshow from your mobile

Here's how it works: launch the app while you're watching Antiques Roadshow, press 'Play along with the programme' and choose a value for each of the objects featured.

Read the rest of this entry

Christmas 2012 on BBC iPlayer

Post categories:

Dave Price Dave Price | 13:33 UK time, Wednesday, 2 January 2013

I'm Dave Price head of iPlayer here at the BBC.

Christmas is always a highlight of the TV calendar. If you're anything like my family, after a long Christmas dinner and a busy day unwrapping presents we gather around the telly watching the celebs on Strictly or the drama from Albert Square.

Happy 5th Birthday BBC iPlayer

Christmas Day is also a particularly special day for my team as it's BBC iPlayer's birthday. Five years ago we unwrapped iPlayer on the PC. Fast forward five years and it's the number one brand in the UK, and now on over 650 devices and platforms ranging from TV platforms and games consoles, to mobiles and tablets. In October we broke the 200 million-requests-per-month mark for the first time.

BBC iPlayer - total requests for streams and downloads, TV and Radio programmes (millions)

BBC iPlayer at Christmas

Christmas is a popular time of year for iPlayer. And with so many new gadgets given as gifts this year many of you downloaded the iPlayer app to watch and catch-up on the programmes you've missed.

Read the rest of this entry

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.