BBC launches news app for Samsung 'smart TVs'

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The BBC yesterday fired an early shot in what it described as "the battle for the living room" by launching a BBC News product that could spell the beginning of the end for the television news bulletin.

The product allows viewers access to around 25 minutes of frequently updated video content from the BBC News website, packaged in a format that replicates a bulletin. It is initially available only to those with Samsung "connected TV" sets (sometimes known as smart TVs).

The BBC's future media chief, Ralph Rivera, said viewers could control how they viewed a package of online stories, creating a more flexible offering than that currently provided by the red button option on television sets.

The director of distribution at the BBC, Alex Pryde, said: "We want to take the best bits of the BBC website, the red button page, and the standard 'watch this next' indents on TV that tell you what's on other BBC channels next."

The BBC is talking to other manufacturers of connected TV sets to widen the availability of the service.