Weather and Sport joins the BBCi News Multiscreen

Posted on 10 February 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments)

A while ago, someone emailed me to ask what was going to replace the old quarter screen BBC Parliament service on digital terrestrial television (aka Freeview). At the time I just said that something was coming, and that I couldn't say more.

The response was a question - why does everything the BBC do have to be so secretive?

Well, it's not that I was deliberately being cagey about it - just that there's a due process, and I'm not really sure the powers that be in the BBC would really like me announcing that the DTT version of the BBCi News Multiscreen is going to be upgraded from 2 options to 4 by the end of February.

After all, there's a due process. It rather might spoil the big day when the press release goes out, and everyone goes "Yeah, we know. It was 'leaked' two months ago by one of your staff on their blog"! I can't see the BBCi management being too impressed with that one! And even if my bosses wouldn't have my guts for garters (which is unlikely as they're nice people), what if - for some reason - the project got cancelled at the last minute?

Besides, it was interesting watching the world (well okay, a few people on a few different web message boards) speculate about what we were going to do - fuelled on when we did some video tests a few weeks ago so that the video could be aligned neatly with the code (amazingly you can use exactly the same co-ordinates on both, and they won't match when you put them together. Bonkers I know!) Although there was some secrecy - we deliberately didn't play out the content of what was going in the two extra screens just to keep people guessing.

At one point during the video tests, I confess I did try to get the playout team to put on some test video involving shots of the Cornish coastline and a soundtrack by Aphex Twin, which would really have set the world alight (well okay, I would have watched it as it's pretty cool - I have it on VHS somewhere, although I have no idea where), however unfortunately it wasn't in Red Bee's automated playout system for us to use, and we had to put up with some animated red dots instead.

Still, it's all been announced now, and I can talk about it. Although I'm not sure that there's really much to say, other than, it looks nice and will be winging it's way to you by the end of the month. Which is nice.

< previous | top ^ | next >

Share this page on

Have your say

Sorry but comments on this post are closed, but you can still email me.

Cookies Policy | Contact Us