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CrispyPotato85 posts since 22 Sep 2012
BBC World
Hello all,

I'm not sure if this has been discussed before.

I'm just wondering if there are any plans to upgrade the BBC's text / red button service on Sky? Perhaps to something similar to how it is on Virgin?

Are there technical limitations? Or other reasons?

Thanks for any input.
Neil Jones4,584 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
I'd like to think it was more successful when they copied the "page" concept from their analogue sister service Ceefax. Prior to introducing pages BBC Text or BBCi or whatever it was called was a pain in the proverbial backside to use as you could only get anywhere on it via the menus.

That aside I presume its technical reasons why it can't look and perform 100% the same on all platforms. Complicated somewhat now we have Sky Q though I suppose the bulk of it code wise is the same as Sky+HD.
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
In my experience the Freeview MHEG5 digital text service is by far the quickest to use on a modern TV. The Sky version is slower, and the Connected Red Button stuff is pretty, but less easy to navigate quickly. (Page numbers are still a good way of quickly navigating to the information you want from a TV remote)
Markymark5,890 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
In my experience the Freeview MHEG5 digital text service is by far the quickest to use on a modern TV. The Sky version is slower, and the Connected Red Button stuff is pretty, but less easy to navigate quickly. (Page numbers are still a good way of quickly navigating to the information you want from a TV remote)


How many use the TV based info services though ? There's so much talk of 'second screen' these days,
which in reality means you whip your smart phone out of your pocket, and use that for browsing data, extra info etc etc ?
kernow943 posts since 18 Jan 2006
In my experience the Freeview MHEG5 digital text service is by far the quickest to use on a modern TV. The Sky version is slower, and the Connected Red Button stuff is pretty, but less easy to navigate quickly. (Page numbers are still a good way of quickly navigating to the information you want from a TV remote)


How many use the TV based info services though ? There's so much talk of 'second screen' these days,
which in reality means you whip your smart phone out of your pocket, and use that for browsing data, extra info etc etc ?



Apart from the BBC, I can't actually think of any other broadcaster that still has a text/red button service.

I think the decline in these services answers your question. Sky had big plans for their interactive service "Open" when it first launched, and it included things like tv banking, which never really took off because of things like smartphones, and nowadays Sky's interactive service is a shadow of its former self and is now just for things related to account support.
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
In my experience the Freeview MHEG5 digital text service is by far the quickest to use on a modern TV. The Sky version is slower, and the Connected Red Button stuff is pretty, but less easy to navigate quickly. (Page numbers are still a good way of quickly navigating to the information you want from a TV remote)


How many use the TV based info services though ? There's so much talk of 'second screen' these days,
which in reality means you whip your smart phone out of your pocket, and use that for browsing data, extra info etc etc ?


I know a lot of older people have simply replaced CEEFAX with Digital Text. I often see my parents and my in-laws use it instead of their iPads. Particularly for sport.
Martin944 posts since 23 Mar 2001
STV Central Reporting Scotland
BBC News Online (the guys who write stories for the website) still work with a fixed character count across the top four lines of the story.

The story should really be summed up within these four paragraphs as that is what gets pulled across for digital text.

Not sure what the future holds, but working practices are still strong.