Test Transmission 1970–77 |
Live Services 1982 
|Closed||30 September 2009|
Prime Television (Relay),
Southern Cross Television (Relay)
|Owned by||Seven Media Group|
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane,|
Adelaide, Perth, Regional QLD via Seven.
Australian Capital Territory, Regional New South Wales via Prime.
Tasmania via Southern Cross.
|Analog||Normally tuned to 7|
Channel 7, 77 (via Seven),|
(via Prime and Southern Cross)
Channel 70 (via Seven),|
(via Prime and Southern Cross)
Austext is the former Australian teletext service based in Brisbane, Queensland. The production was carried and operated by the Seven Network and its affiliates over most of Australia. It carried news, financial information, weather, lottery results, TV guide and other information. The service was freely available for viewing on any television, computer or other device with teletext functionality and the ability to access and view Channel Seven, or one of Seven's regional affiliates Prime, GWN or Southern Cross. Seven first began test Teletext services in 1977 with useful information being transmitted in 1982 in Brisbane and Sydney. Over the years, the service has had various names including SevenTel.
The closure of the Austext service took place on 30 September 2009. This was due to claims from the network that the technology has come to the end of its useful service life and is not commercially viable to replace. Closed captioning services will continue to remain available.
Here is what the closedown notice says:
- "The Seven Network started providing test teletext services commencing in 1977, with live services commencing in 1982 in Brisbane and Sydney.
- "The Austext service today is still provided using the original 1970s technology. This equipment has now reached the end of its lifespan.
- "Unfortunately, it is not possible to replace the existing Austext system with new equipment except at significant cost.
- "Austext is a free service and does not attract advertising revenue, so this is not commercially viable.
- "Seven is aware that Austext has many loyal supporters and we know that many of you will miss the Austext service. We sincerely regret any inconvenience the cessation of this service may cause and we have endeavoured to provide you with as much notice as possible.
- "Unlike when the service started, information currently available on Austext is now freely available from a number of alternative sources including over the internet via Yahoo7.
- "CLOSED CAPTIONING SERVICES will be unaffected and continue to be available on page 801."
The information available on Austext pages included the latest in news, weather, racing, general interests and a television guide. Also available are contact details for Austext and state deaf associations.
The news pages include the latest in business, national news, international news, sport, science and technology, and showbiz. The weather pages include same day forecast capital city temperatures, same day forecast conditions and minimum/maximum temperatures as well as current temperature, humidity, dew point, wind speed, wind direction, sunrise and sunset times, and an outlook for the next five days for major centres across Australia which was all supplied by the Bureau of Meteorology. The racing pages included a national TAB racing index which ceased operation on Monday 4 August 2009. The general interest pages include lottery results, daily horoscopes, TV guide with listings for the Seven Network in its five metropolitan markets.
Subtitles for programs on the Seven Network's channels are also included in the Austext system. When produced by the Australian Caption Centre, they can be referred to as Supertext, those provided by other providers are often known as "Closed Captions". To access the subtitles system through Austext, you must use the navigation code number 801 on an analog T.V. or by pressing the Text, CC or coloured button (this depends on make and model) on your set top box or digital T.V.
Previous content has included world times, joke of the day, children's, greeting and financial market pages. The television guide used to also include listings for other networks, both metropolitan and regional, till 2007 when they disappeared.
- Derek Fung (15 July 2009). "RIP Austext: Will you shed a tear?". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 7 July 2013.