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Expanded Red Button begins post-Wimbledon wind down

updated Following the grand climax of the Wimbledon tennis championships, the BBC has begun to wind down the expanded Red Button service.

On Freesat, Red Button 2 and 3 on channels 982 and 983 have been removed. On Freeview, Red Button 2 on channel 302 closed early Tuesday.

BBC Red Button HD will be retained for a period of extra time until 9th September, with the stream becoming a pseudo-BBC Three HD from Wednesday when it will offer an HD simulcast of  the channel's coverage of the Women's Euro 2013 football tournament. Red Button HD will also simulcast BBC Three's coverage from the T in the Park music festival this weekend, in addition to extra standard definition content on Red Button 1.

Additional streams were created to enable the BBC to cover Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the F1 British Grand Prix all at the same time, with the BBC hiring extra capacity on Eutelsat for satellite viewers and from Arqiva for terrestrial/Freeview viewers. BBC Red Button HD was created to be the home for BBC Three and BBC 3D programmes that would have originally been assigned to the BBC HD channel before it closed in March. According to the BBC, the expanded Red Button service this summer forms part of an experiment which sees the Red Button service expanding when the content demands, and then reducing thereafter, to save on distribution costs.

In the future, the BBC proposes to utilise super fast broadband connections to offer a multi-stream Connected Red Button service, where streams are broadcast via the internet instead of via the traditional means of satellite and terrestrial transmitter networks. The service is being piloted on Virgin Media's TiVo platform.


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