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BBC Red Button text service changes as Ceefax infrastructure ditched

Changes to the BBC's digital text service across all digital platforms continue to be rolled out this week. The changes include the removal of the quarter-screen picture from news article pages.

In an announcement by the BBC, the broadcaster has confirmed that the changes are being made as the system driving the text service moves away from the publishing infrastructure that powered the former text service Ceefax, which closed last year.

Different digital platforms are in different stages of the changes, so that viewers with Sky may, for example, not see some of the changes already implemented on other digital platforms.

The BBC has promised to "keep any changes to the public service to a minimum, but there will be some alterations to the content provided".

Regional news pages are undergoing the most notable changes, with the pages moving away from the '9-item and an index' format that was inherited from Ceefax pages 160-169. South West and West pages have been merged into one index, but with split content for each BBC radio station area. An index has been created for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. London and the South East regional indices, have been put together into a new menu. The main regional menu is still available on page 160.

During the changes, Newsround pages will temporarily be absent according to the BBC, but Entertainment Extra (page 520) - inherited from Ceefax is axed alongside Premium Bond news (page 290). The ex-Ceefax Sci-Tech page has been split into two sections on pages 153 and 154.

Business news on Freesat has been expanded to contain the same number of news articles as Freeview.

In bad news for travellers, flight information for airports operated by BAA (including Heathrow) are axed on the Freeview version of the service.

Changes to the service on all digital TV platforms is expected to be complete within the next few weeks. Text page 998 contains the latest information on the changes, relevant to the platform the text service is being viewed on.

Changes to BBC Red Button digital text: Overview of page changes >

See also:
Red Button text reverts back on Freeview. Back to quarter screen as technical problems surface.(18/02/2013)


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