Three closures, one opening and some snow

Posted on 11 January 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments)

I feel a bit like the grim reaper having recently been the person who took the life away from two BBCi sections which closed this week.

That's not to say I was the one that took the decision to close them down, just that I was the one who did the dead and removed them from the service.

On Tuesday it was BBCi's adult learning service, Live and Learn, whilst today it was Your Stories.

Actually I've always had a little soft spot for the concept of Your Stories. It took films made for Video Nation and Digital Storytelling and put them on the TV screen.

Video Nation is of course best known for its short programmes on BBC Two in the 1990s, and has lived in a web world for many years. Whilst it, and Digital Storytelling, might not have huge mass market appeal, I'm surprised in a way that someone like BBC Four hasn't taken it up.

Someone in the Your Stories team clearly had a sense of humour about the demise of their service though, scheduling as they did a set of content for their last day on air in the theme of "Rest in Peace" - videos about death. Not letting on that the service was about to close, the next days content proclaimed to be "Life after Death"...

In amidst all that ending, another end came - although not one I did. Yesterday the video on the old quarter screen BBC Parliament was turned off yesterday. The old interactive application will remain for a few weeks until we're ready to unveil what will go in its place.

I say turned off - the bloke who did it described what he did as pulling the cable out of the box, resulting in some lovely old fashioned snow appearing on screen until they could replace it with black.

Apparently they normally have a video stream which is just black which they could use for such occasions, however the black stream wasn't connected up to the big box that pumps out the old BBC Parliament.

I don't know what I love more - getting old fashioned snow on the TV screen, or the fact that somewhere in Television Centre is a video that is being generated and sent round the building, containing nothing but a black screen.

A new dawn

And finally, with three ends, how about a new beginning? For Thursday 11
January, and with coincidental timing to the above, just before 2pm, saw the launch of the new, flashy, Movies service on page 540. But more on that another time...

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