Thursday, December 17, 2009

Page 100

ceefax100 
Screen courtesy of mb21

Readers of a ‘certain age’ will remember a uniquely British technology that led the World, appearing on TVs in the early 70s - in fact, the service was first launched on 23 September 1974.

It was called teletext and back then, it was a must-have for techy-nerds like me! In later years, all TVs would have it as standard.

Why write about it today? Well, today is when most of it gets switched off. Some other of its commercial parts like horse-racing, dating and holiday services will still remain, but it’s the end of an era for the free information service – the majority of the content.

Teletext’s demise, ironically, was caused by another information technology – the internet. And, because most of Teletext’s services were paid for by the revenue from advertising, it became a commercially unworkable business model. The service had seen a massive decline in readers as those same readers flooded to the internet instead for the same information.

A passing of an era…