Minor British Institutions: Teletext
Saturday 08 August 2009
A sort of vague precursor to the internet, the idea of sending text via a small, unused bit of the analogue television system's bandwidth dates back to 1972, when BBC and ITV engineers started experimenting with the idea.
ITV's Teletext service went live as "Oracle" in 1974 for a select group of with-it viewers. Unlike the BBC service, it carried ads, so you could keep up with the news and book your 10 days in Tenerife while you watched Crossroads or Pipkins. Some may remember its advertising slogan: "Page the Oracle".
The franchise was taken over by Teletext in 1993. Its owners, the Daily Mail, has said the news service will end in January 2010, though the more profitable travel stuff will soldier on, presumably until the switch to digital is complete in 2012.
Ceefax/Teletext "art" made out of blocks of coloured pixels is just one of the things the public may miss; newsrooms will regret the loss of a no-nonsense, fast and succinct running news list.
- 1 The scientist who takes 100 drugs a day so he can live to 150
- 2 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
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