When the internet had not yet been consolidated in Spain, teletext was the fastest form of information updated that we had. Through television we could consult the most recent news, see the programming of television channels, the horoscope or sports results. It was the internet from the 90s.
Although practically no one uses it today, it is still active and almost anything we can imagine can be consulted through its color lists and numbers to access information.
How did you get to Spain?
The teletext service was introduced in the 1970s on British television. It was the BBC chain that launched the system under the name Ceefax. The idea was to transmit data along with the television signal.
The September 23, 1974 the first broadcast was produced with 30 pages of information.
In Spain we had to wait more than 14 years to begin to see this technological advance of teletext. TVE began to broadcast a signal in 1988 under the name Telecinco -there were tests in 1982 during the Soccer World Cup-, and the idea was to sell it as one more channel, something different. At that time, the Telecinco television network did not exist, it was founded a year later.
Some curiosities of teletext
As a result of the arrival of this curious invention to our television, over the years it was perfected, but the arrival of the internet completely stopped its expansion.
But teletext was followed by many people at first. For example, the arrival of this system was a great advance for deaf people. It is considered the first television for the deaf since from the beginning it allowed subtitling programs.
It was in 1998 when the first live program was subtitled.
In addition, over the years, users discovered that teletext contained curious and valuable information. There were a number of hidden pages like 417, that was used in TVE to know the exact times of territorial disconnections on a daily basis.
The classified ad pages were also a classic of teletext, to find work, as well as those of the horoscope or the ephemeris. On this last case, TVE stopped publishing them in 2016 when the head of the section, Joaquín Valverde, retired at the age of 85.
Teletext is still in force in our country today, but not in the United Kingdom, where the BBC, the forerunner of the project, ended up closing it in 2012.