The Teletext Museum.
Main indexTimelineGalleriesOnline
LinksFAQsTeletext ChatContact



BBC Digital Text | BBC Parliament | BBC Knowledge | BBC Sport Wimbledon 2000

  1. In the beginning was the word, and the word was teletext, and it was digital, and everyone knew it was digital.
  2. But then lo, then there was invented by many Wise Men from the West, a new, powerful and wonderful television system which was, strangely, much better at transmitting still pictures than moving ones.
  3. And the Wise Men called this system digital, for so it was.
  4. And some digits were ON and some digits were not.
  5. But the ONdigital system carried not the teletext but promised that a new and better system would appear here.
  6. All four seasons came to pass and finally some ONdigital set-top boxes could receive the teletext service which the Wise Men also called Digital, remembering not that teletext had been digital all along...
A couple of frames from the embryonic BBC Digital Text service, captured on 1-Oct-1999, the day the teletext software was first made available for download to the Ondigital set-top boxes.
Here's the first of a few pages decoded using the first release of the Pace STB software
The software allows you to hear the sound from the last BBC station you were tuned to, and some pages also allow you to see the programme in a 'window'.

This introduces the aspect ratio issue. It would appear that Digital text pages are composed with an aspect ratio of 4:3 in mind.

Certainly if you stretch the weather map pages below into 16:9 they look wrong, and yet BBC TEXT assumes the aspect ratio of the BBC service to which the decoder was last tuned, or, in the case of the windowed service, is tuned. If this were not done the windowed service would not be displayed properly.

So on this page you can see frames displayed in different aspect ratios, as appropriate.

The weather maps are an obvious improvement over Level 1 teletext.
Note Richard Baker, the ex-BBC newsreader, appearing on the last edition of Backstage on BBC CHOICE.
These pages on the BBC KNOWLEDGE TEXT service trailed a change to the service on 6-Sep-2001.

< Digital text Gallery index

 Teletext Chat 


For discussion about all aspects of teletext, from content right through  to complex technical matters.
If you have a question, this is the place to ask it...

The Teletext Museum is a collaboration withThe TV Room


PMC Bitstream Sounds On

mb21 by Mike Brown
Hosted by Astrohosts