End of BBC digital text: your reaction



Following the news that the BBC is closing down its red button digital text service early next year, reaction has been flooding in.

For viewers with older TV sets, it will mean the end of those 'press red' prompts during the news.

Martin Phillp wrote on Facebook:
About time. It's been more than an irritance than anything. Especially during the news.

@Chinnyhill10 was less than complimentary on Twitter about the service:
Can't believe they were still persisting with that clunky tripe.

To which @Starroutlook responded:
some of us like clunky tripe...

The news and information service has been automated for years. It generally lifts the first couple of paragraphs from articles on the BBC News and Sport websites.

But, at the present time, the Red Button linear stream delivered via regular platforms doesn't look set to be axed - so there will still be extra coverage of events such as Wimbledon.

Looking at the bigger picture, @CJsawer commented:
Some countries - notably Germany have introduced an HbbTV text service with cool accessibility features (text size etc) alongside the traditional Ceefax style service. But the BBC decided this wasn't worth the expense.

Indeed, the move should be viewed in the context that the BBC is driving toward an all IP future, and all investment is going towards core internet services, rather than peripheral services on old-fashioned linear TV services.

The BBC first revealed a threat to close the Red Button back in 2015.

The BBC will keep its HbbTV-based connected Red Button+ service, which pulls in content from BBC News, Sport and iPlayer apps and delivers extra content, such as extra coverage from the Glastonbury music festival, via a user's broadband internet connection.

@iDBWR noted:
I think it’s currently the last red button service on sky.  Shame to see it go.

For reference, Sky's latest generation service SkyQ doesn't yet support the connected Red Button+ service, although there are now ways to let get an HbbTV-based service to launch on an HbbTV enabled TV even if the set-top-box doesn't support it...

Kevin Gordon responded on Facebook saying:
Shame, it's still the fastest way of accessing some stuff.

Predictably, as with all stories about the BBC, some wanted the licence fee to end as well.

Some expressed concern for those without internet access. Although a small number of people, mostly in remote areas can't yet access any landline or mobile-based internet services, the majority of people without internet appear to deliberately choose not to have the internet, according to recent research reported by ISPreview.

The last word goes to @AndyStevenson81 who described the move as
Textxit