Digital  permalink

Yet more BBC duplicity.

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 26 of 26
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Friday, 21st November 2008

    The BBC has chosen to remove the What's On programme information pages from the Freeview BBCi pages.

    In justification of this action, it says space is limited and it is freeing up space for important information like airport flight arrivals.

    It also says that the programme information is carried by the programme guide on recent Freeview boxes.

    The argument seems to be that the BBC doesn't need to duplicate information on its limited BBCi pages.

    The excellent ITV Teletext pages on Freeview already provide a perfectly acceptable airport flight information. Why is the BBC wasting its limited space in duplicating their service on its limited BBCi pages?

    Is this yet more BBC duplicity? a.k.a. "Nanny knows best."


    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by JamesBolivar (U3710885) on Friday, 21st November 2008

    The BBC seems committed to being a one-stop-shop for all things broadcast. This is at the expense of its public service obligations. If the commercial companies provide readily accessible services, free to users, then why would the BBC duplicate them?

    This argument applies to Radio 1 and Radio 2 and most light-entertainment TV. If auntie could move on from this mindset she might have the cash to make something good, but which has little commercial appeal.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    See www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    Back in June on another thread I reported, "As part of the UK's digital switchover, BBCi will migrate priority Ceefax text pages, such as Flight Arrivals and Agricultural Prices, to the [BBCi Digital Text] service to ensure that viewers continue to have access to this highly valued public service content." - BBC Policy for BBCi in 2008/09.

    For those who live in areas where they have only a Freeview-Lite service, I reckon, there is wa need for these pages to be on BBC Red Button. I f anything it's Teletext who are duplicating - the Beeb as a Public Service Broadacaster gives Travel News as a metter of course on Radio and TV, so it sems to me to be reasonable to expect the BBCi Labs folk to supply Flight Arrivals informaion, particularly fot those who can no longer access Ceefax.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    Hello - for those that don't know, I work for BBC Red Button, and I'm also a regular on these boards in a completely non-official capacity.

    One of my colleagues put up a post about the closure of What's On, on the BBCi Labs blog - this explains the background behind it
    www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    But to specifically answer your question as to why we put on the flight arrivals - the reason was that Flight Arrivals were available on Ceefax and not on the BBC Red Button service - this omission has been something which a lot of people have complained about over the years. As Ceefax is being switched off in areas which are switching to digital, ensuring people continue to have access to that same content when they move to digital, is important.

    However the problem was how to fit it in - and unfortunately the What's On pages had to go to make way for it - they took up roughly a quarter of the space we had on Freeview, and usage of that section has been decreasing over the years as the 7 day programme guides got better.

    One of the challenges with any TV text service (be it Ceefax or BBC Red Button) is that you only have so much space, and that means you have to chose what appears very carefully to make sure you're making the most out of it. And unfortunately it isn't possible to please everybody all of the time smiley - sadface

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    Thank you Andrew, for coming on and writing that.

    If the Statment for 2009/10 might include BBC Red Button migrating relevant content of Ceefax current pages 695-698 and giving Red Button viweres the Leeters Page (Ceefax page 145) that would be most helpful.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    I'm waiting for some technical changes to be launched which will hopefully allow us to add some of the content on 695-698. Unfortunately it won't be until the new year.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by designengineer (U11181100) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    Will the replacement service on digital be kept up-to-date? Unlike Ceefax, where often if you turn on and got some programme you weren't expecting (usually someone kicking/throwing/hitting a ball around) Ceefax still claims the original schedule is unaltered. And then there's no way of finding out when what you did want to watch is going to appear, if ever.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Monday, 24th November 2008

    The blog you refer to says the following:

    "Therefore we felt that it didn't make sense for us to continue this service when it is available elsewhere, and when we need to use the space it occupied for other content."

    Flight arrivals are available elsewhere... On the ITV channels. They're the same flights, the same planes, the same times. So what makes the BBC provision of the same information, so vital?

    As for farm prices. Surely this should be a commercial service? The BBC doesn't list which supermarkets are selling the cheapest baked-beans. Which service-stations are selling the cheapest fuel. Which pubs are selling the cheapest beer. So why the special treatment for farm prices?

    If you really want to free up wasted space on Freeview BBCi, you might want to drop the weather services.

    Not only are these available on the ITV and Sky Channels, but the weather is done to death with its far too frequent intrusion into Breakfast television programs and coverage on all of the news broadcasts on TV and radio.

    Plus... If all else fails, you can always look out of the window to see what the weather is doing.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    Will the replacement service on digital be kept up-to-date? Unlike Ceefax, where often if you turn on and got some programme you weren't expecting (usually someone kicking/throwing/hitting a ball around) Ceefax still claims the original schedule is unaltered. And then there's no way of finding out when what you did want to watch is going to appear, if ever. 

    The BBC certainly does its best to keep its listings on Freeview up to date when the schedule changes, yes.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    Those who can not get the full bouquet of Freeview Services can get Sky3 itv2+1 and E4+1, and of these three non-BBC channels, only Sky3 has a digital text service.

    Therefore Flight Arrivals pages for viewers in these areas are only available through their BBC Red Button Service.

    Those in agriultural and farming industries and many other people need up to date weather forecasts and the BBC's Red Button Weather service is, in my opinion, clearee and easier to navigate than SkyText.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    In BBC Red Button, (and it's the same with colleagues in Ceefax), we provide a range of content to appear on the service. The idea is to provide a range of content that people want to access quickly and easily via their television set, and content that fulfils the BBC's public service remit to inform, educate and entertain.

    In choosing that range of content, we do undertake research to see what our users value and want, and we do take user feedback into consideration. However different people place different values on our content choices - we are, I'm afraid, unable to please everyone all of the time.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    Actually, as well, Ceefax did once include the cost of groceries in its service - this was in the 1970s and 1980s.

    There are copies of it online at this site - have a look at pages 161-168
    teletext.mb21.co.uk/...

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    What the CEEFAX service may have done 20-30 years ago, is not relevant to what is being done now.

    Back then BBC2 CEEFAX also carried pages of the German Teletext service. You don't do that now, because those who want that option can get it by installing a satellite receiver and using those German channels.

    As DSO takes place and everybody has access to the full range of domestic BBC television services, it is going to be interesting to see what happens to some of the present output on BBC1/2

    e.g. Do you need Breakfast, Lunchtime, Evening and Late-Night news broadcasts, of up to 30mins at a time on 1 & 2, when anybody wanting the news, can at anytime of the day or night, get it on News24.

    That availability of instant news access, brings into question what point there is in continuing the text news pages on BBCi?

    Similarly. What need is there for Childrens Television programmes on 1 & 2 when there are two dedicated childrens channels available from the BBC.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    If I remember correctly, about 11m people a week still use red button services because it gives them the information they want, went they want it.

    Why use your TV instead of your PC for example? Well PCs are often upstairs and not always turned on, so using the TV is quicker and easier.

    Why use red button instead of the BBC News Channel? Well what if you want to quickly get the headlines and the BBC News Channel is showing a press conference? You could wait until 28 or 58 minutes past the hour for the Weather, but what if you've just missed it and you're about to go out?

    Personally I think TV based text information services will last for quite a few years to come for these reasons, and probably others too.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    11m eh? Any estimates for how many people will use the farm prices, compared with - for example - the numbers who might use grocery prices?

    Mostly when I watch News24, even during press conferences, the headlines are still scrolling along the bottom of the screen.

    As for the weather:
    "You could wait until 28 or 58 minutes past the hour for the Weather, but what if you've just missed it and you're about to go out?"

    You could always take a look through the window... Too obvious, huh?

    I know... Stick your hand out through the doorway. If it gets wet, the odds are it's raining. smiley - devil

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by PhilW (U1357752) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    what a great link that is in message 12

    hope sue aitch has made a note of it.

    and items in the news that day brought back memories such as david martin and the police shooting am innocent man 12 times.

    things never change do they

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Pumblechook (U6852342) on Tuesday, 25th November 2008

    http://www.ceefax.tv/

    www.ceefax.tv/txtmas...

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Wednesday, 26th November 2008

    Loving the Archive, PhilW!

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by pip (U518515) on Wednesday, 26th November 2008

    "You could always take a look through the window... Too obvious, huh?"

    You're correct, this is obviously a perfect way of finding out what the weather will be over the next 12 hours.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Saturday, 6th December 2008

    It works for me....

    Together with the very frequent weather forecasts on other BBC radio/tv services.


    On the subject of bandwidth shortages and the effects these have on text services.

    How about turning off the non-stop self congratulatory trailer that is R5-Sports Extra, for most of the week?

    When it's not broadcasting live sport, turning off the carp should free up a reasonable amount of bandwidth... Perhaps enough to re-instate the What's On pages.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Monday, 8th December 2008

    Trouble is with turning off the Sports Extra trailer is that yes it releases some space, but what happens when they need to put the audio back on?

    There's a problem of how do you justify to someone why TV listings aren't available during (say) cricket or rugby? Unfortunately it all gets a little confusing.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Monday, 8th December 2008

    Ceefax page 358 / Freeview Red Button Page 380 > more...> Sport on BBC Television is good for finding out when programmes will be shown on the Screen, but not for the Radio 5 Sports Extra schedule.

    Would it be possible to have a Sport on BBC Radio added to Ceefax BBC One page 656 or 359 and on Red Button on Freeview Channels to BBC Radio Five Live and BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra?

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Monday, 8th December 2008

    So put the sport pages in that freed-up bandwidth. i.e. Only run sports pages, when you're not actually broadcasting live sport.

    There are always ways to do these things, if the will is there.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Andrew Bowden (U178009) on Tuesday, 9th December 2008

    It's not really a solution - it just pushes the problem elsewhere. How do you explain to someone who wants rugby scores that most of the sport text section is missing because cricket coverage is on in audio? Not all sports are the same after all - someone who likes football may not care about motor racing. I suspect most people won't understand the logic a text section not being there all the time - often for days on end (e.g. when cricket is on).

    There are also other, more technical reasons that it's not ideal that I could bore you to death with as well if you really want smiley - smiley

    I know broadcasting a trailer does look like wasted bandwidth that could be used elsewhere, however it's not always easy to find a good way to re-use it.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 24.

    Posted by Seymour the Fractal Cat (U236199) on Tuesday, 9th December 2008

    "There are also other, more technical reasons that it's not ideal that I could bore you to death with as well if you really want"

    No thank you... In my years with 'Auntie' I heard enough reasons/excuses why things couldn't be done. I've probably heard them all before.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Sue_Aitch (U3336990) on Wednesday, 7th January 2009

    Any update, Andrew?

    Report message26

Back to top

About this Board

The Points of View team invite you to discuss BBC Television programmes.

Add basic Smileys or extra Smileys to your posts.

Questions? Check the BBC FAQ for answers first!

Go to: BBC News Have your say to discuss topics in the news

Make a complaint? Go to the BBC complaints website.

BBC News: Off-topic for this board, so contact them directly with your feedback: Contact BBC News

or register to take part in a discussion.



Mon-Sat: 0900-2300
Sun: 1000-2300

This messageboard is reactively moderated.

Find out more about this board's House Rules

Search this Board

Recent Discussions

Copyright © 2014 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.