Ceefax Writes its Last words 1974-2012

Ceefax switched off for good

 

Another groundbreaking technology bites the dust today as the analogue tv service is switched off in Northern Ireland. It’s the last time anyone will be able to view live Ceefax pages.

After an extended development period, Ceefax went live on the BBC on 23 September 1974, displaying 30 pages of information. Over the years, it grew to provide all manner of information to viewers, ranging from news to horse racing and share prices to flight arrivals – all frustratingly available on multiple pages which seemingly took forever to refresh. But it wasn’t just on the BBC, ITV also offered a similar service called Oracle. And ITV’s offering took a more commercial angle, with a focus on holiday advertising.
The clunky graphics – 24 rows and 40 columns – restricted what could be displayed, but some developments allowed for higher resolutions. Telidon, developed by the Canadian Communications Research Centre, was one example, able to support better graphics.

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