Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Replace CEEFAX please

With CEEFAX gone now there is now even a bigger place for rolling silent news or current affairs programmes accessible with a web browser with pages for national or regional topics for which the BBC is probably the most trusted and capable potential provider.

The pages for this service should be totally automatic, requiring no input from the user unless they wanted to move onto another edition but the longer text items would automatically scroll to read and be automatically refreshed with new items, as Ceefax was. Without the limitations Ceefax had, on this web service, when video or any audio content is played, it should have subtitles over it and be of short duration. There could be a small control to set in preferences for the scrolling text speed, subtitles language and sound always off on launch.

There are many situations where people would like to consume news and current affairs or any other kind of content without screen interaction and without sound. For me, when I am eating my lunch at my desk, I don't want to keep touching the keyboard to move to another story and my co-workers don't want to hear the sound (on some office desktops we don't even have sound). You might want to watch or read something while on the phone or doing the ironing or using a laptop in bed beside a sleeping partner where headphones are inconvenient.  You might be hearing impaired or lying in a hospital bed. A doctor's waiting room could provide a screen to view the service too.

It's important for bandwidth accessibility (and cost) and screen definition and text colour  reasons that this content is delivered as html and is not a page with text streamed as video. It could be much much better than Faux News with subtitles on and sound off.

So I hope this wish list finds its way to someone who will provide it. I know I would use it if I could.

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