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 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
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