The CBS television network began the first national teletext service on April 5th even though the required decoding equipment was not then available to prospective users. "Extravision" is the name selected for the network's broadcast electronic information service. The information is embedded in the standard TV signal and will be relayed by over 180 CBS affiliates nationwide. The initial offering will be 100 pages of news, sports, features and advertisements. It is intended that the service will be supported wholly by advertisers.
Decoders are expected to be generally available by late 1983 at prices in the $250 to $300 range. The delay is due to the FCC'S indecision on the development of a mandatory standard for teletext. On March 31 the FCC announced that each broadcaster could make its own decision of which of the several teletext systems it would use. CBS has decided on the hybrid system backed by AT&T because it offers superior graphics and is compatible with Canadian and French teletext systems.
CBS predicts that 9 million homes and offices will have teletext service by the beginning of 1986.