The conclusion of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics means the BBC Red Button service will revert back to standard definition only.
BBC Red Button HD went live on satellite and cable platforms in June, ahead of Wimbledon. Following changes to UK Olympic broadcasting rights, Red Button coverage was restricted to one event at a time.
From Tuesday 10th August, the BBC Red Button is standard definition only on all cable and satellite platforms.
But it is still possible to watch selected red button programmes in HD. Viewers with connected TV devices, such as Sky Q or YouView or smart TVs with Freeview Play can access additional feeds of sports and music events through “Red Button+”. Red Button+ connects with HD streams delivered through the iPlayer. The service is part-time, activated only when there’s an event to show.
As more coverage becomes available through Red Button+ and the iPlayer, there is speculation that the current linear Red Button channel may be cut back. Viewers who press red on a smart TV or connected TV device automatically default to the web-hosted versions of the red button service. This includes special pop-up channels for the FA Cup and other events, hosted on the iPlayer. The original Red Button has meanwhile been cut. Since 2012, there is only one stream live all year round. Only during the summer months does the BBC add temporary extra Red Button channels. As more and more devices default to the streamed versions, their usage is dropping.