Teletext was first introduced to New Zealand in 1984. The money for equipment was partly raised from a nationwide Telethon (a 24 hour long appeal held on Television to raise money for a specific charity), which benefited the New Zealand Deaf Association.

Initially Teletext provided News, Sports, Weather and Television Program listings, however the service has expanded to provide a wide variety of News and Information services to both the public and commercial users, including more than 130 hours a week of Captioned Television Programs.

Currently, Teletext has around 840,000 unique weekly viewers, which rivals the readership of New Zealand's leading magazine (the TV guide has a weekly circulation of around 220,000 copies and 860,000 readers).

Considering that New Zealand has a total population of just 3.8 million people (1.2 million households), Teletext has a strong penetration and regular user base. The sale and penetration of Teletext capable Television sets continues to grow, and in 2001 there were 111,000 Teletext TV sets sold (which represents more than 70% of all TV sets sold across the country). Many of these sets now include advanced decoders with Cached Memory allowing for instantaneous display of requested pages.

Recently, the Technical team at TVNZ has upgraded the delivery platform for Teletext from the original PDP 11 system to a new IP platform utalising STTML (Simple Teletext Markup Language). This allows integration between information providers (like TVNZ News department and Air New Zealand) and Teletext for the automatic updating of information. This provides faster, simpler access to the latest information as well as cost savings for both Teletext and information providers.

Teletext continues to play an integral role on the broadcast strategy of TVNZ, and will be used as a springboard for the introduction of Digital Text services as the world moves to iTV (Interactive Television) through Digital Broadcast (whether terrestrial or satellite).

Screen Shots of Teletext

The following information represents a sample of the information and services that are currently available on Teletext

Page 100          Main Index

This screen shot shows the Main Index page of TVNZ's Teletext service.

This page features 4 Headlines (International News, National News, Business and Sport).

The center section of this page gives reference to the Main Indexes and Features of Teletext.

At the bottom of the page are 2 Advertising Banners, which give reference to the Page number where the Advertisers information can be found.

Fastext. All Teletext pages feature Fastext keys giving links to related pages.

Page 102          National News Index

This screen shot shows the National News Index of TVNZ's Teletext service.

This page features up to 15 current news articles relating to current news and events that are happening around New Zealand (International News Index is on Page 101).

TVNZ is New Zealand's leading Television provider, and has extensive News resources that are provided to Teletext.

The bottom of the page features an Advertising Banner.

Page 103          Sports News Index

This screen shot shows the Sports News Index of TVNZ's Teletext service.

Teletext currently offers 17 pages of Sports News, which is provided by TVNZ's worldwide network of contacts. This information is updated throughout the day.

In addition to Sports news, Teletext provides a Database of Information and Sporting Statistics on more than 20 different International Sporting Codes. This information is available on Page 350.

Page 110          International News Article

This screen shot shows an International News Article on TVNZ's Teletext service.

Television New Zealand (through its own resources and other international sources) is the country's leading broadcaster of International and National News.

Teletext provides around 60 pages of the most up to date International, National, and Business News, and Sports articles, which are updated continuously throughout the day.

Page 350          Sports Database Index

This screen shot shows the Sports Database Index on TVNZ's Teletext service.

New Zealand is a nation of sports fanatics, and Teletext provides the latest information on a huge variety of sporting codes from across the world.

The Sports Database provides information and statistics from the English Soccer League, American NFL and NBL, Formula 1, WRC, Louis Vitton and Americas Cup Sailing, International Cricket and Rugby, just to mention a few.

Page 431          Flight Arrivals and Departures 

This screen shot shows a Page of International Aircraft Arrivals into Auckland Airport on TVNZ's Teletext service.

Air New Zealand is this country's principle airline. They provide both Domestic and International flights and operate from all key airports.

Air NZ has been a service provider to Teletext for more than 10 years. Not only is the information available on Teletext a valuable public service, it is also used by Air NZ as the principle information source at a number of regional airports.

Because the VHF broadcast signal provided by TVNZ reaches more than 99.7% of geographical locations across New Zealand, Teletext has cost advantages of providing this type of information to remote locations that would be too expensive to reach with an IP connection.

This information is updated automatically to Teletext directly from Air NZ's database every 15 minutes.

Page 500          Alphabetical Index of Teletext Information

This screen shot shows a page from the Alphabetical Index on TVNZ's Teletext service.

Because there is such a vast collection of information and services available on Teletext, page 500 provides a complete and comprehensive index to viewers.

Page 555          Partners 555 (Dating and Contacts Service)

This screen shot shows the main index page for the Partners 555 service on TVNZ's Teletext service.

Partners, is a New Zealand wide Dating and Connection service that use Teletext to provide information on people looking for Love or Companionship. Currently this service has more than 100 contacts. The information is updated weekly.

Page 801          Captions

These three screen shots are examples of Captions available on TVNZ's Teletext service.

There are more than 400,000 Deaf and Hearing impaired people in New Zealand, and Teletext Captions are an essential service.

Our Captioning department provides subtitles for more than 150 weekly Television programs (across 3 channels), including Movies and Television Commercials. This equates to around 130 hours of programming each week.

Teletext has been providing Captions for Live News broadcasts for more than 5 years now and despite the difficulties associated with this are currently investigating the possibility of extending this service to other live broadcasts including live Talk shows and Sports Broadcasts.


Questions? For enquiries please contact Michael Blackburn on TV New Zealand 

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