RTÉ announce when Aertel will officially switch off forever
Pour one out.
Launched in 1987, the service was used as a pre-internet means to access information like news, TV listings and sports scores in text and simple graphic form.
RTÉ Director General Vincent Finn launched the service almost 40 years ago, saying that Aertel would provide "up to the minute news from the newsroom and as the stories change minute by minute they’re made available to you the viewer at the touch of a button."
However, the advancement of technology in other areas has rendered Aertel almost obsolete and the state broadcaster has decided it's time to say goodbye to the iconic green and blue text.
One of the last teletext services in Europe, Aertel outlived the BBC's Ceefax, which shut down in 2012, by more than a decade.
My version of ‘how often do you think about the Roman Empire’ is ‘how often do you think about how every Aertel headline was exactly 33 characters long’.
The answer is ‘more often than I should be admitting in a forum such as this’. pic.twitter.com/R90voLfyMY
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) October 2, 2023
RTÉ explain decision to shut down Aertel service
Until last year RTÉ was legally obliged to provide a teletext service under the Broadcasting Act 2009.
RTÉ based their decision to shut down the service on a number of factors - the availability of Aertel content across RTÉ's online platforms, increased demand through apps and smart speakers, and lack of support technology for the service itself.
The broadcaster said it diverted resources previously allocated to the Aertel service towards the improvement of RTÉ’s online services such as their website, the RTÉ Player, their news app and the Radio Player app.
For those interested, RTÉ's archive footage of the launch of the service can be viewed here.
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