RIP Austext: Will you shed a tear?

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CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.

The internet has claimed another victim, Channel Seven's Austext information services, which will cease operation on 30 September 2009; closed captioning will continue operation, however.

Will you miss Austext?

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Come 30 September, Austext's teletext weather, lottery, finance and news pages will shuffle quietly off into the ether. All that will remain will be Channel Seven's closed captioning service, which, the company says, will continue operating as per normal via page 801.

With a short three-page statement on the service, Channel Seven announced its intention to kill off Austext. Among the reasons cited by the network include the age of its teletext equipment, which dates back to the very beginning of the service, the cost of upgrading said equipment and the fact that it was free with no advertising revenue. No doubt equally as important was the rise of the internet and the unquantifiable amount of free information to be found on it.

Trialled in the late 1970s, Austext began operating in 1982 in Brisbane and Sydney. It then spread to other capital cities with Channel Seven stations, as well as regional affiliates, like Prime and Southern Cross. Overseas the BBC is still running its Ceefax service, although it too will be abandoning it once analog TV is switched off in 2012.

So, will anyone aside from die-hard teletext aficionados miss it? And how many of them are there anyway? Vote now in our poll and leave your thoughts, with their eloquently worded obituaries or glaring indifference, in the comments section below.

Personally, this writer will miss Austext. Although I didn't use it much, I do fondly remember regularly visiting an aunt's house and spending hours thumbing through, and no doubt waiting for, information. For years and years I pestered my parents for a teletext-capable TV, but when that day came, quite by accident, the internet was already at our doorsteps.

Vale Austext, your blocky text graphics will be fondly remembered.

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GrayF posted a comment   

Late at night when you were watching a movie it was easier to press the TT button and see what the weather was going to be like tomorrow rather than powering up the PC which was a few feet away.

But that meant getting out of the warm bed.

 

bUBBA posted a comment   

Farewell Teletext, I remember the good old days when you could find weather details, even the windspeed on the Westgate bridge. Although I lived in Perth. It was still fun though.

 

Phil posted a comment   

I find it strange that all the new digital TVs are Telitext enabled but now there is nto telitext. You think they could just map out some auto-scrape of some internet pages. What a shame it is gone for good.

 

peter posted a comment   

I only just now found this website June '10 and must say the austext service to me was vital ie news stories not found elsewhere of "extreme importance"I feel subject to ultimate censoreship, if Murdoch and his mates at Seven Corporation believed the service "unviable" then I would have gladly paid a subscription bring it back NOW !!!!

 

Hock posted a comment   

Just got a teletext capable TV for the first time and guess what? Now there's no teletext.
Very dissapointed...

 

WA Country Viewer posted a comment   

I have just bought a new LED samsung TV and very happy with the quality. I have used Teletext all my life and throughout all kinds of TV (brands) I had no problem until now. In the country we are not yet digital - as we have been waiting for a very long time (except SBS & ABC), I can only recieve WIN teletext (channels of nine and ten) but can't get GWN teletext (channel 7) on my LED???
anybody know what is wrong? is it my New LED tv or is it channel 7/GWN?? My other analogue tv that still works it is in the other room still receive GWN teletext... strange...

 

WA Country Viewer posted a reply   

After dabbling with the tv found out that it takes one or two minutes for teletext to load up on GWN... what a relief... funnily enough it takes a split second for WIN to have teletext! so GWN (or channel 7) is so slow to respond...

 

Adam Giovane posted a comment   

Has any part of teletext come back in digital? They say it's VBI Text in Europe and Oz now. VBI is Vertical Broadcast Interlace or some funny name like that. Also mention of this emulation with OSD (On Screen Display, which is normally just name of channel. May be related to Closed Captions too) or whatever.

Am researching to buy a set top box with it to get instand weather, news, lotto, finance stocks etc. Never bet at TAB so I don't need the horse racing crap.

 

barcoo posted a comment   

I just bought an LG LCD TV. Believe it or not I can't get Teletext (subtitles) on it. I can on my other TV. Have complained and LG reckon that Teletext is completely finished in Australia!! Be warned - don't buy an LG if you need subbies on an analogue station.

 

Austext#1 posted a comment   

End of life my ar$e, should have left it running until it died. Besides replacing it would have cost peanuts given that it's based on such simple technology.


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