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A British Ceefax football index page from October 2009, showing the three-digit page numbers for a variety of football news stories Ceefax football index.jpg
A British Ceefax football index page from October 2009, showing the three-digit page numbers for a variety of football news stories

Teletext, or broadcast teletext, is a videotex standard for displaying text and rudimentary graphics on suitably equipped television sets. Teletext sends data in the broadcast signal, hidden in the invisible vertical blanking interval area at the top and bottom of the screen. [1] The teletext decoder in the television buffers this information as a series of "pages", each given a number. The user can display chosen pages using their remote control.


It was created in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s by John Adams, Philips' Lead Designer for video display units. Public Teletext information services were introduced by major broadcasters in the UK, starting with the BBC's Ceefax service in 1974. It offered a range of text-based information, typically including news, weather and TV schedules. Also, paged subtitle (or closed captioning) information was transmitted using the same system. Similar systems were subsequently introduced by other television broadcasters in the UK and mainland Europe in the following years. Meanwhile, the UK's General Post Office introduced the Prestel system using the same display standards but run over telephone lines using bi-directional modems rather than the send-only system used with televisions.

Teletext formed the basis for World System Teletext, an extended version of the same basic system. This saw widespread use across Europe starting in the 1980s, with almost all televisions including a decoder. The Teletext system was also used for a number of experimental systems, notably in the United States, but these were never as popular as their European counterparts and most closed by the early 1990s. Most European Teletext systems continued to exist in one form or another until well into the first decade of the 2000s when the expansion of internet precipitated a closure of some of them. However many European television stations continue to provide Teletext services and even make Teletext content available via web and dedicated apps.

Basic concepts

Teletext is broadcast in numbered "pages". For example, a list of news headlines might appear on page 110; a Teletext user would type "110" into the TV's remote control to view this page.

The broadcaster constantly sends out pages in a sequence. There will typically be a delay of a few seconds from requesting the page and it being broadcast and displayed, the time being entirely dependent on the number of pages being broadcast. More sophisticated receivers use a memory buffer to store some or all of the Teletext pages as they are broadcast, allowing almost instant display from the buffer.

This basic architecture separates Teletext from other digital information systems, such as the internet, whereby pages are 'requested' and then 'sent' to the user – a method not possible given the one-way nature of broadcast Teletext. Unlike the Internet, Teletext is broadcast, so it does not slow down further as the number of users increases, although the greater number of pages, the longer one is likely to wait for each to be found in the cycle. For this reason, some pages (e.g. common index pages) are broadcast more than once in each cycle.

Teletext proved to be a reliable text news service during events such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, during which the webpages of major news sites became inaccessible because of the high demand. [2] Teletext is also used for carrying special packets interpreted by TVs and video recorders, containing information about subjects such as channels and programming.

Although the term "Teletext" tends to be used to refer to the PAL-based system or variants, the recent availability of digital television has led to more advanced systems being provided that perform the same task, such as MHEG-5 in the UK, and Multimedia Home Platform.


Teletext launch in Amsterdam, 1980 Start NOS Teletekst op VU Amsterdam Mare Euwe (recht en prof RD vd Riet bi, Bestanddeelnr 930-7521.jpg
Teletext launch in Amsterdam, 1980

Teletext is a means of sending text and simple geometric shapes to a properly equipped television screen by use of one of the "vertical blanking interval" lines that together form the dark band dividing pictures horizontally on the television screen. [3] Transmitting and displaying subtitles was relatively easy. It requires limited bandwidth; at a rate of perhaps a few words per second. However, it was found that by combining even a slow data rate with a suitable memory, whole pages of information could be sent and stored on the TV for later recall.

In the early 1970s work was in progress in Britain to develop such a system. The goal was to provide UK rural homes with electronic hardware that could download pages of up-to-date news, reports, facts and figures targeting UK agriculture. The original idea was the brainchild of Philips (CAL) Laboratories in 1970.

In 1971, CAL engineer John Adams created a design and proposal for UK broadcasters. His configuration contained all the fundamental elements of classic Teletext including pages of 24 rows with 40 characters each, page selection, sub-pages of information and vertical blanking interval data transmission.

A major objective for Adams during the concept development stage was to make Teletext affordable to the home user. In reality, there was no scope to make an economic Teletext system with 1971 technology. However, as the low cost was essential to the project's long term success, this obstacle had to be overcome.

Meanwhile, the General Post Office (GPO), whose telecommunications division later became British Telecom, had been researching a similar concept since the late 1960s, known as Viewdata. Unlike Teledata which was a one-way service carried in the existing TV signal, Viewdata was a two-way system using telephones. Since the Post Office owned the telephones, this was considered to be an excellent way to drive more customers to use the phones.

In 1972 the BBC demonstrated its system, now known as Ceefax ("seeing facts", the departmental stationery used the "Cx" logo), on various news shows. The Independent Television Authority (ITA) announced its own service in 1973, known as ORACLE (Optional Reception of Announcements by Coded Line Electronics). Not to be outdone, the GPO immediately announced a 1200/75 baud videotext service under the name Prestel.

The first Teletext test transmissions were made by Ceefax in 1973. After proliferation of the BBC system in the UK, it was adopted in Europe and standardised as World System Teletext (WST). The World Wide Web began to take over some of the functions of Teletext from the late 1990s and many broadcasters have ceased broadcast of Teletext—CNN in 2006 and the BBC in 2012. In the UK the decline of Teletext has been hastened by the introduction of digital television, though an aspect of Teletext continues in closed captioning. In other countries the system is still widely used on standard-definition DVB broadcasts.

A number of teletext services have been syndicated to web viewers, [4] which mimic the look and feel of broadcast teletext. RSS feeds of news and information from the BBC are presented in Ceefax format in the web viewer. [5]

In 2016, the Teefax teletext service was launched in the United Kingdom to coverage by the BBC, [6] ITV [7] and others. Using a Raspberry Pi computer card as a set-top box, it feeds its service to standard televisions. Teefax content is a mix of crowdsourcing, syndication and contributions from media professionals who contributed heavily to broadcast teletext services. Teefax is also syndicated to a web viewer. [8]


The systems were originally incompatible; Ceefax displayed pages of 24 lines with 32 characters each, while ORACLE offered pages of 22 lines with 40 characters each. In other ways the standards overlapped; for instance, both used 7-bit ASCII characters and other basic details. In 1974 all the services agreed on a standard for displaying the information. The display would be a simple 24 × 40 grid of text, with some graphics characters for constructing simple graphics. The standard did not define the delivery system, so both Viewdata-like and Teledata-like services could at least share the TV-side hardware (which at that point in time was quite expensive).


Following test transmissions in 1973–74, towards the end of 1974 the BBC news department put together an editorial team of nine, including and led by Editor Colin McIntyre, to develop a news and information service. Initially limited to 30 pages, the Ceefax service was later expanded to 100 pages and was launched formally in 1976. It was followed quickly by ORACLE and Prestel. Wireless World magazine ran a series of articles between November 1975 and June 1976 describing the design and construction of a Teletext decoder using mainly TTL devices; however, development was limited until the first TV sets with built-in decoders started appearing in 1977.

By 1982 there were two million such sets, and by the mid-1980s they were available as an option for almost every European TV set, typically by means of a plug in circuit board. It took another decade before the decoders became a standard feature on almost all sets with a screen size above 15 inches (Teletext is still usually only an option for smaller "portable" sets). From the mid-1980s both Ceefax and ORACLE were broadcasting several hundred pages on every channel, slowly changing them throughout the day.

The "Broadcast Teletext Specification" was published in September 1976 jointly by the IBA, the BBC and the British Radio Equipment Manufacturers' Association. The new standard also made the term "Teletext" generic, describing any such system. The standard was internationalised as World System Teletext (WST), formalised as an international standard by CCIR in 1986 as CCIR Teletext System B.


Comparison between teletext Level 1.0 and teletext Level 2.5 Teletext Level 1.0 and 2.5 ZDF.PNG
Comparison between teletext Level 1.0 and teletext Level 2.5

In the early 1980s, a number of higher extension levels were envisaged for the specification, based on ideas then being promoted for worldwide videotex standards (telephone dial-up services offering a similar mix of text and graphics).

The most common implementation is Level 1.5, that supports languages other than English. Virtually any TV sold in Europe since the 1990s has support for this level. Around the year 2000, some stations adopted Level 2.5 Teletext or Hi-Text, that allowed for a larger color palette and higher resolution graphics.

The proposed higher content levels included geometrically-specified graphics (Level 4), and higher-resolution photographic-type images (Level 5), to be conveyed using the same underlying mechanism at the transport layer. No TV sets currently implement the two most sophisticated levels. [9] [10]


The Mullard SAA5050 was a character generator chip used in the UK teletext-equipped television sets. In addition to the UK version, several variants of the chip existed with slightly different character sets for particular localizations and/or languages. These had part numbers SAA5051 (German), SAA5052 (Swedish), SAA5053 (Italian), SAA5054 (Belgian), SAA5055 (U.S. ASCII), SAA5056 (Hebrew) and SAA5057 (Cyrillic).

The type of decoder circuitry is sometimes marked on televisions as CCT (Computer-Controlled Teletext), or ECCT (Enhanced Computer-Controlled Teletext).

Besides the hardware implementations, it's also possible to decode Teletext using a PC and video capture or DVB board.

North America

Screenshot of an Electra Teletext page from WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio from January 3, 1985 Electra Teletext sample.jpg
Screenshot of an Electra Teletext page from WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio from January 3, 1985

Adoption in the United States was hampered due to a lack of a single Teletext standard and consumer resistance to the high initial price of Teletext decoders. Throughout the period of analog broadcasting, Teletext or other similar technologies in the US were practically non-existent, with the only technologies resembling such existing in the country being closed captioning, TV Guide On Screen, and Extended Data Services (XDS).

North American Broadcast Teletext Specification

NABTS was originally developed as a protocol by the Canadian Department of Communications, with their industry partner Norpak, for the Telidon system. It was similar to the European World System Teletext (WST, aka CCIR Teletext System B), but differences between the European and North American television standards and the greater flexibility of the Telidon standard led to the creation of a new delivery mechanism that was tuned for speed.

First demonstrated in the United States in 1978, NABTS was the standard used for both CBS's ExtraVision and NBC's very short-lived NBC Teletext services in the mid-1980s.

World System Teletext

Station KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah premiered a Teletext service using Ceefax. They were followed by television network CBS, which carried out preliminary tests on both the British Teletext and the rival French Antiope system. [11] [12]

One of the most prominent providers was the Electra Teletext service, using World System Teletext (WST), broadcast from the early 1980s on American cable channel WTBS. Electra also carried another Teletext service on its higher-numbered pages, a service called Tempo. Tempo mainly carried sports (and other miscellaneous) information on its pages. At the time of Electra's closing in 1993, it was the only existing Teletext service in the USA.

A few other services were offered by some large-market TV stations in the US throughout the 1980s, such as Metrotext from KTTV in Los Angeles and KeyFax from WFLD in Chicago. Despite this, the system never caught on in the USA partly due to EIA-608 being deployed for captioning before Teletext was introduced and the higher cost of Teletext receivers.


In the 1980s a similar system called Telidon was developed in Canada by the Department of Communications. It used a simple graphics language that would allow a more complex circuit in the TV to decode not only characters but graphics as well. To do this, the graphic was encoded as a series of instructions (graphics primitives) like "polyline" which was represented as the characters PL followed by a string of digits for the X and Y values of the points on the line. This system was referred to as PDI (Picture Description Instructions). Later improved versions of Telidon were developed into NAPLPS.

Although there were numerous attempts to introduce NAPLPS services in North America, none of these was successful and eventually shut down. A number of special-purpose systems lived on for some time, similar to Prestel's lingering death, but the widespread rollout of internet access in the 1990s ended these efforts.

Other systems

May 2020 teletext page 100 of German public broadcaster ARD ARD-Teletext-2020-05-07.png
May 2020 teletext page 100 of German public broadcaster ARD

Besides the US and UK developments, a number of similar Teletext services were developed in other countries, some of which attempted to address the limitations of the initial British-developed system.


In France, where the SECAM standard is used in television broadcasting, a Teletext system was developed in the late 1970s under the name Antiope. It had a higher data rate and was capable of dynamic page sizes, allowing more sophisticated graphics. It was phased out in favour of standard Teletext in 1991.

BBC Micro Teletext Adapter

The Acorn BBC Micro's default graphics mode (mode 7) was based on Teletext display, and the computer could be used to create and serve Teletext-style pages over a modem connection. With a suitable adapter, the computer could receive and display Teletext pages, as well as software over the BBC's Ceefax service, for a time. The Philips P2000 home computer's video logic was also based on a chip designed to provide Teletext services in TVs.


Prestel was a British information-retrieval system based on Teletext protocols. However, it was essentially a different system, using a modem and the phone system to transmit and receive the data, comparable to systems such as France's Minitel. The modem was asymmetric, with data sent at 75-bit/s, and received at 1200-bit/s. This two-way nature allowed pages to be served on request, in contrast to the TV-based systems' sequential rolling method. It also meant that a limited number of extra services were available such as booking events or train tickets and a limited amount of online banking.


Teletext information is broadcast in the vertical blanking interval between image frames in a broadcast television signal, in numbered "pages".

Teletext allows up to eight 'magazines' to be broadcast, identified by the first digit of the three-digit page number (1–8). Within each magazine there may theoretically be up to 256 pages at a given time, numbered in hexadecimal and prefixed with the magazine number – for example, magazine 2 may contain pages numbered 200-2FF. In practice, however, non-decimal page numbers are rarely used as domestic Teletext receivers will not have options to select hex values A-F, with such numbered pages only occasionally used for 'special' pages of interest to the broadcaster and not intended for public view.

The broadcaster constantly sends out pages in sequence in one of two modes: Serial mode broadcasts every page sequentially whilst parallel mode divides VBI lines amongst the magazines, enabling one page from each magazine to be broadcast simultaneously. There will typically be a delay of a few seconds from requesting the page and it being broadcast and displayed, the time is entirely dependent on the number of pages being broadcast in the magazine (parallel mode) or in total (serial mode) and the number of VBI lines allocated. In parallel mode, therefore, some magazines will load faster than others.

More sophisticated systems use a memory buffer to store some or all of the Teletext pages as they are broadcast, allowing instant display from the buffer.

The greater number of pages, the longer one is likely to wait for each to be found in the cycle. For this reason, some pages (e.g. common index pages) are broadcast more than once in each cycle.

Data transmission

A standard PAL signal contains 625 lines of video data per screen, broken into two "fields" containing half the lines of the whole image, divided as every odd line, then every even line number. Lines near the top of the screen are used to synchronize the display to the signal and are not seen on-screen. Data formatted in accordance with CEPT presentation layer protocol and data syntax standard is stored in these lines, where they are not visible, using lines 6–22 on the first field and 318–335 on the second field. The system does not have to use all of these lines; a unique pattern of bits allows the decoder to identify which lines contain data. Some Teletext services use a great number of lines, others, for reasons of bandwidth and technical issues, use fewer.

Teletext in the PAL B system can use the VBI lines 6–22 in first half image and 318–334 in the other [13] to transmit 360 data bits including clock run-in and framing code during the active video period at a rate of 6.9375 Mbit/s±25 bit/s [13] using binary NRZ line coding. [14] [13] The amplitude for a "0" is black level ±2% and a "1" is 66±6% of the difference between black and peak white level. [13] The clock run in consist of 8 times of "10" and the framing code is "11100100". [13] The two last bits of the clock-run in shall start within 12+0.4
from the negative flank of the line synchronization pulse. [13]

The 6.9375 Mbit/s rate is 444 × nominal fH, i.e. the TV line frequency. [13] Thus 625 * 25 * 444 = 6 937 500 Hz. Each bit will then be 144 ns long. The bandwidth amplitude is 50% at 3.5 MHz and 0% at 6 MHz. [13] If the horizontal sync pulse during the vertical synchronization starts in the middle of the horizontal scan line. Then first interlace frame will be sent, otherwise, if vertical synchronization let the full video line complete the second interlace frame is sent. [13]

Like EIA-608 bits are transmitted in the order of LSB to MSB with odd parity coding of 7-bit character codes. [13] However unlike EIA-608, the DVB version is transmitted the same way. For single bit error recovery during transmission, the packet address (page row and magazine numbers) and header bytes (page number, subtitle flag, etc.) use hamming code 8/4 with extended packets (header extensions) using hamming 24/18, which basically doubles the bits used. [13]

The commonly used standard B uses a fixed PAL subtitling bandwidth of 8600 (7680 without page/packet header) bits/s per field for a maximum of 32 characters per line per caption (maximum 3 captions – lines 19 – 21) for a 25 frame broadcast. While the bandwidth is greater than EIA-608, so is the error rate with more bits encoded per field. Subtitling packets use a lot of non-boxed spacing to control the horizontal positioning of a caption and to pad out the fixed packet. The vertical caption position is determined by the packet address.

Teletext binary NRZ encodings [14] [15]
CVBS Lines
Bit rate
[ Mbit/s ]
WaveformBits per line
(including run-in)
Max. characters
(per page row)
A (France)SECAM7–186.203squared Sine wave32035
B (global)NTSC10–185.727Symmetrical about 1/2 bit rate29632
PAL7–186.938Symmetrical about 1/2 bit rate36040
C (NABTS)NTSC10–185.727Raised cosine 100% roll-off28831
D (Japan)NTSC10–185.727Controlled cosine roll-off of 0.629632
PAL-605.642100% cosine roll-off

In the case of the Ceefax and ORACLE systems and their successors in the UK, the Teletext signal is transmitted as part of the ordinary analog TV signal but concealed from view in the Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI) television lines which do not carry picture information. The Teletext signal is digitally coded as 45-byte packets, so the resulting rate is 7,175 bits per second per used lines (41 7-bit 'bytes' per line, on each of 25 frames per second).

A Teletext page comprises one or more frames, each containing a screen-full of text. The pages are sent out one after the other in a continual loop. When the user requests a particular page the decoder simply waits for it to be sent, and then captures it for display. In order to keep the delays reasonably short, services typically only transmit a few hundred frames in total. Even with this limited number, waits can be up to 30 seconds, although Teletext broadcasters can control the speed and priority with which various pages are broadcast.

Modern television sets, however, usually have built-in memory, often for a few thousand different pages. This way, the Teletext decoder captures every page sent out and stores it in memory, so when a page is requested by the user it can be loaded directly from memory instead of having to wait for the page to be transmitted. When the page is transmitted again, the decoder updates the page in memory.

The text can be displayed instead of the television image, or superimposed on it (a mode commonly called mix). Some pages, such as subtitles (closed captioning), are in-vision, meaning that text is displayed in a block on the screen covering part of the television image.

The original standard provides a mono spaced 40×24 character grid. Characters are sent using a 7-bit codec, with an 8th bit employed for error detection. [16] The standard was improved in 1976 to allow for improved appearance and the ability to individually select the color of each character from a palette of 8. The proposed higher resolution Level 2 (1981) was not adopted in Britain (in-vision services from Ceefax & ORACLE did use it at various times, however, though even this was ceased by the BBC in 1996), although transmission rates were doubled from two to four lines a frame.


Spanish prisons have banned or disabled TV sets with teletext capabilities, after finding that the inmates received coded messages from accomplices outside through the bulletin board sections. [17]

Later developments

While the basic Teletext format has remained unchanged in more than 30 years, a number of improvements and additions have been made.

Video Program System

A closely related service is the Video Program System (VPS), introduced in Germany in 1985. Like Teletext, this signal is also broadcast in the vertical blanking interval. It consists only of 32 bits of data, primarily the date and time for which the broadcast of the currently running TV programme was originally scheduled. Video recorders can use this information (instead of a simple timer) in order to automatically record a scheduled programme, even if the broadcast time changes after the user programmes the VCR. VPS also provides a PAUSE code; broadcasters can use it to mark interruptions and pause the recorders, however, advertisement-financed broadcasters tend not to use it during their ad breaks. VPS (line 16) definition is now included in the PDC standard from ETSI.

Interactive teletext

Some TV channels offer a service called interactive Teletext to remedy some of the shortcomings of standard Teletext. To use interactive Teletext, the user calls a special telephone number with a push-button telephone. A computer then instructs them to go to a Teletext page which is assigned to them for that session.

Usually, the page initially contains a menu of options, from which the user chooses using the telephone keypad. When a choice has been made, the selected page is immediately broadcast for viewing. This is in contrast with usual Teletext where the user has to wait for the selected page to be broadcast.

This technology enables Teletext to be used for games, chat, access to databases, etc. It overcomes the limitations on the number of available pages. On the other hand, only a limited number of users can be serviced at the same time, since one page number is allocated per user. Some channels solve this by taking into account where the user is calling from and by broadcasting different teletext pages in different geographical regions. In that way, two different users can be assigned the same page number at the same time as long as they do not receive the TV signals from the same source. Another drawback to the technology is the privacy concerns in that many users can see what a user is doing because the interactive pages are received by all viewers. Also, the user usually has to pay for the telephone call to the TV station.

These services have since been superseded by the World Wide Web.

Digital teletext

NRK digital teletext Digital teletext (NRK).jpg
NRK digital teletext

With the advent of digital television, some countries adopted the name "digital Teletext" for newer standards, despite the older Teletext standards' digital nature. "Digital Teletext" is encoded with standards including MHEG-5 and Multimedia Home Platform (MHP).

Other countries use the same Teletext streams as before on DVB transmissions, due to the DVB-TXT and DVB-VBI sub-standards. Those allow the emulation of analogue Teletext on digital TV platforms, directly on the TV or set-top box, or by recreating analog output, reproducing the vertical blanking interval data in which Teletext is carried.

Cessation of informational service

A number of broadcast authorities have recently ceased the transmission of Teletext services.

(Subtitling still continues to use Teletext in these three countries with some providers switching to using image-based DVB subtitling for HD broadcasts. New Zealand solely uses DVB subtitling on terrestrial transmissions despite Teletext still being used on internal SDI links.)

See also

Related Research Articles

BBC Red Button Interactive television service

BBC Red Button is a branding used for digital interactive television services provided by the BBC, and broadcast in the United Kingdom. The services replaced Ceefax, the BBC's analogue teletext service. BBC Red Button's text services were due to close on 30 January 2020, but the switch off was suspended on 29 January 2020 following protests.

Set-top box Cable boxes and similar devices

A set-top box (STB), also colloquially known as a cable box or a television decoder, is an information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that can then be displayed on the television screen or other display device. They are used in cable television, satellite television, and over-the-air television systems as well as other uses.

Closed captioning Process of displaying interpretive texts to screens

Closed captioning (CC) and subtitling are both processes of displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information. Both are typically used as a transcription of the audio portion of a program as it occurs, sometimes including descriptions of non-speech elements. Other uses have included providing a textual alternative language translation of a presentation's primary audio language that is usually burned-in to the video and unselectable.

NAPLPS is a graphics language for use originally with videotex and teletext services. NAPLPS was developed from the Telidon system developed in Canada, with a small number of additions from AT&T Corporation. The basics of NAPLPS were later used as the basis for several other microcomputer-based graphics systems.


Videotex was one of the earliest implementations of an end-user information system. From the late 1970s to early 2010s, it was used to deliver information to a user in computer-like format, typically to be displayed on a television or a dumb terminal.

<i>Ceefax</i> Teletext information service operated by the BBC

Ceefax was the world's first teletext information service and a forerunner to the current BBC Red Button service. Ceefax was started by the BBC in 1974 and ended, after 38 years of broadcasting, at 23:32:19 BST on 23 October 2012, in line with the digital switchover being completed in Northern Ireland.

Programme Delivery Control Television standard to indicate start and end of programmes

Programme delivery control (PDC) is specified by the standard ETS 300 231, published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). This specifies the signals sent as hidden codes in the teletext service, indicating when transmission of a programme starts and finishes.

Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standards are an American set of standards for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable and satellite networks. It is largely a replacement for the analog NTSC standard and, like that standard, is used mostly in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea. Several former NTSC users, in particular Japan, have not used ATSC during their digital television transition, because they adopted their own system called ISDB.

Broadcast television systems are the encoding or formatting standards for the transmission and reception of terrestrial television signals. There were three main analog television systems in use around the world until the late 2010s: NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. Now in digital terrestrial television (DTT), there are four main systems in use around the world: ATSC, DVB, ISDB and DTMB.

The term telesoftware was coined by W.J.G. Overington who first proposed the idea; it literally means “software at a distance” and it often refers to the transmission of programs for a microprocessor or home computer via broadcast teletext, though the use of teletext was just a convenient way to implement the invention, which had been invented as a theoretical broadcasting concept previously. The concept being of producing local interactivity without the need for a return information link to a central computer. The invention arose as spin-off from research on function generators for a hybrid computer system for use in simulation of heat transfer in food preservation, and thus from outside of the broadcasting research establishments.

Antiope was a French teletext standard in the 1980s. It also formed the basis for the display standard used in the French videotex service Minitel.

EIA-608 Analog television closed captioning standard

EIA-608, also known as "line 21 captions" and "CEA-608", was once the standard for closed captioning for NTSC TV broadcasts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It also specifies an "Extended Data Service", which is a means for including a VCR control service with an electronic program guide for NTSC transmissions that operates on the even line 21 field, similar to the TeleText based VPS that operates on line 16 which is used in PAL countries.

Datacasting is the broadcasting of data over a wide area via radio waves. It most often refers to supplemental information sent by television stations along with digital terrestrial television, but may also be applied to digital signals on analog TV or radio. It generally does not apply to data which is inherent to the medium, such as PSIP data which defines virtual channels for DTT or direct broadcast satellite systems; or to things like cable modem or satellite modem, which use a completely separate channel for data.

NABTS, the North American Broadcast Teletext Specification, is a protocol used for encoding NAPLPS-encoded teletext pages, as well as other types of digital data, within the vertical blanking interval (VBI) of an analog video signal. It is standardized under standard EIA-516, and has a rate of 15.6 kbit/s per line of video.

World System Teletext Teletext standard

World System Teletext (WST) is the name of a standard for encoding and displaying teletext information, which is used as the standard for teletext throughout Europe today. It was adopted into the international standard CCIR 653 of 1986 as CCIR Teletext System B.

Mullard SAA5050

The Mullard SAA5050 was a character generator chip for implementing the Teletext character set. The SAA5050 was used in teletext-equipped television sets, viewdata terminals, and microcomputers, most notably on computers like the Philips P2000 (1980), Acorn System 2 (1980), BBC micro (1982), Malzak and the Poly-1. This chip was also manufactured by Mullard for Philips.

Teletext is a television information retrieval service developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. It offers a range of text-based information, typically including national, international and sporting news, weather and TV schedules. Subtitle information is also transmitted in the teletext signal, typically on page 888 or 777.

OpenCaster is a collection of open-source and free software for the Debian GNU/Linux system to play out and multiplex MPEG transport streams. OpenCaster generates most of the non audio/video data present into transport streams and handle playout of pre-encoded audio/video files or can be integrated with third parties audio/video encoders.

This is a timeline of the history of teletext on television in the UK..

This is a timeline of the history of on-air broadcasts of teletext on television in the UK.


  1. "The Evening Independent – Google News Archive Search".
  2. "The Internet kills Teletext - TheINQUIRER". Archived from the original on December 20, 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  6. "The Papers". 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
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  9. "Teletext Transmission". ExamPointer. 1993. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  10. Graziplene, Leonard R. (2000). Teletext: its promise and demise. Lehigh University Press. ISBN   978-0-934223-64-5.
  11. Teletext: Soon You'll Be Punching Buttons And Talking Back To Your TV, Associated Press (syndicated), 16 May 1979
  12. KSL-TV's Teletext Testing Shows No Reception Problems, InfoWorld , 18 February 1980. ůAlso includes a prescient analysis of the likely economics of Teletext and videotex
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ETS 300 706, Enhanced Teletext specification (May 1997)
  14. 1 2 – What is Teletext?, 2004
  16. Brice, Richard (2003). Newnes guide to digital TV. Newnes. p. 41. ISBN   978-0-7506-5721-1.
  17. Galaup, Laura (2020-11-01). "El teletexto no pasa de moda en la cárcel: los jueces avalan su prohibición tras detectar que sirve a reclusos para comunicarse". El Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  18. "CNNText". CNN. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  20. "Teletext Gallery: Ceefax: The beginning of the end". Teletext Then and Now. 2001-09-19. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  21. The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs (2012-12-13). "About TVNZ | Television New Zealand | Entertainment | TV One, TV2". Retrieved 2014-05-01.
  22. Archived September 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine