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rdd3,535 posts since 21 Jun 2001
The thing is that WST can be transmitted on digital systems -other countries still do. It can’t be transmitted over HDMI true as there aren’t any VBI, but the decoder could display it.

RTÉ transmits the old WST Aertel service via Sky, and once Virgin Media finishes closing down its analogue service it will be the only way to receive it as it’s not carried on Saorview. As you say it can’t be passed through the HDMI cable so only viewers who connect via SCART can receive it.
Inspector Sands14,815 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Was there any way for the at home viewer to view presfax?

There are stories about the head of presentation having a decoder at home, but that would have been the original Presfax, which wasn't teletext-like.

The playout suites all had Schedule Status Displays (SSDs) that were a teletext-like display from when they were first automated in the mid 90s but it was only in the early 2000s that it got used as presfax
Technologist152 posts since 10 Oct 2018
London London
Picking up on a few of these topics .. I'm at IBC so on iPad not a PC ..

Sky still uses teletext subtitles ... and that does not encourage much innovation !!!
When DVB subtitles came along which do give a better font and positioning in screen and more colours than teletext ( Teletext displays had diferent numbers of rows)
Work was done In Uk DTG to create a language to do italics more colours etc , handle versions and also worked for AD scripts etc ... but we did not have the technology of XML in 1999
when folks did.... timed text was the result .... and thus there are profiles of IMSC1 being used in Cinema and safe Harbor for digital media under SMPTE Standards and for TV Under EBU timedtext

One issue is that the need to stream what is actually a series of single events ....
With more playout in the cloud there is no need for any video connection ..
"just!" Transcode the delivered files to a DVB / ATSC / IP stream etc ...
but for live tv you still need to carry it .. hence IMSC in ST2110 -40 etc perhaps.
There is a lot of installed kit out there whether just tektext
or teletext input/Oc47 input to DVB ST...
and likewise for the American systems ..where very few are using the vast capabilities of digital subtitling ..most just wrap the analogue ones ..

There is a lot if work already done so I can imagine that teletext for subtitles will only exist on sky digital services .... until they are all Q and IMSC1.
But the authoring issues are still here but are being worked on ... to get the style of subtitles a channel or a programme needs ... but authoring station with AI tools are now a lot cheaper ..l !!

On signing .. the issue was getting all TVs to have the decoders keyers etc like the uk got the second Mpeg audio decoder and the object controlled mixing .. for AD .
Special boxes are expensive and difficult to integrate ...
PFMC841,841 posts since 28 Feb 2013
UTV Newsline
This'll annoy my dad, who still uses it for the racing results. Slowly converting him to using the tablet instead, but old habits and all that.

Literally the same as me. He seems to have got the hang of his iPhone he got for Christmas so will download some racing apps on it for him and hopefully he can use them fine!
Blake Connolly gave kudos
noggin14,950 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Was there any way for the at home viewer to view presfax?

If you had a PresFax decoder - yes. But only BBC employees could have them. (Rumour has it the head of BBC Broadcast did have one at her home)

Reality is that no member of the public did. Nobody really got into this stuff until software recovery became possible, and because of the way PresFax was broadcast in the teletext stream it's more difficult to recover from VHS than regular pages. (The same goes for the trialled 'audio in VBI' that was used for Audio Description and Talkback tests)
noggin14,950 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The irony is that you can run these Level 2.5 text services into many UK TVs now and they decode them fine, as do the built in teletext decoders in some free-to-air satellite receivers. Although take-up across Europe has been very low, manufacturers did start to implement them.

With a Raspberry Pi and the right software you can get your Pi to output, via the composite video output (on a phone on the first gen models and then on a 3.5mm composite+audio jack on more recent models, or a PCB header on the Zeros), teletext in vertical blanking with no additional hardware. This includes Level 2.5 support Smile There's quite a scene involved in 'DIY Teletext' - including people taking the BBC News website RSS feeds etc. and creating 'CEEFAX' from them - though the retirement of Digital Text may mean that the end of headline character limits make this trickier.
James Vertigan3,291 posts since 2 Jun 2001
London London
I remember an edition of See Hear - must be 10-20 years ago now! - which showed some examples of what they might be able to do - italics for emphasis at the very simplest, word animation for even more emphasis (okay, that might have been a bit much), little animations for certain sounds like breaking glass and so on.

One thing I remember from Ceefax subtitles back in the day was the use of flashing subtitles for continuous sounds such as a ringing phone.