You can now restart live BBC shows with a press of the green button

The rise of catch-up TV has lead to all new ways of planning our channel-hopping, vegging-on-the-sofa sessions, meaning there's been a decline in the viewership of live TV programming in favour of on-demand services.

Missing the start of a live TV show is a less severe annoyance than it once was, but waiting for an on-the-air show to hit your streaming platform of choice after broadcast is still a frustration. The BBC is answering that today with the ability to instantly restart a live TV show, thanks to some smart TV tech.

When watching on one of a selection of connected TV sets with the iPlayer installed, you'll be greeted with a prompt to start a live TV show from the beginning – if you've jumped in part of the way through its run time. With a push of the green button, you'll be taken straight to its awaiting BBC iPlayer stream, ready to start the show from the beginning. With another push of the green button, you'll return to the live broadcast.

Catching up with catch-up

It's a handy tool, especially if you're not a fan of trawling through the streaming platform's catalogue to find the re-run you're looking for. It's just one press away from action.

At present, BBC One and One HD, Two and Two HD, and BBC Four will support the function, with BBC Four HD rolling out later.

Visit the iPlayer website to see if your TV set supports the new feature.

But, though it's new to the BBC, it's not the first broadcaster to offer the feature. Sky, with its Sky Q and Sky HD boxes, offers a similar option for some of its programming and movie releases, letting you jump to on-demand offerings for selected content that's playing live.

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Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.