Going Digital (Text)

Posted on 27 July 2005 in Interactive TV (No comments)

There's now an indepth report on the analogue TV switch off trial that recently occurred in Ferryside, Wales.

It's quite a long document but it was the small section on digital text services that caught by eye - especially the user reactions to them in a world where they'd be unable to get Ceefax.

Initial concerns that Trial households would object to the loss of analogue Ceefax and Teletext services proved largely unfounded. The re-introduction of three digital page numbers on the digital alternatives helped in this regard.

Report into Analogue Switchoff trail

Having been one of the team that brought page numbers to BBC, that's certainly good to hear - especially as helping people convert from Ceefax to BBCi was one of the reasons we did the project in the first place.

The other part to catch my eye was this comment.

Trial households who complained that there was far less information on the digital text services were reminded that they needed to scroll down to see all of the information.

It sounds obvious that to get information, you might have to scroll, but that's something which computer users are well used to. If you've always lived in Ceefax land where the page turns over automatically to give you the next page on content, the idea of having to scroll yourself obviously isn't something that some people understand.

It does strike me that this is one of the (many) things that are easy to overlook - even in a recent booklet explaining how BBCi works that accompanied our recent marketing campaign, such 'trivialities' like how to see more content weren't explained.

Of course the report doesn't tell us how many people had this problem - maybe it's just a handful, maybe it's not. But it's worth remembering - what's obvious to you, isn't always obvious to someone else.

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