The Retro Futurism of Videotex

In about 1970 the BBC had a brainstorming session in which it was decided to start researching ways to send closed captioning information to the audience. As the Teledata research continued, the BBC became interested in using the system for delivering any sort of information, not just closed captioning. In 1972, the concept was first made public under the new name Ceefax. Meanwhile, the General Post Office (soon to become British Telecom) had been researching a similar concept since the late 1960s, known as Viewdata.

Unlike Ceefax which was a one-way service carried in the existing TV signal, Viewdata was a two-way system using telephones. Since the Post Office owned the telephones, this was considered to be an excellent way to drive more customers to use the phones. Not to be outdone by the BBC, they also announced their service, under the name Prestel. ITV soon joined the fray with a Ceefax-clone known as ORACLE… read more >

Beltel Interactive Videotex 1984 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

 

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