Before the dawn of the world wide web, teletext was the best way of keeping up to date with the latest news, sports scores and other information. The BBC’s Ceefax teletext service continued in the UK right up until analogue TV transmissions ceased in October 2012. We still miss its no-nonsense approach and blocky graphics, so we’re delighted that teletext has been revived by the Teefax project. Users can install the free software on a Raspberry Pi, connect its 3.5mm video output to a TV (via the SCART socket), then hit the teletext button on the remote control.
The full article can be found in The MagPi 51 and was written by Phil King.
Project founder Peter Kwan is a former teletext engineer who carried on working in the field as a hobby. “As the analogue TV network was being shut down, I was thinking about how I could generate my own teletext,” he recalls. With the idea of making a low-cost basic teletext inserter, Peter manufactured his own VBIT hardware and managed to get a full teletext service running on it. Initially, there was a practical use for the system. “There is a lot of hidden signalling in the teletext signal,” Peter reveals. “The BBC uses a system called Presfax which hides schedule information in databroadcast packets. They also have special signals that let London take over the whole network in an emergency.” In addition, betting chains use control signals to switch TV channels or mute audio in their shops, while European broadcasters use opt-out signals to insert local adverts. “These all need testing and VBIT was a low-cost and flexible way of generating these signals.”
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.