(Pocket-lint) - The BBC has officially launched a beta version of its Connected Red Button service to selected Samsung and Sony Smart TVs. It will also become available on a range of LG Smart TVs in the next few months.
Previously available only on Virgin Media TiVo boxes, and soft-launched on some Smart TVs just before Christmas, the new features of the improved service make use of the TVs' internet connections, allowing information and video content to stream to the TV without having to jump into a separate application.
After pressing the Red Button during any BBC channel programming, users will be able to access BBC TV programmes, including favourites from BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC and CBeebies at any time, day or night. They will also be able to utilises BBC iPlayer catch-up content, check out the latest weather information, news or sport stories.
When there is a specific event that the Beeb is covering, additional streams will also be available through the Connected Red Button. Wimbledon, Glastonbury and Formula 1 have each featured in this way in the past, and the BBC has already announced that it will be hosting additional live streams from the Winter Olympics.
Over time, the BBC will add more features to the service.
"Since the launch of Connected Red Button in 2012, the BBC has brought audiences more of the content they love on their TV - by simply pressing red," said Roux Joubert, general manager of products and on demand at the BBC.
"We’re thrilled to extend this to even more viewers - and look forward to adding more features and functionality in 2014."
To find out if your TV is compatible, there is a published list at bbc.co.uk.