Welcome, teletext fanatics! I'll just leave this here...

Monday, 15 October 2007

More on the death of teletext

The BBC don't seem to like the fact people are using Ceefax online. This article from the Inquirer mentions the fact that the BBC are furious at the online teletext browser at Ceefax.tv. The site itself uses a very clever interface that grabs analogue data and converts it to the HTTP format. Created by Hendrik Noorderhaven, it allows people to view a variety of teletext systems via the internet.

It seems that this software can be used on mobile phones with compatible browsers: the Ceefax site also has sub pages for mobile teletext. Maybe the BBC feel they are missing out on another money making opportunity?

This blog entry
has some interesting information about the teletext cross-media content service. Apparently there is a limit to the headline lengths so it can fit on teletext:
"Believe it or not, the BBC’s content production system makes you choose a headline of 31-33 characters, which is pretty precise. This is so it can work on Ceefax and mobile phones, as well as the web."
When Saturday Comes is a popular football fanzine. This article laments the death of the traditional format, used by fans to keep up to date with the latest scores, pools news and a bunch of other statistical based information:
"The real replacement for football on Ceefax is the kind of round-table you-watch-the-pros-watch-football show available on Sky Sports and the BBC. You know the kind of thing. Gordon McQueen, Paul Walsh and Tony Cottee stare at a TV screen and tell you that Blackburn have just won a free-kick but it’s come to nothing still 0-0 at Ewood Park, Jeff. This is essentially Ceefax, but a crazily over-manned version with a human face."

Perhaps the new interactive TV service is part of the BBC's overall attempt to bring a more human element into the whole teletext experience? After all, with the traditional format, all you had was text and the occasional simple graphic. Now, there is scope for video and photographic elements which, whilst adding to the experience, are maybe overcomplicating things. All people want to get is the information they came for. I must say from experience that the new interactive BBCi service is confusing and too menu-driven. Sure, you get a nice little window of the channel so you can watch TV whilst browsing text, but people don't want this - they just want the information. And anyway teletext always had this in the mix function.


The Register

The Inquirer
Ceefax.tv mobile
When Saturday Comes