ITV Teletext

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~ ITV Teletext ~

Analogue Teletext services were developed by both the BBC and IBA in the 70s, with a service launching from the BBC in 1974 and the commercial equivalent Oracle launching shortly afterwards. Broadcast in areas of the screen which were obscured from view known as the Vertical Blanking Interval but could be decoded by special hardware, it provided a system which could deliver textual content to the general public years before services such as the internet became commercially available. The commercial service Oracle ran on ITV and Channel 4 until December 1992, before losing it's licence in favour of Teletext Ltd who continued to run their service through until 2009.

All contents on this page have been recovered from original VHS recordings.


Tyne Tees


Oracle - 4/10/1990

The ITV Oracle service from October 1990. The IBA engineering pages contain details of the Tyne Tees Nicam Stereo service due to launch from Pontop Pike at the end of that month. Meanwhile there's more accusations flying round in the teletext-based soap Park Avenue, and in the news it is announced that British Rail fares are due to go up on average by 9.5% from January - just incase anyone ever tells you prices have only increased by huge amounts since privatisation.


Oracle - 21/11/1991

Prior to the loss of their franchise to Teletext Ltd in 1992, Oracle used to provide the text service for ITV and Channel 4. From the end of 1991 here, and the main story of the day is a call for a referendum on Britain's membership of Europe, as debate on the Maastricht treaty which would take the then EC into the new age of the EU rattles on.


Oracle - 24/12/1992

Christmas 1992 was a mixed time for staff of the Oracle text service. As well as the usual mix of festive graphics and Christmas greetings, a lot of the writers were saying their goodbyes. What with Oracle's license to provide the service due to end a week later, there were no guarantees on what sections would make it to the new Teletext service or where they'd be placed.


Oracle - 26/12/1992

Continuing the Oracle goodbyes a few days later on Boxing Day. With more looking back at more television history, as well as more letters from the public telling us all how their lives will just never be the same again without Oracle. Never fear though - at least they're making sure everyone knows where they can still find JobFinder in the New Year!


Teletext on 3 - 3/2/1993

Launching from the 1st January 1993 was the replacement for the Oracle service, namely Teletext. The first few months of Teletext's operation saw a lot of experimentation and moving around of pages as the new service found it's feet. News coverage from early February 1993 features coverage of a U-Turn on planned cuts to the armed forces. Meanwhile services better known for being on Channel 4 such as Bamboozle and Digitizer can initially be found on 3 - they would last here for 3 months before moving channel. There were also sections of pages only available at certain hours of the day. At the time of this broadcast, 'Evening' is showing from Page 320. Tucked way in the 600s was a series of test pages for the new planned ancillary service. Provisionally named 'ITV+', it was never to launch under that name with the ITV regions going their own ways instead.


Teletext on 3 - 18/2/1993

Continuing further into February 1993 and more pages from the early days of Teletext Limited. This time it's overnight, so their night time pages are operating (caution: with some adult themes contained). As well as that, the news of the time is covering Manchester's bid to host the 2000 Olympics in great detail.


Teletext on 3 - 18/3/1993

Moving on another month into March 1993, and the ITV service is getting closer to Teletext as most remember it. The homepage header has gained some blue, and the sections for Digitiser, Bamboozle and the timed segments have all moved over to Channel 4 instead. Instead in the space, an expanded news service is now being provided. Alongside more regional pages, even down to the city level in some cases just to hammer home how regional it now is. Page 350 brings us news of a new 'Green' service launching at Easter, whilst the news services of the day are heavily covering the BBC Director General John Birt's tax affairs.


Teletext/C3NE Text - 26/02/1997

From early 1997, pages from the national Teletext Ltd service and it's local North Eastern variations, as well as the ever popular Channel 3 North East ancillary service. The stories of the day are the privatisation of London Underground, A Touch of Frost smashing the ratings... oh and don't forget the Chatton and Kielder transmitters will be off the air tonight.


Teletext/C3NE Text - 31/3/1997

From very early morning on the 31st March 1997, less than 12 hours after the launch of Channel 5. As such quite a few of the pages are referencing the launch, as well as most of the launch night schedule being listed. As a critic, naturally Sam Brady already thinks the new channel is the worst thing ever, and see if you can spot the pages where Teletext haven't yet updated all of their adverts now that they cover 5 channels. Other news covered in this era involves a feature on the last British Rail trains running as the final franchise begins, and run up to the upcoming election.


Teletext/TTTV Text - 11/8/2001

From the day of the changeover from ITV to ITV1 in August 2001, a small selection of pages from the Teletext service (sadly not many due to mere minutes of footage available). If the rebrand of the onscreen presentation seemed understated, the changes to the text service go much further with no mention to be found at all. All pages still refer to ITV at this point. Teletext is sporting its later 'rounded' logo, whilst the Tyne Tees ancilliary service, although renamed to lose all trace of C3NE, continues to use their old 1998 TTTV. Completely ignoring anything to do with either the ITV generic or their own 2000 onscreen look.


Meridian


Teletext (South) - 8/10/1998

Teletext Ltd's service from the Meridian region of the country in 1998. The coming of the internet is showing up more prominently on the ITV text service now with both website addresses and contact methods updated to include emails. Alongside this growth, advertising is already looking harder to make work with ever larger amounts of space taken up for advertising on the text service. News stories of the day include floods of complaints over a proposed takeover of Manchester United by BSkyB, talk on EU funding rebates, and a variety of sections across the service looking back at the The Bill actor Kevin Lloyd as the coroner releases his verdict around the death earlier in 1998. Also don't miss a section on Page 382 for a company called 'Blockbuster Video'.


HTV West


Teletext/HTV West Text - 22/12/1996

Nearly Christmas 1996 from the HTV West region, with even the rather sparse local ancillary service making an unusual effort to festively style up their text pages. News stories of the day involve the Spice Girls winning the Christmas Number 1 spot for that year, and talk of how there'd be no blank cheque for a mooted 'Millenium Dome' exhibition at Greenwich.


~ Acknowledgements ~
Jason Robertson (@grim_fandango) - For being a source of inspiration for this project -
Alistair Buxton - For creating the original recovery software - http://
ITV - http://www.itv.com
Teletext Ltd - http://www.teletextholidays.co.uk