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back to article BBC shrinks Red Button: Loses 8 channels after the Olympics

The BBC will be dropping eight of its Red Button channels after an Olympic splurge, focusing on IPTV content instead of the alternative electronic programme guide that the Red Button had become. The changes were proposed last year, but have now been confirmed by the BBC Trust as picked up by the a516 blog. Freeview has been …

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As an old fart...

... I would prefer it if the extra content were just called BBC 5 (or, if they want to brand it as some sort of extra thing BBC Extra) and available from another 'normal' channel ID (even if it is not broadcasting anything some / most / all of the time) rather than hidden away on the Red Button.

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Re: As an old fart...

The "normal" channel IDs are, on freeview at least, 301 and 302. They do show in the EPG: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pressred/2009/03/epgfor301and302.shtml

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Big Brother

Re: As an old fart...

But then the BBC would need DCMS approval to launch them as new services.

But at least 301 etc. are in thr channel list and available to record.

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BBC HD

To the best of my knowledge they aren't freeing up BBC HD as such, just renaming it BBC2 HD and simulcasting BBC2 London.

Makes sense to have a simulcast of the channel as that makes up a lot of BBC HDs feed already. Only a shame that some documentaries on BBC4 wont get HDd.

Red button content can be hit or miss depending on the decoder / TV.

Are they showing all of the red button channels on Freesat / Sky? (or Virgin Media if you enjoy watching TV through a lens of what looks like bathroom window).

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MJI
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Re: I would miss BBC HD

All those BBC4 documentries would be missed.

Most of my record list is of documentries on BBC HD.

I never check BBC Knowleage 4 or BBC Choice stupid purple logo 3 since we went HD

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Megaphone

Re: BBC HD

>Only a shame that some documentaries on BBC4 wont get HDd.

They will. Part of the plan is to repeat the shows from Three & Four on 1HD and 2HD, bringing them into the more 'regular' schedules, as opposed to sticking them on the BBC HD channel, so those BBC Four docs will defninitely get shown in HD.

As for red button channels, Sky gets the most and Freesat gets fewer (inexplicably).

Ah ... these cuts. Apparently they're "delicious" according to David 'Call Me Dave' Cameron. Are we all enjoying how tasty, reduced public services are? Jolly good!

Goddamned Tory cuts.

(+n)

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"Freeview HD boxes have IPTV decoding built in"

If only that were true.

Recent Freeview HD boxes support MHEG-IC, but it was a late amendment to the Freeview HD Logo requirements. Freeview HD models certified before April 2011 don't have to, causing a fair bit of consumer confusion.

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Re: "Freeview HD boxes have IPTV decoding built in"

So True. My Samsung TV, just over a year old, has Freeview HD logos all over it. Does it have any of the IPTV capabilities. No. Waiting for Samsung to release a firmware update to enable it, as with the hardware on it it must be possible?

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Bronze badge

Re: "Freeview HD boxes have IPTV decoding built in"

And then the big question: is your internet connection good enough? I doubt my STB will work, but I don't know if the on screen message is down to the limits of my STB, or the limits of my internet connection. And I had to find a rather obscure firmware upgrade before it worked reliably on broadcast Freeview.

The stuff needs better support than any of the retail chains seem prepared to supply. (They struggle with washing machine guarantees.) And I don't think they know enough about what they sell.

At least with iPlayer on my computer I don't have to worry about maintaining a rather high minimum connection speed for an hour at peak times. I just leave it to download overnight.

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Anonymous Coward

Red Button

I just wish they would stop displaying the red button every time news or sport is shown. Everyone knows it's there. The same way everyone knew the teletext button existed. The BBC are most annoying channel in the world. The pioneers of interactive TV as you struggle to find the remote to press Green to get rid of it.

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MJI
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Re: Red Button

Should say PRESS GREEN not PRESS RED

Until I found green button I had to record the news and watch back a few seconds later

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h3
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Only time I use red button is for snooker to switch tables I hope they keep that.

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Unhappy

I can't remember the last time...

...I pressed the Red Button. I really can't.

I take it as "If you want to watch even more crap, press the red button!"

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Re: I can't remember the last time...

On my Virgin box at least, it's "press the red button if you want to watch a 'please wait' screen for a minute or two".

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Flame

This will destroy the BBC's coverage of World Snooker at a stroke, and damage their viewership of Formula 1 as it'll remove access to in-car streams and timing screens for a lot of people - kicking the F1 fans when they are already down thanks Aunty's sell out of part of the rights contract to Murderous Murdoch.

The BBC - death by a thousand small cuts. Murdoch will get his wish after all (if he can't have it then no-one can, and yes - his intention was always to take over the BBC.....)

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JDX
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So we won't be able to pick any court at Wimbledon either, or did I misunderstand the news?

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Any 3D channels?

I saw that the BBC were doing some 3D tests on their Freesat service a few months back. I'm hoping that at least some of the Olympic coverage will be in 3D - I just bought a new 3D telly and I am eager to get some proper use out of it!!

Have the BBC made any promises this time about not disrupting their normal schedules just because of the Olympics? I hate it when they cancel programmes or change the times simply to accomodate a sports event.

Paul

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Stop

BBC Obligation

What about BBC's obligations of providing content freely to all?

I can quite happily view BBC on Satalite and on Freeview at the moment, but if the other content (often the more useful content) goes to IPTV then those of us at the end of wet, paper insulated, telephone wires (or other rubbish which BT claims it removed years ago) will no longer be able to get it (even overnight downloads only occassionally work for me).

At least some of the BBC Execs must live at the end of shonky telephone wires and see what is going to happen to their viewing?

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Boffin

Freesat/Freeview streaming support

Standard def requires 2 MB downstream at least and HD a minimum of 3.5 MB and preferably 4 or better so if your line runs at 1.5 your out of luck, chuck unless you want to watch constant buffering.

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Reasons not two watch BBC?

Ok, we have digital transmission and every single channel comes with subtitles.

SO WHY do we have to have sign speak lunatics gurneying in the corner of the screen?

The amount of money saved by getting rid of these would be enough to cover the cost of sacking them, easily..

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Re: Reasons not two watch BBC?

Because some people use sign language as their primary communication method.

and....

It's not up to them, the government make them do it.

"The Communications Act 2003 requires broadcasters meet the legal requirements either by:

programmes being translated into sign language

programmes being made by or for deaf people and presented in sign language

The target is for five per cent of programmes to be signed using the same target dates as subtitles.

The BBC website has a dedicated Sign Zone area on its iPlayer, allowing access to all signed programmes."

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/disabledpeople/everydaylifeandaccess/leisureathome/dg_4018341

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Re: Reasons not two watch BBC?

Too bloody true!

I have several deaf friends, they all say they HATE signing as it immediately identifies them as being different.

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