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BBC News for connected TV launches

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Steve Herrmann Steve Herrmann | 12:44 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

I wrote here a few months ago about some of the things we were working on to develop BBC News online. Amongst these, I mentioned our ambition to combine the on-demand flexibility of online news with the viewing experience of TV, as the number of internet-enabled TV sets grows.

After several months of editorial thinking, design and technical development, today we are launching a BBC News product for connected TVs. The product will initially be made available on the Samsung platform and will be rolled out to other devices in the UK over time. BBC Worldwide will also launch an international version of the product which will be advertising supported.


The BBC News product for connected TV will deliver a series of video news packages which you can select and play via the remote control. You can also choose from a wider range of news stories in text from BBC News online. The video packages are selected by our On Demand audio and video team in the BBC Newsroom, based on the wealth of video journalism already produced by our TV News and Newsgathering teams in the UK and around the world.

This evolution of online news from desktop to living room TV screen draws on our editorial experience of producing earlier interactive predecessors on TV such as Ceefax, BBC Digital Text and BBC Red Button.

It is also part of the overall strategy for BBC Online, outlined at the beginning of this year, which focuses on a series of 10 "products" (one of which is BBC News), that are seen increasingly as "multiscreen" - working across website, mobile, tablet and increasingly internet-connected TV.

Steve Herrmann is editor of the BBC News website.


  • Comment number 1.

    Let me get this right-I have a TV, which has Freeview-which has BBC News 24. I now have the ability to watch BBC news 24 clips from the afermentioned Freeview channel, on my TV? I mean, you'd need to be a pretty desperate news junkie to want this?
    BBi Player yes-defo-but BBC News clips-no. This sounds like technology, for the sake of technology.The BBC should concentrate on providing stuff we dont have through Freeview on a 24/7 basis like..err...programmes?

  • Comment number 2.

    '.. some of the things we were working on ... I mentioned our ambition..'

    Hard to get too excited considering what has been 'worked on' thus far to meet 'your ambition' that has seen little by way of mention in favour from those able and concerned enough to respond, and especially any who have managed to solicit the courtesy of any reply.

    One thing that is neat about online is the facility for interactivity, and by that I mean between content producers and the audience.

    If your idea of 'product' is broadcast only on a Korean brand I don't happen to own, with a little bear bit to let some folk chip in or spar, while 'Editors Pick' what they feel serves the mainstream narrative (to edit and post on high-profile outlets) most, then I'd like the option of saying opting out.

    With a full refund, please.

    To repeat:

    56. At 09:56 2nd Jun 2011, You wrote:
    'Doing Fewer Things, Better'

    Well, in some sectors, bonusses kick in when you meet 50% of target, so kudos.

    Still grappling with how spreading the existing barely credible content even more thinly across ever more super-sexy media avenues qualifies on the first count either.

    At least I may have swung in under 400 chars. You could even tweet most. Then it can get picked up as 'news'.

    Never did get an answer.

    Doubt anyone even read it.

    Plus ca change.

  • Comment number 3.

    In America I have often seen TV news and sports commentaries where they use voice recognition software to provide excellent real-time transcripts of the commentators' speech. The software seems fast, highly effective, and is now very cheap to buy. I have used it myself.
    Does the BBC use this technology, or have any plans to do so? I find that some of BBC-Sport text-commentaries to be rather limited in terms of words per minute.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi thefrogstar, the BBC uses a mixture of technology and human beings - a technique called 'respeaking' - to provide subtitles for live output. There's an interesting video from BBC2's Sea Hear programme that explains the process.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, About the BBC

  • Comment number 5.

    Of course, that should have been 'See Hear'.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, About the BBC

  • Comment number 6.

    In Italy is different, I think. Is the same dubbing process?

  • Comment number 7.

    BBC News should look to its laurels on the content front before it tinkers at the edges of the tech sphere. The reporting from Mozambique on ITV News at Ten (including interviews with the PM by Mozambique medical staff on the new support for vaccine) has trounced BBCs staid old offering of endless coverage of the economic news at home and Martin trying to look relevant.

  • Comment number 8.

    Agree with Casbandy #1 - we're ensconsed in C5 territory here.
    Had a quick scan at the strategy. Ambiguous corporate speak accompanied by obligatory yet superfluous/uninformative graphics.
    I suspect the vast majority of users don't really give a *oss whether the Beeb's strategy is "unified", they are building one off sites or products blah blah blah......
    The tone of the article clearly suggests that the Beeb believes it's onto a good thing......the self administered back slapping is so enthusiastic that one could be forgiven for mistaking it as flagellation.
    How is the Beeb gauging this "success", other than meeting budget reduction targets?
    You state that BBC News has "a clear sense of what it's audience wants". Can one assume some form of ( tech assisted ?) telepathic communication is being deployed, given the overwhelming lack of support evidenced through more conventional channels?
    I'm not anti-licence fee but Cameron's Big Society fiasco has more plausibility than the asinine nonsense you're attempting to pass off as successful online strategy.

  • Comment number 9.

    Thanks Steve (Bowbrick, #4, #5),
    Of course, the technology finds it harder to correctly spell words that are pronounced the same way..... :)

  • Comment number 10.

    Also Steve (Bowbrick), I'm sure I don't need to complain about later, unacknowledged, typo-corrections to articles because, in this instance, it makes us both look equally foolish.
    I have seen some other complaints about the practice though, where a poster had good cause to say that it significantly altered the apparent meaning of peoples' comments (about an article that had been corrected).

  • Comment number 11.

    is somebody really taking the time to comment on spelling errors?

    really, who cares.

  • Comment number 12.

    Snugs (#10),
    Actually, it was the editor Steve Bowbrick, who commented on his own spelling error (comments #4 and #5). If you read my question (#3) about voice-recognition software, then you'll see the relevance of the spelling issue.

    The second part of my comment (#10) was not about spelling, but about the practice of changing an article AFTER people have commented on it, but not acknowledging that the article has been changed. Very different from spelling corrections if the article then reads differently and peoples comments don't make sense (and we can't change our comments). I doubt if Steve Bowbrick changed the spelling in his comment (#4), because his comment (#5) acknowledged it, but the spelling was then corrected much later.

  • Comment number 13.

    So, Steve,

    I receive BBC Worldwide here in Brasil and have - until this last year - been an ardent supporter of the Editors' Blogs and HYS.

    Does this development that you report on here mean that BBC Online Editors Blogs will be interfaced with BBC Television, such that the whole world will be able to view and comment on my postings via their televisions?

    Because, if this - or anything like it - is in the pipeline,
    I would like the format of THIS blog to be available to me,
    because 400 characters is the antithesis of discursive debate -
    - you know, the sort of debate we 'BBC people' used to be famous for.

    Geoff Ward

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    I hate video content on news reports. It adds nothing and makes me wait for what I want to know. The ONE thing that the internet medium gives that no other does is the ability to allow real time two way exchange of information, opinion and comment. That seems also the be the one thing that the BBC is terrified of. First 606 went and now HYS is going the same way.

  • Comment number 18.

    Brilliant, another place for vacous ill researched rubbish masquerading as news.
    Is a good example of the waste of public money rubbish currently produced by the BBC. Yet another exam board making mistakes, they claim 'the student won't be affected' BUT where is the interesting discussion about how this will be achieved? Where is the in depth questioning by the reporter? If the exam board won't answer the question where is the statement by the reporter telling us they won't answer this? (That will tell us a lot in itself).

  • Comment number 19.

    Is the BBC institutionally thick?

    Yet more new services whilst the standard of the current ones are rapidly diminishing.
    Start delivering value for money for the current service before starting to add lots more niche products which are of ZERO use or interest to the vast majority who actually pay the bills of the corporation.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Never mind the quality, feel the number of options?

    Not sure having greater options is the priority when the content seems... on the slide.

    The number of admissions and grudging apologies for plain incorrect or highly suspect 'shaping' of stories in just the last week suggests the once gold standard on quality has been sacrificed at the altar of quantity.

    Only when the public has no choice can that model be sustained for long.

  • Comment number 22.

    While I enjoyed the material presented in the 'Rise of the Asian megacity' posted yesterday in the Asia-Pacific NEWS category, I have to question the population of New York. The 2010 census for New York CITY lists the cities population at less than 9 million. It appears that the population of the entire state of New York is closer to your near 20 million approximation, could there be an error?

  • Comment number 23.

    Why should we spend BILLIONS of money into wars which we do not gain anything from it and millions and millions of people are sufering due to lack of foods, water and health care and others problems? why not invest those money in the previous suggestions?what i MOST DISLIKE is seeing children been killed in wars whih havent done anything. The word DEMOCRACY doesnt exist. we must start now

  • Comment number 24.

    First 606 now this? I give up. Abolish the BBC!

  • Comment number 25.

    Having just watched this...

    ... intrigued at the level of checking (or, it seems, absence of) that one can expect to be able to trust the BBC's factual basis, given fewer resources being deployed across ever greater platforms.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    The more you “evolve online news from desktop to living room TV screen”, the less useful the BBC web site will be to the international community.

    I live and work in the Middle East – much of the video content of your site nowadays comes up with the message “media not available in your area”. This is not only news stories – try watching some of the videos on your Formula 1 site – you’ve blocked them.

    I have a nasty feeling that your “evolution” will be “extinction” in this part of the world.

  • Comment number 28.

    What causes a blog or story to be 'closed for comments'? None of the recent and interesting Nick Robinson stories are available for comment - some in a matter of minutes it appears.
    In a democratic country commenting on political stories should be more important than reports about celebrities, articles about 'the arts' or opening dubious other 'news outlets'
    Personally I think these stories are being closed for comments when the comments contradict the opinion expressed by the correspondant (often on behalf of our own failed government - of whatever colour of failure, blue red or yellow). _None of our 'political elite' appear to be able to think a decent solution to the actually very simple problems we face today.
    The solutions are simple:
    a) Fix the problem of people on benefits being worse off through working by paying ecery legal resident a fixed flat benefit, regardless of work. This is simple to do, simple to administer and therefore cheap.
    b) Fix the tax system that allows the rich to pay nothing and the poor to be robbed by a simple tax system that charges you a flat % of all income.
    c) Fix the tax system to stop companies skipping their payments - a flat tax on the business done in the UK - whether profitable or not. No tax on business conducted outside the UK, this will encourage export.
    d) USe our nationlised banks to distribute cheap credit to business, don't sell tem off to the idle rich.
    e) Buy British, this is not (contrary to opinion) illegal, best value for some new trains is not the cheapest, its the one that would employ 6000 people in a factory in Derby, so they wouldn't be unemployed, they pay tax instead of taking benefit, the local economy still has money flowing etc. Extend this to all those Chinese made British army uniforms, the Chhinese made dinner set for the Royal wedding, the Indian computer system for the NHS, the American planes for the Navy, the French army lorries the German police cars............. we would have full employment in the UK instead of the current 30% of the working age population without a job that we have now.
    f) Scrap local tax, car tax and all these other stupid extras that cost billions to collect and annoy people. Fund my local council from central tax (IF my council wants 2000 off me I have to earn 3500 to pay it, if they take 2000 from central government I only need to earn 2000 to pay that!), if the government wants me to polute less by driving then give me alternatives - public transport, car trains, homes near work, work spread out over the country instead of concentrated in some small places like London, Cambridge, Reading... but above all charge me for poluting ß by charging tax on the fuel. My car can do 180 miles or 460 miles on a tank of petrol depending on how I drive it, it can transport 7 people or 1 person, it can be very non-poluting or a disaster, how do you account for that by 'road fund licence' - you can't so don't try.

  • Comment number 29.

    '28. At 11:27 27th Jun 2011, anotherfakename wrote:
    What causes a blog or story to be 'closed for comments'? '

    It's cheaper, faster, fairer and 'better'. Apparently.

    Well, one out of four is about par for market rate talent bonuses to kick in, even if saving money simply means less cash for a service that is worthless.

    I'd opt out, but well, you know.

  • Comment number 30.

    Care to comment on the recent pan-BBC 'closing' that was on, then off...'

  • Comment number 31.

    When are you given the rest of the world access to your i Player? You promised this some time ago, with ads...or some other method where you could get royalties, sponsors, etc. All the other British broadcasters seem to have found a way, so why can't you. With the internet now full of entertainment, TV shows & movies including your own, you're missing out on millions in revenue every year. So why don't you stop being penny wise & pound foolish & sort something out before you're outpaced by all the others & are left behind by a mile. By the day, choice is becoming plenteous, while you are standing still in the midst of the traffic.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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