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BBC Red Button connecting to the web for extras on your iPad

The BBC is reinventing the Red Button service, connecting to the web to create the Connected Red Button.

'Press red for more' is about to offer a lot more 'more'. The BBC is reinventing the Red Button service, connecting the interactive service to the web to create the Connected Red Button.

Red Button services are extra bits and pieces related to the TV programme you're watching, named for the red button on your remote control that you press for interactive extras.

It's probably the most accessible and mainstream way of accessing 'companion experiences': extra interactive stuff to do with the show you're watching. Companion experiences vary from choosing different angles to watch a sporting event to placing you in the conductor's perspective at the Proms, or even turning radio into TV by showing a camera feed from the station you're hearing through your digital telly.

Now Auntie Beeb is streamlining and reinventing the Red Button experience, tying it in with the Internet to create the Connected Red Button. Currently, you see Red Button extras on the same screen as the show you're watching. But the Connected Red Button could see you get the extras on your phone or tablet -- the so-called second screen everyone's talking about.

You could be watching EastEnders, for example, and the Red Button can bring up iPlayer to catch the previous episode, or if you're watching a cooking show you can hit the Red Button to save a recipe from the show for later viewing on a phone or computer.

Other online companion experiences include an Antiques Roadshow iPad app, which lets you guess how much an item will be worth. If you don't have an Internet-connected TV, the traditional Red Button will continue to offer extras for programmes.

Astonishingly, the red button is 13 years old. It was launched at Wimbledon this week in 1999. Today it's used by a third of the population of the UK.

Are you a regular red-presser? What's your favourite use of extras for your shows? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.