[BBC-Micro] Fw: Fwd: ITV Teletext to shut down in January

Rick Murray rick at rs432.net
Mon Jul 27 17:47:40 BST 2009

Mick Champion wrote:

> I can't find any info on this. I guess I'll have to write to OfCon.

<cynic>I await you OCRing for us the most insipid non-response form 
letter ever written...</cynic>

> I do like the BBC.

Well, they've never run a series hosted by Pe*er and Ka*ie, so that's in 
their favour. Also, while I don't think Jon Ross is worth what he 
supposedly gets, he *IS* a good presenter be it films or celebrities - 
he knows his stuff.

Let's just hope the Beeb get over their current obsession with getting 
rid of people over fifty. Wasn't there a sci-fi film about that, that 
people were 'removed' from society over a certain age (I think 30?).

> I liked the regional identities and I think it made ITV a bit more 
> personal.

Indeed. I used to want to know which of the numerous Meridian regions 
was the one I watched when in Ash; but now I don't think it matters 
anymore. What is it now, the Thames Valley? WTF is the Thames Valley? 
It's like people around here say they live in the "upper Loire Valley". 
Well, yeah, if you mean the boundary of the Loire extends fifty miles in 
each direction you'd be right...

> What green blob? Or is it a splat??

Blob, splat, same difference. It is on ITV2, ITV3... Thankfully ITV1 is 
not as yet 'infested'.

> Is this blob only switched on during films?

It's on during all programming. If I remember I'll send you a still from 
"Gossip Girl".

 > Is it all about speeding it all up,

Some can be justified - the "Lord Of The Rings" credits went on how 
long? Yikes!

 > It states the authority allowed a maximum of 6 minutes per hour averaged
 > over the days programmes (max 7 minutes during the peak), and no more 
 > 3 spots per hour.

It feels like ITV1 more or less follows this. Other ITV channels feel 
like they have a lot more advertising.

I recall back mid-nineties I was watching Letterman on SkyOne. After an 
interview we went to adverts. After adverts, Letterman said goodbye and 
credits rolled and we had yet more adverts. One of the many hundreds of 
reasons to dislike Sky...

...but on the other hand: Picket Fences, plus Buffy/Angel shown together 
and in the correct sequence. How would it be possible for the UK 
terrestrial public to make sense of crossover episodes with Buffy on 
BBC2 and... who had Angel? C4?

> If I was there, the farmer in the next field would probably start to 
> spray toxic chemicals!

:-( It's all been harvested, baled, collected, and mustard sown as a 
winter cover crop.

> or even an alternative subtitles page.

S4C. They used to carry various Scandanavian subtitles on The Travel 

 > Was it used regularly in Welsh Wales then?

There is a comedy I watch from time to time with English subs. Must be 
southern Welsh as they don't think much of the northern Welsh... and as 
for "us across the bridge"... :-)

 > Is there definitely nothing built into DVB-T to handle this scenario?

DVB-S sometimes carries English/Japanese audio options on 19.2E; and if 
you have a FTA receiver you can get EuroNews in half a dozen languages. 
However how much of this is supported by FreeSat?

As for DVB subtitling, it appears to be an "on or off" choice, even on 
my FTA box. It isn't like a DVD player where you can pick a language. It 
will exist (DTT/DVB/DVD all use MPEG2) but whether it ever got 

 > Perhaps something like a BBC interactive feed could hash it somehow?

Which requires switching to an interactive service just for alternate 
language options.

I do wish, for what it is worth, that the Eurovision Song Contest on 
BBCi offered a natural audio (i.e. commentary free) option; though this 
is less important now that odious-sodding-Wogan has up and gone.

> You wouldn't be thinking of the time ITV skipped an episode of Pushing 
> Daisies by any chance ;-)  

That is one example. Another is a two-parter of "Rosemary & Thyme" 
separated by about half a year. There was something else a few years 
back that was shown totally out of order. Space 1999? I forget.

> lots of padding including close ups of the actors trying to look 
> emotional but not used to doing so and looking most uncomfortable,

 From your other comments, it sounds like somebody is trying an (east) 
Asian approach and totally botched it.

A year or so back there was a brilliant version of Casualty that was 
filmed a la Japanese, where interwoven segments followed a person's 
story with a sort of floaty camera dreamlike approach (think of "The 
Grudge", and no, not the Sarah Michelle Gellar one!).

I bet it got a fair few complaints though, as it was so totally unlike 
every other episode hashed out weekly - look at what happened when they 
tried to digitally soften it to make it look "filmy"...

 > In its favour, there was no sign of a green blob or splat.

...because it was ITV1!

Best wishes,


Rick Murray, irregular internet access at local library.
BBC B: DNFS, 2 x 5.25" floppies, EPROM prog, Acorn TTX
E01S FileStore, A3000/A5000/RiscPC/various PCs/blahblah...

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