Archives for November 2008

Innovation and One in Ten

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Ruhel Ali Ruhel Ali | 14:02 UK time, Friday, 28 November 2008


The BBC has always been at the forefront of innovation. From producing the first television transmissions; the creation of Ceefax; to taking the UK digital, the BBC has enabled new technology and ideas to flourish.

We have seen a massive change in the way people interact with their TVs from the introduction of digital services on Sky, Virgin, Freeview and Freesat to more recently seeing BBC iPlayer available on PC and the cable platform. The BBC Red Button service has allowed viewers to access extra audio, video and text content on the TV, as well as enabling them to play along with quizzes, enhance their experience of certain TV programmes and in general expect a broad choice of BBC interactive content to be available when they want it.

As more features are introduced on other platforms, such as the BBC Online, a question comes to mind - how do we keep the Red Button service as interesting and relevant for our viewers?

We have done quite a lot in the background and under the bonnet of our service but since 2007 we have also been experimenting with different ways of working to get fresh ideas and services on air for the public to enjoy. One method was to introduce the One in Ten programme.

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Welcome to Selkirk, West London

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Andrew Bowden Andrew Bowden | 08:37 UK time, Friday, 7 November 2008


There's a new addition to our office in West London. Sat in front of a green glass screen, where everything is surprisingly dark and difficult to photograph, is another part of the country. Selkirk in fact.

Well okay, the television of Selkirk to be accurate.

As we're in London, we don't normally get to watch Scottish Freeview, however Selkirk has today begun the process of switching off analogue TV. To support this, we've had to set up a whole batch of new systems and servers, which will later be used for other regions making the switch too.

But how do you test that your new systems are working correctly, when in another part of the country? Well thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it's possible to watch Scottish Freeview in London. As long as you're in our office anyway.

As the sign above the Selkirk TV set says "You are Here. (The rest of us are 300 miles in this [southern] direction)".

Andrew Bowden is a Senior Development Producer for the BBC Red Button Service.

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