Reuters Plc has launched a mini version of its Reuters Monitor service on the teletext service offered on the unused lines of the television UHF signal which is run as a joint venture by Air Call Plc and ITV Oracle (CI No 447). Reuters is offering a UKP250 a-month Citywatch service aimed at building societies outside the City, corporate treasurers, local authorities, home users and anyone who does not need the full Reuters service. For the monthly fee, Reuters rents out an aerial, controller, screen and keyboard and users get access to financial information on the Reuters data base – specifically prices from the international foreign exchange, money and financial futures markets. For the moment they will not get access to information outside that area, for example, equities, energy and commodities but Reuters plans to introduce other areas at a later date. Users are not able to interact with the database as full Monitor users can. Encoding the blanking lines in the UHF signal enables information to be transmitted to a large number of sources, and claims to solve the problems inherent in teletext of low capacity and slow access by using an intelligent decoder with its own memory. Reuters is supplying the decoder at a much reduced cost to the UKP500 Aircall/ITV were anticipating it would charge when they launched the service in June 1986. Users can program the decoders, each of which has its own individual identity, to catch whatever information they need as it comes round, so that infomration need be transmitted only once. The data is then stored in memory for access at the user’s leisure. By contrast, the ITV Oracle and BBC Ceefax services have to cycle continuously through the same few hundred frames of information so that they are always there when subscriber shappen to log in. Reuters Information Services news in New York has also agreed with Mainstream Data to offer Reuters Newsfeed over Mainstream’s FM net.
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