Teletext axed in 2010


Teletext will cease to be in 2010.

But don’t panic, BBC’s Ceefax is set to continue for as long as the analogue signal is broadcasting.

Closed caption information relay was initially designed by the BBC and Post Office in the early 70s as a way to subtitle shows. And it worked very well.

The BBC soon rolled it out to the full Ceefax service, that continues to this day. And still operates faster than digital text, which is still woefully slow.

Telext was originally due to close it’s pixelated doors in 2012 to coincide with the digital switchover, and although it has 12 million users a week, it has been operating at a loss for three years as people turned to the web for their instant news, celebrity gossip and football scores (the three pillars of any successful information platform).

But it won’t be the end of the Teletext brand, which will continue through its successful travel websites.

(Via Telegraph)

Ofcom hands out terrestrial high definition licences to Channel 4 and ITV broadcasters


Though we’ve been pretty sure that all the major terrestrial broadcasters would have a place on the new high definition Freeview, Ofcom today brought that a step closer to reality by awarding licences to Channel 4/S4C and the ITV channels across England, Scotland, Ulster, and the Channel Islands.

Channel 4 and S4C (the Welsh language version, with a wide selection of its own programming) put in a joint bid, promising a wide variety of films (over 150 hours worth on peak-time 4HD in the first year), a range of drama, comedy, science programmes and documentaries, plus popular US imports like Desperate Housewives, and specific sports and kids programmes on S4C…

Nothing to do with Apple – Ofcom to trade off UHF bandwidth


With digital switchover beginning at the end of this year and due to be complete by 2012, UK communication industry regulator Ofcom will find themselves with a whole load of spare UHF bandwidth and no analogue TV service to use it.

Their plan is to auction off these vacant parts of the UK electromagentic spectrum as they become available, which could be licensed by, radio, TV, broadband companies, mobile networks or whatever new technologies come along…

UK electrical industry agrees to phase out analogue TV manufacture ahead of digital switchover

digital.jpgWith the recent news that over half of all TVs sold last year were analogue, set against imminent digital switchover, it’s no surprise that the UK’s electrical industry has announced that it’s to phase out the manufacture and sale of analogue TV equipment.

By the end of the year, the group (which includes well known high street retailers, independents, and manufacturers), has committed to:

* accelerate conversion of all TV product lines to digital, including small (16-inch and under) TVs,
* move to all-digital TV and recorder production lines at least 12 months before digital switchover in each UK region,
* provide clear consumer information in electrical stores,
* label all digital equipment with the “digital tick” mark to indicate it will work before, during, and after switchover,
* phase out the sale of all non-digital recorders, including analogue DVD recorders.