ONdigital's internet on TV comes closer

30th June 2000

ONdigital will bring the Internet on TV to the nation's living rooms this year with the help of BBC Resources and Rubus.

It will, uniquely, allow viewers to click straight from programming or advertisements to the Internet, while the TV picture remains in a corner of their screen. It will use technical Internet development provided by top e-business consultants Rubus and with a new portal designed by BBC Resources.

The ONdigital Internet boxes that will make this happen are the size of a large paperback book and need only be connected to the ONdigital box and a telephone line to give instant surfing and interactivity through millions of websites.

ONdigital has selected BBC Resources to design the look and feel of the Internet portal for its new service. BBC Resources has already worked with ONdigital on the on-air look and feel, the branding and the website of its ONrequest joint venture Pay per View service. BBC Resources has also been responsible for the on-air look and feel of BBC2 and its interactive arm was responsible for developing an interactive service for HSBC.

ONdigital has also selected Rubus as its appointed technical internet e-business consultancy, advising on the design of, and developing a blueprint for, the build of the portal infrastructure, and providing input in related portal areas.

Stuart Prebble, ONdigital Chief Executive, says:

ONdigital will offer the easiest and most cost effective way of getting onto the Internet: no dish, no cable, no computer. Simply a television and an ONdigital subscription.
We are delighted to have two more of the world's cutting edge organisations as our partners in developing this service. BBC Resources and Rubus are working with us to offer our customers the simplest way by far to get onto the Internet, while still being able to watch TV.
Our system will provide a stunning new portal, fast and simple Internet connection, combined with instant reconfiguring to make Internet pages TV friendly. We're delighted to be in partnership with these great businesses on this brilliant project.
This is only one of the first steps. Over the coming weeks and months we will be making further announcements about more partners, about pricing and timing.

The box will initially connect to a conventional telephone line through a 56k modem, but will also be capable of connection to ADSL technology. The full specification of the box and brand name for the service will be made public later. The box will at first be available only to those who subscribe to ONdigital.

Jonathan Wilson, BBC Resources Account Director for Interactive says:

We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking venture, combining the true interactivity of the whole Internet with the comfort and familiarity of television. We believe our unique combination of broadcast and interactive designers will provide an outstanding partnership with ONdigital in this project.
ONdigital has fast developed a strong brand and following in the digital TV market

added David Hesketh, co-founder and head of media & communications for Rubus.

Our skills and experience in designing and developing e-business channels will help ONdigital realise this next step into interactive TV, and further reinforce its position. We're delighted to be working together.

Notes to Editors:

  • BBC Resources Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, is the largest broadcast facilities operation in Europe. It provides the complete range of facilities and associated services to the BBC, other programme-makers and broadcasters, and to the corporate and business markets from its London HQ and bases around the country.
  • Rubus, (formerly NVision) provides complete e-business solutions to companies and organisations that want to exploit the benefits of Internet technology. The company is focused on providing the intelligent strategy, creative design and reliable technical architecture which turns innovative e-business thinking into practical business reality. Clients include Waterstone's, Thomas Cook Interactive, Granada Media, Nomura, 3M, IPC, Barker Norman Broadbent, Confetti.co.uk, Lastminute.com, Fine Art Developments and E W Blanch.

Founded in April 1998, and named by the CBI as "The Most Promising Young Company" in the UK, in December 1999, Rubus can be reached on the Web at: http://www.rubus.com/