The untold stories of Teletext - Celebrating 40 years of Digital Broadcasting

Event Type: 
Section Meeting
Event Date: 
Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 18:15 to 21:00
Digital Television Group (DTG)
89 Albert Embankment
SE1 7TP London
United Kingdom
Event Details: 

London meeting

In the UK, broadcasters have been emitting digital signals for home reception for 40 years.  
Peter Weitzel touches on the pioneering collaborative work and the fundamentals of the Teletext system before looking at the work being done in the 1990s – many of which were experiments for what we see now in DVB or IP Based systems.   

Find out about Dynamic allocation – and the three audio over Teletext systems and the first open EPG ......  and the making of the European standards – much of which was just rewrapping what the original research teams had defined in 1972-6.
 He will also point out many of the ways in which things were done – which have a great relevance to how modern systems should be developed, standardised, specified, built and operated.

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Teletext changed the world for the television viewer in the UK – and we still see the effects today as the UK audience demands a very comprehensive range of services from their over the air Television - provided by the Red button.

Teletext is still a part of the TV systems we watch including HD services – perhaps our last untold story!  



Peter Weitzel spent time in the 1990s as the BBC Teletext specialist serving its commercial service Datacast as well as Ceefax and subtitling.   During this time the BBC added data services like PDC, internal services Presfax & Telfax and audio, and a variety of Text services piggybacking on Ceefax.  The Commercial Service Teletext Ltd was being very successful and the BBC needed to show Government that it was being spectrum efficient – so techniques were used to pack more Ceefax and the other services into the VBI.

Peter was also the vice chairman of the EBU –JTC group compiling the current Teletext Standards
– EN 300 706 and EN 300 708 and the EPG - EN 300 707 and wrote their explanatory codes of Practise.....

He also guided the TV receiver industry away from Connected TV over a 2400 Baud dial up modem!
 And he explains how he could represent the commercial interests of all parts of the  BBC, ITV, Ch4,
Teletext ltd and Sky Text at the same meeting!

 Some images of Teletext - the 2014 Berlin Teletext Art Festival - BBC  and many images on the fesitival site
and Mike Browns Teletext Museum

Teletext Specifications EN 300 706 , EN 300 708  , Teletext EPG EN 300 707

The Revised Presentation slides



  DTG is located just north of the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross – and thus is well served by National Rail and Victoria lines.  There are also many buses within easy walking distance (it is just North of Stops P & S)  plus the river bus at St George’s Wharf Pier/ Tate Britain.  

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