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Teletext was developed as a secondary method of information transfer via television. It is broadcast in the black bands around the screen and can be decoded by teletext enabled televisions. Users can change between text and images with the push of a button, usually on a remote control. They therefore get access to more information from the safety of their armchair. As such, it is a couch potato's dream.

The prime use of teletext is to give information, either about current programmes or current events such as the latest from the world of showbusiness. However it has been drawn into the fold by commercial television as another method of advertising, allowing them make money from yet more advertising space across the airwaves. One such example is the publishing of available university places in the following the publishing of A'level grades

Currently teletext has the opportunity for operating across 899 separate pages but uses a fraction of that capacity, with subsections on most pages that refresh every minute or so1. Due to this ability to reload pages, teletext can provide the most up to date news available, often alerting you to more minor events far in advance of the usual newws programmes. As such it can provide a useful, if occasionally frustrating tool.

1Usually before you've finished reading them

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