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Inspector Sands14,779 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Same with 4Tel, which was dramatically scaled back after 1993. And also transferred from Oracle to Intelfax.

4Tel was always produced by Intelfax, even when Oracle was around, it just was part of Oracle rather than a seperate service. 4Tel was mentioned on Oracle's menu page and the header line when viewing it stayed 'Oracle'.


After 1992 it was paired down and became an ancillary service, totally seperate to the new Teletext license holder
Inspector Sands14,779 posts since 25 Aug 2004

Technically Magazine serial Transmission had a very (too) intimate relationship between text and subtitles - which is why one entity (Oracle) had to do both,
Magazine parelell is a much better system as any magazine could be transmitted on any line at any time - !

When did parallel magazines start? I remember one of the services announcing a new faster method of transmitting and then in the late 80s Ceefax reorganised itself into 6 magazines.

But I always remember sections being seperate - the 100s and 200's on Oracle and the Telesoftware on the 700s seperate to the rest of Ceefax
Markymark8,194 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

Technically Magazine serial Transmission had a very (too) intimate relationship between text and subtitles - which is why one entity (Oracle) had to do both,
Magazine parelell is a much better system as any magazine could be transmitted on any line at any time - !

When did parallel magazines start? I remember one of the services announcing a new faster method of transmitting and then in the late 80s Ceefax reorganised itself into 6 magazines.


The BBC tested parallel magazines on Crystal P 1980 ish (or was it later ? Mr T will know). The IBA did the same on Rowridge about the same time
James Vertigan3,291 posts since 2 Jun 2001
London London
Yes I remember seeing captions in-vision on ITV apologising for a lack of subtitles. Amazing to think these days that could happen, they're treated with much more importance these days.


Even quite late on in the Westcountry days some items on Westcountry Live went out with an apology for lack of subtitles, I think it was mainly live interviews, perhaps because they didn’t have the facility to produce live subtitles at the time.
James Vertigan3,291 posts since 2 Jun 2001
London London
The ancillary services were quite sporadic in starting. I remember in London we just had a placeholder saying 'an ancillary service from ITV will appear here'. We went down to the Westcountry area that summer and was surprised to see their (very smart) looking service there. It didn't seem to be an Intelfax one either which is surprising, I don't know if it was done in house. I think they even promoted it at the end of Westcountry Live.


Ah yes. I remember looking at Westcountry’s offering when I was younger and visiting family in North Devon (pic from MB21):

*

I think it was much better than Carlton/LWT’s offering and also ISTR updated more regularly. I remember learning some of the transmitter names in the SW by looking at the engineering info pages which were pretty detailed like the old IBA Engineering Announcements programme. You tend not to hear about “switching breaks” and the like these days!
dvboy10,166 posts since 11 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today

The equipment to provide ancillary teletext and subtitling was fully installed and working from day one of the post 1993 London licences - LWT, Carlton and GMTV. If it was not provided it was not because of any engineering cock up.

I'm sure they were but of course that doesn't mean there weren't teething troubles with getting the subtitle data into them from wherever they started to originate from. Could have been issues with getting them across the network or the production/delivery of the files.... anywhere in the chain.


The equipment for the ancillary service was working from 1/1/93 but the service itself didn't arrive till after the summer IIRC. Of course the company who ended up producing it was a short walk from LNN. Though I suppose there were 3 companies involved and 3 services to broadcast (the ancillary service and header changed from GMTV to Carlton to LWT at the appropriate times)


Did each region have to generate subtitles for each programme themselves or would it come with the programme from the region playing it out?
Hello, good evening, and remain indoors.
Markymark8,194 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

The equipment to provide ancillary teletext and subtitling was fully installed and working from day one of the post 1993 London licences - LWT, Carlton and GMTV. If it was not provided it was not because of any engineering cock up.

I'm sure they were but of course that doesn't mean there weren't teething troubles with getting the subtitle data into them from wherever they started to originate from. Could have been issues with getting them across the network or the production/delivery of the files.... anywhere in the chain.


The equipment for the ancillary service was working from 1/1/93 but the service itself didn't arrive till after the summer IIRC. Of course the company who ended up producing it was a short walk from LNN. Though I suppose there were 3 companies involved and 3 services to broadcast (the ancillary service and header changed from GMTV to Carlton to LWT at the appropriate times)


Did each region have to generate subtitles for each programme themselves or would it come with the programme from the region playing it out?


There was only one set of subtitle data per programme, but they sometimes originated from a different location to the VTR/company playing out the programme.

For instance, Granada might be playing a programme, but the subtitles were being provided by Intelfax from their premises. It all was rather complicated with ITV's structure in the 80s and 90s
Technologist150 posts since 10 Oct 2018
London London

Technically Magazine serial Transmission had a very (too) intimate relationship between text and subtitles - which is why one entity (Oracle) had to do both,
Magazine parelell is a much better system as any magazine could be transmitted on any line at any time - !

When did parallel magazines start? I remember one of the services announcing a new faster method of transmitting and then in the late 80s Ceefax reorganised itself into 6 magazines.

But I always remember sections being seperate - the 100s and 200's on Oracle and the Telesoftware on the 700s seperate to the rest of Ceefax


I don't know ..... but mid late 80s ... it still was relatively "new" when I got involved in 1989
But mag parallel does not always mean faster text at a page throughput level.
But it does give more control over cycle time ...but it is not easy to understand..
as number of pages per mag , how many rows per page,
His many lines allocated, what other magazines in the stream ,
How do you sequence them ? Do you have any out if sequence ( timer) pages
They All interact ...

Just for correctness Ceefax transmitted mag 7 Telesoftware just like any other page .. it's just that they were not edited like the text pages but loaded directly into the transmission system.
But mag 7 on itv was page based data brodacasting with a separate company and systems,

Like so many things in teletext text .... magazines were a mix of technicality ..a byte in the page header x/0 and the wish to have sections on news city sport etc...

I thought that most itv playout used inserters at the vt machines ...
The BBC used this pre network transmission area
The the NTA used VITC and output inserters
The Digital area went to the correct system of source inserters include news studios and policing on the output of the playout suite,
The Broadcast centre went to output inserters ( as servers would only play out programmes with subtitles in the VBI at ingest ..which of course was before they were created !)

Something that many people don't understand these days is that communications was serial line (often on dial up) and a 9k6 connection was fastin 1990
but was used into this century !
Last edited by Technologist on 12 May 2020 1:41pm
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Inspector Sands gave kudos
Inspector Sands14,779 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I think it was much better than Carlton/LWT’s offering and also ISTR updated more regularly. I remember learning some of the transmitter names in the SW by looking at the engineering info pages which were pretty detailed like the old IBA Engineering Announcements programme. You tend not to hear about “switching breaks” and the like these days!

Yep I'd forgotten about their engineering pages.
Here they are in 1997, from the Teletext Archive:
https://archive.teletextarchaeologist.org/Pages/Details/92632
The whole of the teletext from that day is there too
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 12 May 2020 4:38pm
1
James Vertigan gave kudos
Inspector Sands14,779 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I thought that most itv playout used inserters at the vt machines ...
The BBC used this pre network transmission area
The the NTA used VITC and output inserters
The Digital area went to the correct system of source inserters include news studios and policing on the output of the playout suite,
The Broadcast centre went to output inserters ( as servers would only play out programmes with subtitles in the VBI at ingest ..which of course was before they were created !)

In the digital TX area programmes could be ingested with subtitles, but only if they were done manually, the intention was to use Flexicarts for programme ingest but they couldn't do subtitles.
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 12 May 2020 4:42pm
Markymark8,194 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today

I thought that most itv playout used inserters at the vt machines ...
The BBC used this pre network transmission area
The the NTA used VITC and output inserters
The Digital area went to the correct system of source inserters include news studios and policing on the output of the playout suite,
The Broadcast centre went to output inserters ( as servers would only play out programmes with subtitles in the VBI at ingest ..which of course was before they were created !)

In the digital TX area programmes could be ingested with subtitles, but only if they were done manually, the intention was to use Flexicarts for programme ingest but they couldn't do subtitles.


I remember a Bond Film being shown early 80s. There were no subtitles for the first 15 mins, then they all suddenly burst through in very quick succesion, until they caught up with the film. Must have been floopy disc playout, but assuming the film was played directly from TK, how was the timecode referenced ? Or was it a case of manually spoon feeding them out in real time?
bluecortina918 posts since 26 Jul 2012

Technically Magazine serial Transmission had a very (too) intimate relationship between text and subtitles - which is why one entity (Oracle) had to do both,
Magazine parelell is a much better system as any magazine could be transmitted on any line at any time - !

When did parallel magazines start? I remember one of the services announcing a new faster method of transmitting and then in the late 80s Ceefax reorganised itself into 6 magazines.

But I always remember sections being seperate - the 100s and 200's on Oracle and the Telesoftware on the 700s seperate to the rest of Ceefax


I don't know ..... but mid late 80s ... it still was relatively "new" when I got involved in 1989
But mag parallel does not always mean faster text at a page throughput level.
But it does give more control over cycle time ...but it is not easy to understand..
as number of pages per mag , how many rows per page,
His many lines allocated, what other magazines in the stream ,
How do you sequence them ? Do you have any out if sequence ( timer) pages
They All interact ...

Just for correctness Ceefax transmitted mag 7 Telesoftware just like any other page .. it's just that they were not edited like the text pages but loaded directly into the transmission system.
But mag 7 on itv was page based data brodacasting with a separate company and systems,

Like so many things in teletext text .... magazines were a mix of technicality ..a byte in the page header x/0 and the wish to have sections on news city sport etc...

I thought that most itv playout used inserters at the vt machines ...
The BBC used this pre network transmission area
The the NTA used VITC and output inserters
The Digital area went to the correct system of source inserters include news studios and policing on the output of the playout suite,
The Broadcast centre went to output inserters ( as servers would only play out programmes with subtitles in the VBI at ingest ..which of course was before they were created !)

Something that many people don't understand these days is that communications was serial line (often on dial up) and a 9k6 connection was fastin 1990
but was used into this century !


From memory, subtitles were sent out on a dedicated TV line. If you were re-networking a programme from another ITV company you simply on-passed the incoming subtitles. If it was a local programme off tape you banged the tape on the VT machine and put the accompanying subtitle disk in one of the readers and encoders. Don’t think there was much if any live subtitling at that time apart from GMTV who originally did it in house then subbed it out to some company in OZ. Switching the teletext between LWT/Carlton/GMTV was - according to the installation diagrams - performed by a clock somewhere in the back of TLS’s MCR but I never found it and I was part of team responsible for maintaining it. It all worked like clockwork and needed no attention. The only operational hiccup seemed to be that after some programmes with subtitles the last line of subtitle was left ‘hanging in the air’ as it were after the TX so LNN had a button to press that simply sent out a ‘clear last line’ of subtitles.
1
Inspector Sands gave kudos