unveils CEEFAX for the 21st Century
the BBC's interactive arm, has today (29 May) unveiled a new look
and improved functionality to its digital television information
on TV effectively brings a 21st century version of CEEFAX to millions
of digital viewers, as it is both more comprehensive than its predecessor
and simpler to use.
the ground-breaking work of its analogue counterpart, the improved
service offers greater sophistication, bringing under one roof all
of BBCi's interactive TV programmes (like Wimbledon or Test the
Nation) and interactive information services (such as BBC News Interactive).
In addition to text, BBCi on TV also offers increased video content
for a visually richer experience, with extra functionality and expanded
content around entertainment and lifestyle to appeal to a wider
Despite this, however, BBCi on TV is simpler to use than anything
currently available, providing a consistent experience no matter
which BBC channel viewers come in from or which remote control button
now, digital viewers have been bombarded with conflicting instructions
as to how they access interactive services, depending on the type
of service they want to see (interactive programme vs interactive
information) or whether they get their digital signal through terrestrial,
satellite or cable.
from its bigger brother, CEEFAX, BBCi on TV offers viewers a single
point of entry regardless of whether they press the red button or
the Text button on their handset.
call it 'sophisticated simplicity'," says Emma Somerville,
BBCi's Head of 24/7 television, who led the team that created the
wanted to continue the pioneering work undertaken by CEEFAX in the
70s, by developing our existing digital television information services.
aim is to create something that exploits the extra capabilities
of digital while remaining easy to use so that we can encourage
viewers to use the service, as part of our remit of helping to drive
digital take up.
want to develop our existing services for the digital generation
so that they will be as easy to use and as trusted as CEEFAX has
been for analogue audiences."
The BBC's pioneering work in the area of tele-text began with the
launch of CEEFAX in 1972.
this day, the UK holds the unique position in the world as the only
nation where television viewers can access information through their
television sets completely free of charge.
Digital satellite viewers will be the first to experience the improved
services when phase one launches at the beginning of June 2003,
followed by digital terrestrial viewers on Freeview.
the course of the summer, the expanded content areas and designs
will start to appear with a completion of phase one activity expected
by autumn 2003.
will also be underway for the digital cable platform, with a full
roll out across all digital platforms expected by summer 2004.
BBCi on TV press pack is available here, in PDF
format. You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files
which can be obtained here.
on TV press pack (719 KB)
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BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview,
the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well
as on satellite and cable.
offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services
from BBCi, as well as 11 BBC radio networks.