FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: The TV Room
RTÉ’s teletext service, Aertel, will cease transmissions tomorrow (12th October 2023) after almost 38 years on air.
The closure of the service was announced on 2nd October 2023.
Experimental test transmissions of Aertel began in late-1985, with an official launch in June 1987.
In its early years the service was updated between 10am and 10pm and offered a single magazine of 100 pages on both channels, consisting of news, finance, sport, weather and TV/radio listings.
A moderate expansion of the sport service in 1988 (to provide a dedicated racing section) caused a small amount of content to spill over into additional magazines (magazine 2 on RTÉ One and magazine 4 on RTÉ 2).
The 1990s saw a significant increase in editorial content, with new sections covering the arts, children’s pages, holiday offers, car/property sales and travel news, including live airport arrivals/departures information for the Irish airports.
By the mid-1990s there was further expansion of sports coverage with dedicated regional pages for soccer and GAA.
The demise of analogue TV and the increased popularity of the RTÉ website meant less and less dedicated resourcing for Aertel.
Chunks of the service began to disappear and what content remained was being fed through automatically from the RTÉ website.
A selection of Aertel pages from 1986, 1988 and 1992, courtesy of ieARB1.
An MHEG-5 version of Aertel was made available at the launch of digital terrestrial TV in Ireland.
In the digital TV era, Aertel continued in its level 1 teletext form on satellite – but could only be viewed by teletext TV sets connected to a satellite receiver by a SCART cable.
Some page designs from c. 1993 were still in use on Aertel right up to its final day. Its front page was still promoting sections that had long since disappeared.
Here, for posterity, we present a walkthrough of the entire Aertel service (including every sub-page) on RTÉ One and RTÉ 2, as broadcast on the evening of 11th October 2023:
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PICTURED: RTÉ Aertel front page. COPYRIGHT: RTÉ.