BBC red button

Lil' BBCi Panda Pushes That Red Button In August 2003 I joined the BBC's red button team - interactive TV or BBCi as it was known then. Since then I've written a few small pieces about what we do.

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Using BDD to move (a bit of) the BBC to Salford

Posted on 17 February 2011 in BBC red button, Work (2 comments)

At some point in December I took over as product manager of the Connected Homepage project at BBC Red Button as the previous product manager had another project that was taking up too much of his time.

The Connected Homepage is the version of the BBC Red Button homepage that appears if you have a set top box or TV which is connected to the internet, meaning we can link to internet delivered TV applications such as BBC iPlayer. The project delivered its first release to Freesat last year, and work has been building up ready for a Freeview HD release this spring.

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My latest project - BBC iPlayer on BT Vision

Posted on 11 November 2010 in BBC red button, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

When I get asked about what the best thing about my job is, I reply that it's the bit when we've launched a product, people are using it and people are liking what we've done. That for me is a huge reward. It makes the effort, the stress, the hassle and the endless meetings worthwhile.

BBC iPlayer logo

Ask me what gets me excited in my job, well that's harder to answer. There are many things. But one of them is seeing a press release for something I'm working on. Cos that means we'll be launching soon, and that we're important enough a project to get a press release!

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Wimbledon - an anatomy of a service

Posted on 8 July 2009 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes for big red button services like Wimbledon, well there’s now a little video to watch over on the Press Red Blog.

Naming your code after something sensible. Or not…

Posted on 12 February 2009 in BBC red button (1 comment)

One of the colleagues has recently been spending some time trying to make some sense out of a series of long lasting code that has been given some slightly odd and meaningless names.

Red Button’s 300 mile commute

Posted on 7 November 2008 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

Over on BBCi Labs Blog (yes yes, we know, we know. It’s all red button now…) right now, you’ll find a little postette from my good self about the wonders of modern technology, which is allowing us to watch a proper, bona fide Freeview signal as transmitted from Selkirk’s newly reconfigured TV transmitters, despite us being in London 300 miles away.

What’s (Not) On

Posted on 10 October 2008 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (4 comments)

Yesterday, BBC Red Button’s What’s On section was closed down to make way for other new content.

BBC Radio on Freesat

Posted on 8 October 2008 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

It’s been about a week since we actually launched it, but I’ve been a bit busy of late and I kinda forgot to mention it.

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.

Fishy cables - new post at the BBCi Labs blog

Posted on 1 July 2008 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Over on BBCi Labs right now, you’ll find my first contribution to that blog.

Without Wimbledon

Posted on 25 June 2008 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

So Wimbledon started on Monday, and not being a tennis (or indeed a sport) fan, all Wimbledon really means to me is that I miss out on most of my favourite TV shows. The ones that aren’t being disrupted by Euro 2008 anyway´┐Ż

BBCi Labs Live

Posted on 24 June 2008 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

BBCi Labs is a new blog from the team I work in and will be a space for the team to write about what we’re doing, show off some of the things we’ve done and various other stuff.

Everywhere you go, always take the BBCi Freesat Weather Service with you

Posted on 29 May 2008 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (4 comments)

I seem to be making a bit of a habit of missing the BBCi Freesat launches. After being away for the initial launch due to being on holiday, I missed the launch of the new Freesat Weather service on Tuesday due to being ill with a chest infection.

BBCi on Freesat Launched!

Posted on 9 May 2008 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (8 comments)

So if you’re the one person who has been eagerly awaiting a detailed blog post about it all, well you can now have it.

It launched! Or did It? I dunno. I wasn’t actually around…

Posted on 6 May 2008 in BBC red button, Work (3 comments)

Well it’s 6 May 2008 and that can only mean one thing. Yep, it’s the day after May Day. And of course it’s the launch of Freesat and the formal launch of Phase 1 of BBCi on Freesat. That is, baring any last minute technical issues or problems.

So… much…. content…

Posted on 5 February 2008 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

In the world of BBCi on Freesat, we’re moving towards our Phase 1 release - this particular release is one which won’t be publicly viewable, nor is it a complete package, but is in effect a working service that can be made public.

The Changing Times of Ceefax, and Read Hear added to BBCi

Posted on 29 January 2008 in BBC red button (1 comment)

Many of the pages in Ceefax have been a bit more fluid than people would often think. Pages come and pages go for all variety of reasons.

Get your testcards here

Posted on 14 January 2008 in BBC red button (5 comments)

Yep, there’s a hidden testcard buried behind the hidden engineering page on the BBCi service on Freeview…

Building BBCi on Freesat

Posted on 4 December 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (3 comments)

I don’t know what anyone else thought, but when I read that bit of the Freesat FAQ about interactive content on Freesat, I thought that the author was being just a little cagey - that they weren’t really telling me much.

Freesat Website

Posted on 27 November 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (30 comments)

Well the secret is out. Well right now as I type, it’s not hugely out because the website hasn’t been out for very long. But anyway, the Freesat website is now live, so you can find out all about it, and why you’d want it. Or not want it. Or something.

A day in the work-life of Andrew Paul Bowden

Posted on 16 November 2007 in BBC red button, Work (4 comments)

If you’ve ever wondered quite what a Senior Development Producer working on interactive TV products gets up to for a living, now is time to find out. And if you’ve never wondered, now is the time to find out. Below is how one day panned out.

Whitehaven loses Ceefax

Posted on 14 November 2007 in BBC red button, Television (7 comments)

In the early hours of Wednesday 14 November, an entire town lost something no one else has lost. Teletext and Ceefax.

Beaming signals into your home

Posted on 27 September 2007 in BBC red button, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

The last few days at work have been a bit frantic, as I’ve been busy rushing around trying to get up to speed with a great big huge monster of a project, whilst at the same time trying to ease the handover of another great big huge monster of a project onto someone else.

Latest BBCi goings on

Posted on 15 September 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

CBBC extra goes bright green, and cable-land gets a radio service

Bouncing bugs

Posted on 18 July 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

The end of last week saw the launch of yet another raft of BBCi changes that I’ve been involved with. In fact it was a huge, chunky, bit-of-a-nightmare of a release, with most of the changes being behind the scenes so you’d never even notice, which isn’t really the most encouraging thing in the world!

Ta-ra Ents Have Your Say

Posted on 10 July 2007 in BBC red button (1 comment)

Tomorrow it’s the end of an era. Ceefax’s Entertainment “Have Your Say” pages are closing. Part of Ceefax’s interactive content will be gone. No more random comments, about stuff, by some people.

Whoops!

Posted on 11 June 2007 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

If you live in Wales or Nothern Ireland and have been wondering why the page number for the 24 Hour weather forecast for those areas didn’t work on Freeview, I can now tell you. It was because of a copy and paste error made when we relaunched the Weather service recently.

BBCi plans for 2007/2008

Posted on 1 May 2007 in BBC red button (2 comments)

The BBC’s 2007/2008 Statements of Programme Policy were published last week

An Award Winning BBCi

Posted on 20 April 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

Tthis week, BBCi won the International Interactive Emmy award for Best Interactive Television Service. Woo!

100% Increase In Video Choice! (a.k.a BBCi News Multiscreen on Freeview gets a bit bigger)

Posted on 24 February 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

It was great to see the new look BBCi News Multiscreen launch on digital terrestrial television at around 11:10 on Thursday morning - now with 100% more video options! (well four choices instead of 2 is a 100% increase!)

Number or No Number?

Posted on 21 February 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

I mentioned the other day that all but four pages within the new BBCi weather service had page numbers and that I was contemplating adding in those extra four. Whether to do so or not turned out to be an interesting decision.

Changes to the BBCi Weather service

Posted on 17 February 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Urgh, thank goodness it’s the weekend. It’s been a particularly long week due to the launch of the revised BBCi weather service on digital terrestrial and satellite which, for us, wasn’t quite as smooth as I would have liked - hence why I was still at work last night at 8pm. Especially annoying given I’d worked late the previous night and had hoped to go home early on Friday to compensate! Still the changes are done and the service is up there for people to see.

Weather and Sport joins the BBCi News Multiscreen

Posted on 10 February 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

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.

Three closures, one opening and some snow

Posted on 11 January 2007 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

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.

A tale of some brown holly

Posted on 30 December 2006 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

This year we added a bit of brown holly to the front page of BBCi on satellite. Some people may wonder why it’s brown. Some might wonder why only on satellite. So here’s why.

A Brief History of BBC Parliament on Freeview

Posted on 28 October 2006 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (No comments yet - be the first!)

Well the news is out - BBC Parliament on DTT/Freeview will be going full screen in November, rather than the horrible quarter screen format that it goes out in now.

Spot the difference

Posted on 26 September 2006 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

Today was another big day in BBCi land thanks to the latest launch from one of the projects I work on. Although you probably won’t notice any difference…

Into the next year

Posted on 7 May 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

The other day the BBC published it’s Statements of Programme Policy for 2006/2007. This is where the BBC publicly sets out it’s plans for the year ahead. Such things as investing in drama, or revamping the 6music schedule.

We’re Going to do What? Revisited

Posted on 6 May 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

The BBC’s Statement on Programme Policy for 2006/2007 was recently published, I decided to take a look back at last years, which I blogged about at the time.

Digifun

Posted on 3 April 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

Actually digitext is what many people over in BBC News and BBC Sport call digital text, aka BBCi - it’s one of those little internal pet names that has managed to wriggle its way out into the public.

Spot The Error

Posted on 29 March 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

Ever get the feeling you’re not paying attention enough?

Another Day, Another Launch

Posted on 28 March 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

It seems you sit around waiting for a project to launch on the world, and then three all turn up at once.

BBCi bridge

Posted on 24 March 2006 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

I got so distracted writing about evil estate agents the other day, that I completely forgot to mention the latest launch from work.

The BBCi Pandas

Posted on 6 December 2005 in BBC red button (1 comment)

So I arrived back at work yesterday after my lazy week off, to find some new occupants at my old desk. Whilst I was away, it was decided my desk would be the new home for the BBCi pandas.

BBCi Happenings (Part 2)

Posted on 24 November 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

It feels like just as I’m winding down slightly at work in preperation for having next week off (hurray!), the launches and the changes have been ramping up! Yesterday it was removing TV and Radio listings, today it was improving them as we relaunched our What’s On Service on DTT (or Freeview if you must).

BBCi Happenings (Part 1)

Posted on 24 November 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

On Wednesday we killed off the TV and radio listings on the satellite version of BBCi.

Finally Rebranded

Posted on 13 November 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

I totally missed this cos no one actually told me, but finally it’s complete. Yes, the new BBCi bridge launched on NTL’s Bromley network on Tuesday 8 November - a whole six months after it went out on Telewest.

BBCi Happenings

Posted on 14 September 2005 in BBC red button (No comments yet - be the first!)

Last week we launched our biggest ever project - a project that had taken years to get from start to finish. In fact it’s not even finished, as we’ve so far, we’ve only launched on satellite. And you know what hurts after all that hard work? No one - not one person - outside the organisation noticed.

Crossing The NTL Bridge

Posted on 16 June 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

NTL’s customers in the Langley region got our new look BBCi just over a month ago. Well on BBC One and BBC Two anyway. Until yesterday when they finally got the almost full suite with all the other BBC channels now having access to BBCi when the user presses their red button. Except on BBC Parliament - technical problem or somet.

A Half Sense Of Closure

Posted on 18 May 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Today I got a sense of closure. Almost. A project we all stopped working on nearly two months ago, finally went up. Well almost. Yes, today half of NTL got the rebranded bridge.

We’re going to do WHAT?!

Posted on 20 April 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Is it really a year ago that the BBC’s statement of programme policy proclaimed that we’d launch something called QuickCodes on an unsuspecting world?

SuperCeefax and BBCi Page Numbers

Posted on 5 April 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

A friend who obviously has too much time on her hands pointed me to a discussion on Digital Spy’s forums where posters were asked the question, which is better - BBCi or Teletext?

Screenshot Puzzle

Posted on 29 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Staying on a BBCi theme, some random lunchtime surfing found me on Sky Digi Online, a site covering news about Sky and associated channels and services, who had a piece about BBCi, with a rather puzzling screenshot.

There’s No I In Team (BBCi Freeview Rebrand)

Posted on 29 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Over the last few weeks we’ve been steadily rolling out the new rebranded BBCi, and today it got to stop three - Freeview. And that launch, along with the others, wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been a good team of people working away on it.

Post Launch Mayhem

Posted on 24 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

On Tuesday, the old launch seemed to have gone reasonably smoothly. Yesterday and today on the other hand…

BBCi Rebrand Goes Satellite

Posted on 22 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

It’s pretty hard to celebrate something when at the same time all is doom and gloom thanks to redundancies, budget cuts and so on. So internally, the relaunch of BBCi on satellite probably wasn’t on the cusp of many peoples minds. But relaunch we did, and I got to write another email to tell everyone how wonderful they are.

BBCi Rebrand Comments

Posted on 13 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Whenever we launch something at work, I like to have a look around and see what people are saying - hoping of course that it’s good feedback!

BBCi Rebrand Hits Telewest

Posted on 8 March 2005 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

It’s all change to BBCi as we relaunch on Telewest with a new look and a new logo. Warning - contains several large images!

To Tweak, Or Not To Tweak

Posted on 13 November 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Here’s an interesting problem. You have a 30 year old concept. It’s established and everyone knows what it is, and how its used.

Page Numbers Are Go

Posted on 10 November 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Just after 2pm today we launched page numbers on BBCi on satellite.

Don’t Panic! Teletext have got page numbers first! Don’t panic!

Posted on 6 November 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

With page numbers about to launch on BBCi, I spent some time this morning lurking around some of the more ‘opinionated’ (read ‘full of know-it-alls’) message boards, seeing what people have been saying about the idea coming to the service.

BBCi Page Numbers

Posted on 3 November 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV (No comments yet - be the first!)

Well the press release has gone out. It could only mean one thing. Page numbers will be hitting BBCi very soon.

Should that be 179?

Posted on 23 September 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (No comments yet - be the first!)

In the week that Ceefax turns 30, it’s kinda appropriate that on Monday I did something which a couple of people probably did 30 years ago.

BBCi Zooms Along

Posted on 28 July 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (No comments yet - be the first!)

Today the new and improved BBCi launched on DTT (digital terrestrial television - the platform also known as Freeview).

Why is BBCi so slow?

Posted on 5 July 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (2 comments)

Mention that you work for BBCi, the BBC’s digital text service and you may regret it as you’ll get told 500 things that are wrong with what you work on. And the big gripe is speed.

Key dates from BBCi history

Posted on 14 May 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Television (1 comment)

Key dates from the BBC interactive text service history.

Internal Project Names Unleased To The World

Posted on 29 April 2004 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

Don’t you just love it when internal project names end up on big documents that are released to the public?

DAB Text on BBCi Radio Stations.

Posted on 26 September 2003 in BBC red button, Interactive TV, Radio, Television (1 comment)

The BBC stations on DTT/Freeview now have an updating text feed. It’s cool.

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