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Forum 141

Say goodbye to Ceefax - last Pages from Ceefax early Monday

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AidanLunn
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OK, for those of you able to receive BBC1 Northern Ireland, you have a little while longer, but for those of us who can't, it's time to the internet of 1983.

Pages from Ceefax will end for good on Monday morning 4:45-6am on BBC2 - due to the time and my wish to upload such an important piece of TV history to YouTube, I'll be recording and preserving it (to watch later on my 80s TVs as background filler in my workshop, to relive that "80s TV repair shop" experience ;) ).

So get out your hankies (and your TX9s) and prepare to say goodbye to an old friend who will be very sorely missed by many. :'(

 
Posted : 21/10/2012 3:42 pm
Anonymous
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My TX9 based Ferguson (1976 to 2004 approx) didn't have Teletext.

What is the reason to ditch it? It can be done practically for free from the same source as used for Sky's Open TV Interactive Text and Freesat/Freeview MHEG5 and is very very little data in the multiplex Transport Stream.

 
Posted : 21/10/2012 3:46 pm
AidanLunn
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Ah, but Pages from Ceefax was displayed during scheduling gaps for those who didn't have teletext TVs ;)

The UK opted for MHEG services from a more up-to-date service, though I remember Ceefax was available on Sky Digital for a short time after that service launched in 1998.

 
Posted : 21/10/2012 3:49 pm
TVJON74
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Hi,
Will they stop ceefax totally?
Even on freeview now in the early hours they still show pages from ceefax!
Will this stop when analogue is totally switched off?

Best regards
Jon

Jon
BVWS Member

 
Posted : 21/10/2012 11:05 pm
Anonymous
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Curiously according to Digiguide, until next saturday I think on BBC2. Even though BBC 2 Analogue is gone already and Analogue + Ceefax ends on Wednesday.

 
Posted : 21/10/2012 11:10 pm
crustytv
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The BBC have this today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19996372

Very nostalgic, a few TV's to spot too.

CrustyTV Television Shop: Take a virtual tour
Crusty's TV/VCR Collection: View my collection
Crustys Youtube Channel: My stuff
Crusty's 70s Lounge: Take a peek

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 7:57 am
AidanLunn
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I wasn't awake to see it go into Ceefax, this morning, apparently they used the old 80s "=2=" BBC2 symbol to introduce it.

I was awake at the end though, and I saw this:

http://www.tvforum.co.uk/forums/post846185#post-846185

RIP Ceefax 1974-2012

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 9:01 am
AidanLunn
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What has surprised me is how entrenched in the national culture it has become. When London was making the switch-over, I found the number of people, who would otherwise not have given a t*ss about the digital switchover, mourning its death in their region surprising, considering how widespread the internet now is. Although I've gone over a year without it in its proper form, it will seem a little strange knowing it's just not there anymore - being born and bred when Ceefax was in its prime, I've never known a time without it.

The other thing that I think attracts so many people to its switch-off now is looking back in awe at it - the fact that it can not only tell you virtually whatever you want whenever you want at a second's convenience with comparitively limited technology is just the start of the charm. The rest of it is just how a simple text information service has become part of the *national consciousness and culture* in a way that the internet or teletext's more up-to-date successors will never achieve.

Now that's only amazing! The fact it was launched almost as long ago as the three day week, when digital technology really wasn't at that advanced a stage (in domestic situations), is f***ing unbelievable!!! :-o

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 10:17 am
Terrykc
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As far as speed is concerned, it might surprise you to know how fast it was possible for teletext to go!

Early teletext was limited to two lines per field, so a 100 page magazine took around 25 seconds to cycle round. However, the specification allowed up to 16 lines per field, which could result in the same 100 page magazine taking around 3 seconds to transmit - giving near instantaneous access!

In practice, this would have meant the broadcasters giving up their insertion test signals, etc.

Increases in the number of magazines increase the cycle time, of course, and additional data lines for Fast Text, etc. all eat away at the availability.

Additionally, not all of the teletext data stream was used for publicly accessible pages.

One system I worked on used part of the Ceefax capacity (later transferred to ITV) to send encrypted data to dedicated decoders to display live Stock Market prices. This all ate into the quota.

When all else fails, read the instructions

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 12:54 pm
Anonymous
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But modern TVs, PCs with tuners and Set-boxes could "cache" the entire magazine giving illusion of instant access as long as you had not been channel hopping

Teletext on Analogue TV card and also on Digital Satellite card (since 2002 for me) on PC was amazing.

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 1:55 pm
Anonymous
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Amazing when you think about it! I'm nostagic too, but at least the 'Teletext Lines' flicker won't be a problem now...

RIP Ceefax. In the early days, BBC2 Ceefax was called 'Orbit' and there was an error in the Philips G11 User Guide because BBC2 (Orbit) was on Pages 200-200 and BBC1 was on Pages 100-199. You had to to dial up page 200 and there was never the 'random half page ot information'.

Oracle went a few years earlier when it lost it's franchise to Teletext UK. Who remembers 4-Tel - Foretell with 4-Tel?

Cheers,

Steve P.

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 3:10 pm
Anonymous
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Indeed Michael the PC cards were really good, I had a Hauppauge card ....

For Teletext! The Analogue TV performance was terrible and often only 320 x 240. Also often noisy.

OTH a £10 USB DTT stick* on a suitable Laptop, while nothing like as good as a real TV (LCD or CRT) due to 25i to 60p conversion (or whatever frame rate the LCD is, never less than 60 progressive) is quite amazing, SD or HD.

(*Only get one with a "normal" aerial socket built in).

I have one with two DVB-T tuners, which of course gives HD here as the MPEG4 HD functionality is in the computer, not the USB stick. DVB-T2 as used in UK for HD was 2 years too late for start of Irish Digital TV rollout, which is MPEG4 only and minimum spec for setbox is HDMI *AND* SCART with HD and downsampling to SCART etc.

I have one PC with 2 x Satellite cards, each can individually select 9E, 13E, 19E and 28.2E satellites and the PC also has the DVB-T USB dual tuner stick (two separate 42MHz to 864MHz DVB-T tuners). The TV software is DVBviewer with MHEG5 plugin and has Teletext, Freesat EPG and "red" button works BBC, and "green" button on RTE.

Still German channels, Irish TV3, TG4 with Teletext (RTE teletext = Aertel ends this week).

As well as VGA screen in workshop (!) (where it lives, with 2 x Satellite IF coax and 1 x TV aerial coax) it feeds Audio, IR remote and HDMI on Cat5e to living room as well as USB via a USB repeater 1/2 way in the hall

So in Living room it uses one HDMI port on TV (losing it end of month as it's my son's), The PC SW has been set up to mimic a TV with VCR built in selected from a Bargain Store generic £5 IR remote, and for Internet browsing on TV a wireless dongle on a USB hub under TV (also allows portable USB HDD or USB memory stick to be played on Workshop PC) allows a wireless keyboard and mouse on the settee.

Replay of Recordings are identical copies of Live TV.

It's not all negative losing Analogue. :D

(! I managed to persuade the 19" DELL 4:3 CRT VGA connected monitor to display 16:9 aspect at 1920 x 1080 visible lines 50Hz / 50FPS progressive and add custom timing which looks suspiciously like 1125 line 50fps 50Hz analogue for VGA output of the Graphic card. All on XP. )

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 3:34 pm
AidanLunn
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Here is a video from Tomorrow's World (or Nationwide?) of its announcement to the public, in 1972.

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 4:57 pm
Anonymous
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Another thing that went by the wayside that was transmitted by Teletext is Telesoftware. The idea was to send programs over teletext to a BBC Micro.

Remember this...

... creen&NR=1

Cheers,

Steve P.

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 5:21 pm
Anonymous
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Project Casablanca from SES -Astra was the modern version (gone some years ago). It used an ordinary TV satellite card in PC and you left it running when not watching TV and it filled a cache on disk that implemented a website with downloads (i.e. MS Service packs and videos).

Telesoftware on megasteriods (5Mbps data rate & 200Mbyte cache) compared to BBC Micro data saved to cassette from teletext.

They had programs on cheap discs on magazines too. Not magnetic, but you played it on record player into the cassette port!

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 6:00 pm
Terrykc
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Here is a video from Tomorrow's World (or Nationwide?) of its announcement to the public, in 1972.

Wow! Thirty pages!

They must have been planning for a much smaller font to cram in all that information, considering the very wide range of subjects proposed! :=D

When all else fails, read the instructions

 
Posted : 22/10/2012 6:25 pm
Terrykc
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Forum 142

Click on the graphic for the story ...

When all else fails, read the instructions

 
Posted : 23/10/2012 4:37 pm
AidanLunn
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SPOILER ALERT!

Here's a video of how Ceefax will say goodbye.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20048154

 
Posted : 23/10/2012 10:35 pm
AidanLunn
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To Ceefax: "th@nk y?u a d goo%&¥e))

 
Posted : 24/10/2012 11:08 am
Katie Bush
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Did they really need to make it so painful to watch ?

That was cruel, and I do mean cruel......

Marion

 
Posted : 24/10/2012 12:49 pm
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