Teletext

December 14th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

TVNZ is axing its information services after 28 years, labelling it obsolete.

The service launched in New Zealand in 1984 with funds raised in the 1981 Telethon, to give New Zealand’s deaf community more access to news and information.

It provided news, weather, Lotto, flight schedules and financial market information alongside lifestyle information such as horoscopes in simple text format.

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick said it had hung on to the service for as long as it could but regular users were in ”relatively small” numbers.

I’m amazed it lasted this long.

Teletext was great in the days before the Internet. I used to be on page 101 all the time. But it is totally redundant today, and should have been euthanised long ago.

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16 Responses to “Teletext”

  1. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    There are still a lot of Kiwi’s that use it, the pre-netters but numbers can only be assumed as small. I know people that have never had the net.

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  2. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Has Mojo Mathers been consulted?
    I’m glad that they are continuing TV captioning.

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  3. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    It’s a bit presumptuous to say it should be euthanized just because you don’t use it.

    Other people still use it. It’s particularly popular with the elderly.

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  4. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    It’s a bit presumptuous to say it should be euthanized just because you don’t use it.

    You should read the post, you might be interested what DPF actually said.

    And FWIW, I would join David in being amazed it’s lasted this long. In the day of digital TV and internet, there are all sorts of alternative ways of delivering this information.

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  5. arkhad (68 comments) says:

    Not so sure that there are alternatives. If someone hard of hearing wants to watch a programme that they have usually relied on text for as a hearing assistance will this be available. I agree news is accessible elsewhere but what about shortland st with subtitles (as an example)

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  6. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    It would be helpful to know what the (exclusive) annual running cost of providing the service is.

    Why is this information missing from the press release?

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  7. Archer (208 comments) says:

    arkhad, the article DPF linked to says tv show captioning will continue.

    I think it can be looked at that Smart TV features are replacing features like Teletext. If someone really needs news/weather/horoscope information on their TV, they could simply buy a Smart TV in the same way they previously had to buy a Teletext capable TV. People complaining about advancements in technology aren’t worth listening to.

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  8. infused (654 comments) says:

    101, wow, memories. Haven’t used the service in probably 14 years.

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  9. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    RRM’s old man is an avid user of page 430, which lists domestic flight arrival times for all the regional airports.

    Dad has been online for a few years now but still finds the internet and computers in general to be unreliable and slightly confusing.

    Whereas the “new” Philips TV starts up the moment you hit the switch, and you can get to teletext page 430 with the push of a couple of buttons to check whether RRM’s flight is on time or delayed. Just as he knows that with a little bit of choke his Austin 1100 will start the first time he turns the key, when it’s time to go and meet RRM & family at the airport.

    The old guy’s technophobia can be frustrating at times, but at the same time I can see some validity in his attitudes :-P

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  10. Enzo (45 comments) says:

    The biggest users of Teletext would have to be the racing industry. At every racetrack and TAB in the country the odds are displayed on numerous TV screens using Teletext. I suspect that’s what has propped it up so long.

    Will be interesting to see how they do it instead.

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  11. Tauhei Notts (1,713 comments) says:

    Teletext used to be a wonderful relief from Tv advertisements.
    But since I got a wide screen tv I have been unable to find it.
    And, any way, My Sky has made it obsolete.
    An unpaid Advertisement; “My Sky is the greatest invention since the microwave oven.”

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  12. Pushbutton_auto (24 comments) says:

    Yeah, got the first teletext capable tv, way back, entirely for horseracing.

    We had major advantage over most people for a long time.

    Sadly they shot home viewing of tabtext a while back … :(

    Also a valid point about what options are available for the deaf now ?

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  13. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    My folks, who aren’t internet savvy, use it all the time.
    I told them this morning and my mother said, “they don’t cater for us old people at all” :(

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  14. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    To be honest, I’d forgotten it was still around.

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  15. St Hubbins (26 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts (1,171) Says:
    December 14th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Teletext used to be a wonderful relief from Tv advertisements.
    But since I got a wide screen tv I have been unable to find it.
    And, any way, My Sky has made it obsolete.
    An unpaid Advertisement; “My Sky is the greatest invention since the microwave oven. ever”

    FIFY

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  16. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    RRM says:

    …he knows that with a little bit of choke his Austin 1100 will start the first time he turns the key

    Ahhh my second car. My first was an Austin 1800. They did go every time, too. And even I, who wouldn’t know a piston from a crankshaft, was able to do a complete head job, reseating the tappets and everything. Nowadays I open the bonnet, can’t recognise a single component, and close it again. Then apply for a 14th mortgage to get the simplest job done on the whole shemozzle. If he’s ever in the market to sell…

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