/ Technology

Six years since Ceefax closed down – do you miss it?

It’s six years to the day since BBC Ceefax, the world’s first teletext service, shut down for good. But would you still use it if it was there? I know someone who definitely would.

If you asked someone now to guess when a service that allowed you to read all the latest news, on-demand, via your TV was launched, I don’t think ‘1974’ would be their first answer.

As such, when you think about it, Ceefax was incredibly ahead of its time – almost a precursor to the internet; a digital-style service in the analogue age.

Which? Conversation above, re-imagined as a Teletext page thanks to Matt Round’s Jellytext generator. What might your favourite pages have looked like?

Farewell Ceefax: Which? Conversation in 2012

Football scores

Ceefax was much-loved in our house, mainly by my dad, whom I’m certain would still be using it now (ahead of his smartphone, tablet or any other device!) if he had the chance.

In the days before we had Sky TV, Ceefax (although we always called it teletext in our house) was the only way to keep up with the football scores.

I remember the excitement of the black page very lightly flickering as a goal was scored and the update came in – it’s just a shame it was invariably a goal scored against Crystal Palace rather than the other way around.

Teletext nostalgia

According to the BBC, millions of Britons began investing in teletext-enabled TVs in the 80s. Ceefax contained recipe details, music reviews, calendars… it really was a mini-internet.

The BBC says that the service peaked in the 90s, with as many as 20 million viewers checking the service at least once a week.

As I grew up during the 90s and early 2000s Ceefax was always there. If it hadn’t become a victim of the digital switchover, I’m sure there would be loyal fans still finding it useful to this day (ok, maybe just my dad).

So, do you miss Ceefax? Would you still use it now? Did you go out of your way to buy a teletext-enabled TV? Let me know, and share your Jellytext creations with us if you give it a go!

Comments

Ceefax was a great service and I used it a lot in the 1990’s. The internet offers an infinitely larger amount of information and of course being interactive allow the purchase of items as well as locating them.