Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Ceefax – time to switch-off the much loved yet underused service

Ceefax, after nearly 40 years, has finally been shut down. Many have lamented the fact the text service has had its plug pulled, and some even wrote a love letter to Ceefax to thank it for all the memories. But the fact is it had become little more than a piece of nostalgia from a by-gone time.

We should all remember Ceefax for what it was – a forerunner to modern day interactive services. It was the basis for the innovation we’re seeing in the market at the moment. Services such as BBC sport’s internet connected TV app can trace its origins directly back to what Ceefax had to offer. 

Most adults grew up checking Ceefax for the latest news, sports and cheap travel deals before the internet took its place. Now we’re seeing the next step in that development with internet connected TVs.

Such is the nature of technology, something new and better eventually comes along to replace it. As connected TVs and set-top boxes become more commonplace, it will be interesting to see what people think of Ceefax in five or ten years’ time. Our hope is that it will be held in high regard for paving the path for more interactive services and functions to be made available whilst pushing the boundaries for what the analogue platform was able to deliver.

By Simon Woodward, CEO of digital TV specialist ANT Software.

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