BBC outlines its vision of TV in the future

The BBC’s director of distribution, Alix Pryde, has outlined what she and the BBC sees as the future of television in the coming years, suggesting that life in front of the sofa is about to get a lot more interactive. 

Clarifying that this isn’t what YouView will be like, Pryde, speaking at the Futuresource entertainment conference in London, detailed a future that will see an interface that’s built on the habits people already have rather than trying to get them to learn new ones. It sounds like Virgin Media's existing TiVo service, but with a few changes...

Like with the TiVo box, the EPG will be able to go backwards as well as forwards to watch programmes on-demand. However, in “Pressing Red” (activation of the red button services) a window will open up to the BBC's vast array of online websites and content rather than just an interactive page, as it currently does, on the TV.

“We want to take the best bits of the BBC website, the red button page, and the standard 'watch this next' indents on TV that tell you what's on other BBC channels next,” explained Pryde.

Ultimately, the BBC wants to “reinvent the experience of pressing red" to create “a new dynamic bridge that responds to the channel and programme you're watching.”

Pryde also gave some examples: Viewers of Shaun the Sheep could be able to link to educational games online through their TV itself once the show is finished; news viewers could get further clips on the story; for sports events, it’s all about offering different angles or events going on at the same time; while arts programmes could tap into the vast BBC archive to show you related programmes recorded before.

Pryde told Pocket-lint that her “Connected TV Heaven” would be available in the very near future and certainly over the next couple of years.

Do you like the BBC's idea of the interactive TV future? Or is it just something that's already available in other means? Let us know in the comments below...