please empty your brain below

Ah, I feel a little sad that as a relatively recent Brit I have never seen it, nor anything like it. And now never will.
I remember that at the end of a lot of programmes they used to have a bit that said "If you want to know more check out our Ceefax page 257" or something like that. This was at a time when the TV we had was unable to receive teletext. When we finally did get a telly that could pick it up it was at the same time that they started directing you to their web site via a computer that we didn't own.
it was my continually guide to the Top 40 charts, who was No.1, etc... will always remember that.

A guide to Mode 7, and in fact a superb BBC Basic geeks guide is at:
"Just me then?"
Surely you know your readers a bit better than that DG :-)
How fast things change. I thought Ceefax was still a pretty nifty thing when I moved here in 2002. I think the wild success of Freeview probably killed it before everyone became permanently connected to the internet though. I still used the red button services to check the weather until I got a proper smartphone two years back.
I had a wager on what subject you would blog about today. £10 on Ceefax.
Thanks DG.
Page 102 for the news index, and 340 or 341 for the cricket. Still works thankfully.
I know Northern Ireland was supposed to be last but it appears that Tyne-Tees has not even got a date for switching yet.

So, anyone, what's happening about Tyne-Tees ?
My school used to have it's own internal Ceefax style system (called Edfax) which was piped around the school to several BBC computer monitors. (87-91) I used to be the main 'editor'. I got quite skillful at Mode 7 graphics.
"if in need of melodious respite"
Among all the billions of pages on the internet, I bet there aren't many with that particular phrase.
The YouTube link has been removed, perhaps because the BBC values the significance of this bit of broadcasting history! It now seems to be at though.

dg writes: Link updated, thanks.
PoP: The Digital UK page is incorrect - the Pontop Pike group completed DSO on September 26th.
TV' with teletext circuitry will never have to use that part again, nor will the NICAM stereo part of the TV ever have to do its job. I expect than in a few years those functions won't be incorporated in the circuit.
Having had TV since 1953 I remember the start of ITV (Channel 9 in London), the change to 625 lines, the start of colour TV (PAL system), teletext, nicam stereo, watch them come and watch them go!
And see 'Ceefax: The early days':

Punched paper tape indeed!
I remember in 1997 when a bloke came round to tune my tv to get channel 5!

happy days....
In theory there is no reason that Ceefax has to go with the Digital Switchover. For a good while Telextext was still available on BBC Channels on Sky Digital so clearly it is still possible to broadcast the signals digitally but I suspect the red button service is considered superior anyway.
When CEEFAX started some people complained that they could see flicking lines at the top of their TV pictures, and some sets had to be modified at the time to prevent them showing.
I used to use Ceefax a lot, even with 'always-on' Internet access. I know I could Google it, but it was just easier when I was watching TV to push the text button on the remote control and enter page 101 for the news headlines, 160 for local news, 145 for the "Dear Ceefax…" readers' letters and 436 to see whether the Piccadilly line was disrupted that morning.

It was also good fun to watch the text comments on page 155 during Question Time on Thursday nights (and I even had several of my own texts featured), but I guess Twitter, and its #bbcqt hashtag, now does the job just as well.

It's a strange feeling to think that all of my memorised Ceefax page numbers will now be of no use, and that I will never be able to use the service again.

Farewell Ceefax, it's been a pleasure.
I always preferred 102 for the news index over 101 for the headlines.

Many of the numbers still work with Red Button. For example, I think QT is still on 155, and London Transport on 436.
A fond farewell from another avid viewer. I still actively miss the TV reviews, the album reviews, the readers’ letters (ITV’s on page 327 were generally more entertaining), and both ITV’s entertainment section and C4’s music section from which I would laboriously copy down 5-10 page interviews, reviews and features when younger. Channel 5 had a fair selection of pages up until the switchover in London. Good riddance to page 436 though, having to wait 3 minutes for the DLR pages to come round was torture, especially when heading out the door in the mornings!

@Andrew H, I loved page 155 too, and I remember suspecting that our very own DG had at least one text featured. It was about the precise number of times a certain Bethnal Green & Bow MP had attended Parliament and came from *******, Bow on the programme that featured said MP after his Senate appearance. The name corresponded with DG’s name irl… Would love to know if I was right or wrong!
I was surprised to find that Ceefax was accessible earlier this year on a hotel room TV in Vienna (BBC World channel), and it seems that the service was ended on this channel just a few weeks ago.
Oh, reminiscing about Ceefax reminded me that in our computer studies class at secondary school (pre-internet), we had half a term of using the same software to make ‘Ceefax’ pages (rather like Brad above). I’m under the impression that the software was called revolve or revolver, but googling is proving fruitless.
It is interesting in this age of constant revision of applications (or apps) how little Ceefax changed during its lifetime. 888 was always subtitles - 150 was newsflashes. There was no need to retune or get a new enhanced version and it lasted nearly 40 years. However if you ever wanted to find any useful information such as train disruptions or flight arrivals you had to wait around for the correct page to appear. Still it was better than Oracle / Teletext with its adverts on ITV for holidays etc.
You're making me feel old, Mr Geezer. I was -- as a technology journalist, which I still am -- at the Royal Television Society meeting in April 1974, in the LWT building on the South Bank, when the BBC's Ceefax team and the IBA's Oracle team announced a unified standard for teletext. Oh, what a technological breakthrough that was.
888 has not always been the page number for subtitles - I remember it used to be a different page number for BBC and ITV. I can't remember when they both changed to use the same 888 - sometime in the late 80s I reckon.

And by the way - I hope digital radio never gains traction - signal strength is rubbish - even in South London within sight of the Crystal Palace mast.
Digital receivers have a major flaw - the signal has a major tendancy to cut out completely if the signal is weak. Long live FM!
I feel like I have missed out on so much. And I also didn't really know what the red button did... might try it!
A sad day indeed. The red button service is in one way retrograde, as it only operates on the BBC, I presume ITV were allowed to not replace Oracle/ITV Teletext with an equivalent service; tonight for example I was watching the football in ITV1 but had no way of looking up other scores without switching to BBC1 for the red button service.
I remember in the early days of the web, we had a system that would screen scrape Ceefax to generate web content as there was very little else useful at the time!
Ceefax departing, in Northern Ireland:
» The last news headlines
» Going
» Going
» Gone
I remember that at one time Ceefax (or perhaps its ITV counterpart, Oracle) offered a service whereby road haulage firms could find out the real-time availability of empty articulated lorry trailers all over the country. At least I think that was it. What they then did with the information I'm not sure. Don't think it lasted very long. I used to look at it while bunking off school, or perhaps it was a dream.
Meanwhile, in Sweden last year an iPhone app for viewing teletext pages were in third place of the top-10 download list of pay apps... :)

The swedish equivalient to Ceefax has been available on the web since atleast 10 years, and it's really a good service.

BTW many DVB boxes will convert DVB teletext to analogue teletext so that an old analogue TV set can use its own teletext decoder...

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