A new software update has brought the BBC’s internet powered Connected Red Button to YouView set top boxes.
Connected Red Button offers a range of internet-delivered programming, news and sport content and is used by the broadcaster to boost coverage of live events such as Glastonbury and Wimbledon.
It also integrates access to the iPlayer, allowing viewers to catch up on missed shows from within the Red Button experience and with programmes now available for up to 30 days rather than the previous 7.
The service debuted on Virgin Media’s TiVo service in December 2012 before being rolled-out to a range of other devices, including Samsung and Sony’s internet enabled TVs.
YouView boxes were originally expected to get the service in time the summer’s run of sporting events but delivery was delayed and pushed back to “before the end of the year”.
The update also allow viewers to watch some programmes yet to be broadcast via YouView’s range of on-demand players.
However the BBC has removed radio content from the new version of iPlayer, claiming that “the effort required to support on-demand radio listening via TVs is significant but TVs are not a significant way that people are using to listen to on-demand radio content.”
It advises fans of radio shows: “You can continue to enjoy live radio on all Freeview, Freesat and YouView devices and live and on demand radio via BBC iPlayer Radio on computers, tablets and smart phones.”
Richard Halton, CEO of YouView, said: “We are delighted to give YouView customers the best in free-to-air functionality.
“New BBC iPlayer and BBC Connected Red Button are just two of the many ways we’re evolving and improving the YouView on demand TV service, ensuring seamless and easy access to great TV for everyone.”
The arrival of Connected Red Button brings Sky’s NOW TV service one step closer to being able to offer its live channels to YouView homes.
This is because the new Connected Red Button feature required the introduction of ‘unicast’ streaming – a technology used to deliver broadcast video over the internet.
The current internet channels available on YouView can only be viewed over BT or TalkTalk broadband because they use a managed form of streaming called ‘multicast’ which requires a specially enabled connection.
By adding unicast support the service is now able to support additional internet channels from other providers, including NOW TV which will be able to sell subscriptions direct to users rather than via BT and TalkTalk.
It’s understood that some additional work is needed before the full NOW TV service can be added to the boxes and that this is underway, but no completion date has been confirmed.
Today’s update is being released to YouView Humax retail set-top boxes and YouView from BT set-top boxes in a phased schedule over the next few weeks.
The update will be added to TalkTalk set-top boxes in due course.