An agreement worth $10 million between Infomart, Norpak, a Telidon terminal manufacturer, and Siemens will lead to the distribution of Telidon terminals in Europe. This move has been allowed for in the CEPT standard of May 1981 and Bildschirmtext will use Telidon terminals from 1983. Prestel officials are more doubtful of the advantages of alphageometrics, pointing out the advances on the way in Britain, in the shape of Picture Prestel.
The second oldest videotex system, the F RG’s Bildschirmtext first excited public interest in August 1977. Non public trials were carried out in 1978 and public ones started in June 1980. Commercial introduction is expected in 1983, and one million users are anticipated by the end of 1986.
Bildschirmtext uses original alphamosaic Prestel technology, but adds software allowing connection to external computers – an enhancement later sold back to British Telecom. This ‘Gateway’ facility is to be implemented shortly in the Netherlands and Italy as well as in the UK. Gateway allows users in one country access the videotex service of another as well as non-videotex computers, providing the systems are compatible.
Compliance with the CEPT standard will make terminals’ old decoders obsolete. These, however, can be replaced in most cases, as can the Contiguous display on Bildschirrntext intelligent editing positions, which can be fitted with new software. The introduction of the standard will also lead to an increased character repertoire, smoothed graphics and an increase from seven to 15 colours.