Here is the first article of my (hopefully prosperous!) World of teletext series! As a text mode lover, I’m very sad to see this service being shut down as we are going through digital television transition, and therefore, wanted to keep track of this important part of text mode art history.
In my native country, France, analog television broadcasting is being gradually phased out: a process which started in February 2010 and will be going on through the end of November 2011. Midi-Pyrénées (the region I was born and where these pictures were taken during my last visit there), is one of the very last place to still have access to analog television and thus teletext, but transmission will unfortunately definitely cease on November 8th 2011).
I managed to capture screens from the following channels: TF1, France 2, France 3, France 5, Arte, and M6. Unfortunately I couldn’t capture anything from Canal+ as their teletext service is already totally shut down in the whole country since the end of 2010. Please note that the France 5 series was taken during daytime, as they share the 5th channel with Arte (broadcasting during nighttime).
For those interested about technical details, and especially how to take pictures of a TV screen without seeing the vertical blanking signal artefact (this will obviously only work with fixed images), here are some recommendations:
- Use a tripod: this is absolutely mandatory as it will not only allow you to get clear pictures, but also to maintain cohesion between all pictures in a series.
- Take pictures at night in order to avoid light reflections on the screen.
- Enable “Night Mode” on your camera, and disable automatic flash.
- Use a very low ISO Speed, I used a value of 100 to take these pictures.
That’s all for now, expect a series about teletext in Germany pretty soon as I just have to go through all the pictures I took, but I can already tell you: it’s gonna be massive!