Public service videotex in the 1980s

Date of publication: June 15, 1981


This paper outlines the nature of public service videotex. It describes both the medium and progress, and notes the reasons for lack of market progress. Changes in the marketing and management of the system have been introduced. These are discussed in relation to the private viewdata services and likely improvements to Prestel. The consequences for publishing are then discussed. Prestel is the world's first videotex public service. It has been in operation for a year in the United Kingdom. This paper describes what it is and compares it to other rival media. It is essentially a publishing medium, unlike the conventional computerised information retrieval systems which supply specific units of data on command. Prestel pages are designed for general readership and their provision involves editorial skills.

Barry J. Witcher


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