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BBC rethinks Red Button for Rio Olympics

In close collaboration with product and editorial teams from BBC Sport, BBC Live and BBC News – and along with colleagues in Engineering and User Experience & Design – BBC Design & Engineering has reimagined the BBC’s connected TV experience ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, relaunching its News, Sport and, most recently, Red Button+ products. It has also launched an enhanced experience for all live coverage of major sporting, cultural and music events, including the Olympic Games.

Writing in a BBC blog, Jennifer Richardson, Senior Product Manager, BBC Design & Engineering, notes that the Rio Olympic Games presents a key opportunity to provide the BBC’s audience audience with the best possible experience on their connected TV. ”We want our audience to feel like they’re at the event and never miss a moment of the action,” she says.

“When we set out to rethink Red Button+, our goal was to provide frictionless access from BBC television channels to compelling content from BBC iPlayer, Sport and News and more. We’ve done this by improving the navigation between all of our BBC TV apps – and we’ve given BBC News and Sport a makeover, unifying design and interaction patterns so that users of BBC iPlayer will discover a familiar pattern when browsing, watching or reading content across all BBC products,” she explains.

“During the BBC’s Olympic coverage on television, ‘pressing red’ on your connected TV will instantly connect you with up to 24 HD streams of live coverage from BBC Sport, so nobody needs to miss a moment of the action that they want to watch,” she advises.

“We’ve made it easy to navigate to other sports, restart coverage if the start of an event has been missed, get the latest highlights, see what action’s coming up and catch up on any medal moments from previous days. Plus, it’s now even easier to access BBC iPlayer from a connected TV by ‘pressing red’, giving our audience a quick way to find the programmes they want to watch, or quickly restart the programme they are currently watching,” she notes.

“An innovative engineering solution underpins this change to our audience-facing products, meaning all our connected TV apps now share a common code-base, known internally as TAP (TV Application Platform). This approach eases the burden on support teams, enables faster product innovation and helps us to make our content available on more devices more easily – all through practical adoption of platform-thinking,” she says

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