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Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 06:04 GMT
This is BBC News - on interactive TV
The latest BBC news is just a button click away
The latest BBC news is just a button click away
The BBC has launched an interactive news, sport and information service for millions of digital satellite TV viewers.

Users of digital cable should get the service next year.

BBC News Interactive allows viewers to choose news and sport bulletins at the touch of a button - and get regular weather updates too.

In addition, BBC News Interactive allows users to select "Live Plus", which will offer extended live coverage of news events and features.
Watching news on demand
Watching news on demand

These will include discussions and forums when viewers can submit questions by email or mobile phone text message to panellists and figures in the news.

Presenters Susanna Reid and Andrew Simmons will host many of these discussions, as well as fronting the news bulletins, produced in partnership with BBC News 24.

Guests will include prominent newsmakers, experts and BBC correspondents.

Mike Smartt, editor-in-chief of New Media at BBC News, said: "New technology will increasingly allow people to choose what they want to see when they want to see it - and interact; taking part rather than being passive viewers.

"This is the start of a whole new way of receiving and consuming news, sport and other information and entering into a two-way relationship with the broadcasters.

"Imagine questioning our correspondents John Simpson or Rageh Omaar in Afghanistan via videophone."

Roger Mosey, head of BBC Television News, added: "News Interactive is an important addition to News 24 and our other TV News services, and it will give viewers a much wider range of choice about when and how they get the latest news."

How to receive the service

Initially, BBC News Interactive will be available to 5.5 million digital satellite viewers and probably to more than a million cable viewers later next year.

The new video-based service is unlikely to appear on digital terrestrial due to technological constraints.

BBC News Interactive builds on the digital text services already available from the BBC.

Digital text - Ceefax for the digital age - is already available to all digital viewers, including digital terrestrial viewers.

BBC News Interactive is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from any BBC channel.

On News 24, it can be accessed by pressing the red button on your digital satellite handset.

On all other BBC channels, viewers can go to it by pressing the text key and selecting "news in video" from the blue menu.

Once in the service, the four quarter screens of video can be selected by pressing a number key or using the up and down arrows.

Viewers can also navigate to digital text content by pressing the blue key and choosing a heading from the pop-up menu.

See also:

07 Nov 01 | New Media
BBCi heralds new interactive era
01 Oct 01 | dot life
Turning on to interaction
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