Phew! It's live!

Posted on 6 August 2008 in BBC red button (1 comment)

Just a few weeks ago, I didn't think I'd be writing this post. I thought I'd be I'd be writing something more apologetic.

Thankfully it didn't happen, and I can now breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Freesat Sport Multiscreen arrives on the old BBC red button just in time for the Olympics!

Press the old red button on any BBC channel, select Sport Multiscreen, wait a few seconds, and lo, you'll get up to six different sports to chose from at any one time, as well as getting text stories, tables and more.

To say I'm glad to get this one out of the door, is an understatement. It's been a pretty manic release, and everyone on the team has been busting a gut way way way beyond the call of duty.

Actually, coding it turned out to be relatively straightforward - so much so that the Sport Multiscreen was put up in a cloaked mode a few weeks ago.

Instead, the real fun was getting it working properly with the set top boxes - we kept finding little issues where set top boxes didn't like the nice code that our tech team had written. On occasion, in spectacular fashion. It's not hugely surprising. The code did a few things that we've never done on Freesat before, and naturally that caused some bugs in the set top boxes to be found.

Cue herculean efforts to get things resolved, and allow us to launch. And we wanted to make sure we launched.

Because the Olympics is big. In 2004 the BBC's red button service got used by 10m Sky users alone - almost 58% of them pressed the red button. That's a lot. This year we expect it to be even bigger.

To be in a situation where people couldn't press red on BBC channels on Freesat was not a scenario we wanted. That would be bad.

But thankfully we're there and we're away. And that can only mean one thing.

That we can put our feet up for a bit and relax. For a short while anyway...

Ironically the author of this piece doesn't really like sport, and as such, will actually be spending much of the next few weeks completely ignoring the service he's spent months working on

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Jonathan Smith said:

Well done to you and the team for that. Just tried it successfully on my Foxsat. I was beginning to think you weren't going to make it either! Thanks for the update and enjoy your break.

Posted on 7 August 2008 at 3:58 PM

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