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videotex, communications service that is linked to an adapted television receiver or a personal computer by telephone lines, cable television facilities, or the like, and that allows a user to retrieve and display alphanumeric and pictorial information at home. Originally, videotex systems were limited to menu-oriented applications, in which information is selected from hierarchically arranged menus and displayed in fixed frames, but later technologies allowed greater interactivity and scrolled the information across the viewing screen. There are two forms of videotex systems. One-way teletext systems permit the selection and display of such general information as airline schedules, traffic conditions, and traditional newspaper content. Viewdata systems are more specific and provide for two-way, or interactive, communication. Specific questions may be researched by accessing the appropriate database: e.g., bank balances can be verified and bills paid, merchandise can be ordered from retail merchants and catalogs, and travel and hotel reservations can be made.

In Japan and Europe, videotex systems became well-established and were government-operated; in North America, systems were developed by newspaper publishers (called electronic news) and banks. With the growing popularity of the personal computer, on-line database services became more significant, especially in the United States. These made the home user part of an interactive network and provide electronic mail and bulletin board facilities in addition to traditional videotex services. Videotex was ultimately superseded by the development of graphical web browsers and of the World Wide Web, though some services continue to be offered; Internet access gave the user the means to interact with services and facilities worldwide.


See A. F. Alber, Videotex/Teletext: Principles and Practices (1985); P. L. Mothersole and N. W. White, Broadcast Data Systems (1990); A. F. Alber, Interactive Computer Systems: Videotex and Multimedia (1993).

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A data broadcasting service in which preprogrammed sequences of frames of data are broadcast cyclically, and a user equipped with a standard television receiver and a special decoder selects the desired frames of information for viewing.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A broadcasting service that transmitted text to a TV set with a built-in teletext decoder. Introduced in the 1970s in the U.K., the text was transmitted in the vertical blanking interval between frames of the TV signal. Teletext was occasionally used in the U.S. and Canada but never really caught on. It was also used in Australia until 2009. Elements of teletext are still used for closed captions.

A Rotating Rolodex
Different kinds of information such as news, finance and weather were displayed in a series of continuously rotating teletext frames, which could be selected from a program guide. See vertical blanking interval, closed captions and videotex.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Teletext has increased its market share in the depressed advertising markets of 2001, as it provides an extremely cost-efficient and still high visibility medium for advertisers to reach their target audiences."
Teletext is the free, well-established, and broadly supported TV-based data service regularly used by over 30 million households worldwide.
In one of those weird quirks of fate no one can explain, the only thing Teletext was brilliant at was finding cheap holi-days.
They did not hold an ATOL licence - leaving holidaymakers high and dry - and were advertising on Teletext without permission.
Teletext are printing the full lyrics to Auld Lang Syne on their TV information service.
'I switched on the Teletext and on seeing the numbers said to Steven 'they're ours!' Steven didn't believe me, so I rushed out of bed, stumbled over the dog and checked the numbers off the ticket - and they matched.'
FOR the chance of a holiday of your choice to Barbados or St Lucia, just answer this question: How would you access Teletext through your television?
Marc Bell, marketing director of Teletext Holidays said: 'The days of saving up for one annual holiday are well and truly over.
Teletext is also launching an on-demand financial news service.
With the network's teletext service already powered by a SysMedia system, it was natural for Mega Channel to turn to the company again for this undertaking.
THE Teletext service will shut down tomorrow after 17 years, although horseracing will be kept going, albeit at a much lower level, writes Niall Hannity.