12 Facts About Ceefax


Ceefax was the world's first teletext information service and a forerunner to the current BBC Red Button service.

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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.

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In 1983, Ceefax started to broadcast computer programs, known as telesoftware, for the BBC Micro .

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Basic technology of Ceefax remained compatible with the 1976 unified rollout; system elaborations in later years were made such that earlier receivers were still able to do a basic decode of pages, but would simply ignore enhanced information rather than showing corrupted data.

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Until 2012, the BBC's Ceefax service was still providing information on topics covering News, Sport, Weather, TV Listings and Businesses.

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Ceefax was the last remaining text service available via analogue TV transmissions in the UK, as ITV and Channel 4's Teletext service closed in December 2009.

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At 23:32:19 BST on 23 October 2012, Ceefax was switched off after 38 years of providing news, weather and sport information when the Olympic Games champion Dame Mary Peters turned off the last analogue TV signal in Northern Ireland.

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Pages can be navigated to by scrolling with the remote or entering the correct page number; most of the page numbers previously used on Ceefax are the same on BBC Red Button, such as sports being on page number 301 with football on 302 and football results on 316.

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Pages from Ceefax was a selection of content from the Ceefax service and normally only shown in the absence of any other programming.

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Limited set of rolling pages shown on Pages from Ceefax had been accessible at any time of day on teletext-equipped televisions on page 198 and 298, moving to page 196 in November 1992 and to page 152 in November 1996.

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In late 1989 the Ceefax service was relaunched as a news-focused service and the in-vision sequence became a news only service plus a weather forecast.

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In-vision Ceefax was first shown in March 1980, originally in 30-minute slots and by 1983 it was a common filler during daytime downtime.

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