This week the new BBC TV homepage and live video player launched. It completes another part of the BBC TV channel portfolio refresh that started with the updates that we made to the TV channel pages earlier this year.

Around 800,000 people visit the the BBC TV homepage every week and before the update it was a very basic experience. There wasn’t much in the way of content to browse and it didn’t provide a consistent experience across any other pages within the TV portfolio.

Old BBC TV homepage

Old BBC TV homepage

Now there is a simplified version of the carousel that we designed for the TV channel pages containing 3 sections: ‘On Now’, ‘On Tonight’ and ‘Previews’. These three sections reflect what we felt to be the main user needs of people visiting the page enabling you to see what is live, plan your TV viewing for the evening and get access to clips from anticipated shows. And there is an updated toolbar that offers a variety of ways to access and navigate content via Channels, Categories, A-Z or the TV Guide.

New BBC TV homepage

New BBC TV homepage

The most significant change is the live video player. You might remember that during the Olympics one of the key features of the interactive video player was the ability to jump straight to key moments you may have missed using chapter markers. We’ve brought this functionality into the design of the new live TV video player so that you can switch between programmes broadcast during the last two hours. Coupled with the ability to rewind live TV it enables the audience to be really in control of what they watch and creates a rich experience that you don’t get via linear TV.

Live video player

Live video player

Although figures for watching live tv online are still fairly small (only 15% of TV requests on iPlayer were for live programmes compared with 85% for on demand content in November), this could quickly change.

The Olympics was a great example of how people could really see the benefits of going online to watch content because of the rich experience they were offered. The key of course is offering this functionality on a TV itself and hopefully, with more internet connected TV’s in homes, this is what we will start to see in the near future.