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(Pocket-lint) - The BBC is expanding its Sounds digital radio platform, with a dedicated app for smart TVs and TV set-top-boxes.

It has revealed that approximately eight per cent of digital radio listeners do so through their TVs, so has created a dedicated app - based on the hugely successful mobile version - for them to do so with more functions and features.


As well as all of the national and regional BBC radio stations, the BBC Sounds TV app hosts the entire gamut of podcasts from the broadcaster. That includes favourites, such as That Peter Crouch Podcast, the Gemma Collins Podcast, and, quite topically, the Coronavirus Podcast.

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It launches first for YouView and Virgin Media Virgin TV boxes, but will be available for Samsung smart TVs later in the week and on other TV platforms in the future too.

"We want to be everywhere that BBC iPlayer is," Pocket-lint was told by the BBC's head of product for Sounds, Lloyd Shepherd.

"It's not like launching a website or an app on a phone though, you have to build the thing then do the carriage agreements with the different manufacturers.

"They then have to certify that their tech works with ours."

Roku, for example, is also being developed for, without a firm release date yet.

The BBC Sounds TV experience differs a little to the mobile equivalent in that its category sections are less developed at present. However, new features will come in time and just about all other functionality works as well on the bigger screen.

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The app offers recommendations based on previous listening choices, there is a continue listening feature to pick up where you last left off, and you can access bookmarks left on any of the BBC Sounds platforms, including Alexa and through a browser.

BBC Sounds TV is rolling out to YouView and Virgin TV boxes now. You can find out more about the compatible devices here.

Writing by Rik Henderson.