Sky Text On Freeview

Posted on 14 December 2004 in Interactive TV (No comments)

Today Sky launched Sky Text on digital terrestrial television. The service was originally a traditional text service, has been on satellite in a 'digital' form since 2000.

Sky Text's news headlines page

I have to say I was not a big fan of Sky Text on satellite, but the developers have done a good job of copying the service. It's pretty fast - it doesn't feel as fast as BBCi but it's better than Teletext. It's still a bit slow on my old OnDigital box, but then everything is.

Unfortunately it is only a copy - no work has gone to improve upon the rather old and tired looking satellite service. And for me one of the biggest issues is with the "A-Z Index" - accessed by pressing the green key.

Sky Text's index

The reason I say it's one of the biggest is not because it's not as impressive and as the BBCi one - it does the job. No, the problem (and the satellite version is exactly the same) is that the one thing it is not, is an A to Z!

The "A-Z Index" is actually ordered by category (News, Finance, Sport etc), and then all the entries are ordered by their page number.

Now call me fussy and old fashioned, but for some reason I seem to have this notion that something that's an A to Z should actually be in alphabetical order!

Sky aren't known for particularly investing time and effort in any platform that's not their own, so this development is interesting to say the least. Obviously someone has decided there's the potential to make money out of Freeview, but that's no bad thing if it offers users an enhanced choice.

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