Octopus Systems


TeleButler Home Information System


TeleButler provides an exciting and unique Home Information System which makes your Acorn computer useful around the home. Rather than being limited to a single screen in a spare room it enables your computer to communicate throughout your house via your television sets.

A special "information channel" is generated by the computer and available on channel 9 of all of your televisions to show you:

  • The caller's name and number when the telephone rings
  • The number being dialled on any telephone extension in your home
  • The name of the person being called
  • When the telephone is in use and when the call has finished
  • A customised TV and Radio guide listing your favourite programmes on today
It is based primarily on the Octopus Systems‘ Caller Display and Teletext+ which themselves offer lots of useful features, but when combined and connected to a television set the system as a whole is much more useful. The system was developed partly as a hobby but it is perhaps just a glimpse of how computers will be integrated into the home in the future. It was originally featured in the June 1998 issue of Acorn User and it is now available as a pack from Octopus Systems.

All incoming and outgoing telephone calls are displayed on every TV set in your home, so when the phone rings you can switch to channel 9 and see who is trying to call you. If somebody dials out on another extension you see the number and the name appear as they are dialling and the line flashes while the telephone is in use. This enables you to tell when the phone if being used just by turning on the television.

This is possible using a Computer Concepts tuner/teletext card which has an RGB/composite video output in addition to the normal Teletext functions. Our Caller Display and Teletext+ software work together with this card to make it display useful information which can be connected to your TV sets.

The display is quite separate to the computer's normal display, and the computer can still be used normally while it is generating the extra TV display. The TV display can be used to show all sorts of useful information and there are even system calls to allow your own programs put useful information on it.

Caller Display and Teletext+ update this display automatically, so if the telephone rings or Teletext+ beeps to warn of a television programme starting the details are immediately displayed on a spare television channel.

Display which can appear on channel 9 of every TV in your home

Please note that this facility is only available on the Computer Concepts Teletext card. To connect to a TV via the aerial input you need an RF modulator to convert the RGB or composite output into an RF signal which the TV tuner can receive. Alternatively you can connect to a TV via a composite video or SCART input if you make your own lead.

The Caller Display and Teletext systems are easy to install and set up and they work together automatically. Connecting the output to all of the TV sets in a house is fairly straightforward but it may require some DIY to lay the necessary cables.

The system will work on most Acorn RISC OS computer including the Risc PC, A7000, A5000, A400 and A300. The Teletext Card plugs into a full-size expansion card slot and the Caller Display unit connects to the serial port.


You can either buy the TeleButler system as a complete pack, or build it up piece by piece. As well as getting the TeleButler Home Information System the individual components are also very useful in their own right.

The TeleButler System comprises:

  • Computer Concepts TV Tuner and Teletext card
  • Teletext+ software pack
  • CIDPC1 Caller Display unit (version 2), serial lead and telephone lead
  • Caller Display software pack
  • Speak software disc (no manual as documentation supplied on disc)
  • UHF TV Modulator
  • Power supply for TV modulator
  • 2 co-ax aerial leads
  • Aerial splitter (with three co-ax sockets)
  • Stereo jack splitter (3.5mm for splitting audio output)
  • Audio/video lead (yellow 9 pin D plug and stereo jack to dual phono)

There are a few options concerning the setting up. The CC Teletext card is essential, but it is possible to usea Pace 56k Voice modem with Caller Display software (available from Octopus Systems) instead of the Caller Display unit. This is useful if you only have one serial port and want a fast modem too, but the Pace modem cannot detect outgoing calls dialled on a telephone like the Caller Display unit can.

More Information

The TeleButler Manual is now available on-line. It explains how to set up the system and how to connct it to your aerial cables. You can also find details of our Caller Display and Teletext+ products here if you don't already have them. For any more details, please Email teletext@octosys.co.uk

Ordering and Prices

The TeleButler system and its various components are available now from Octopus Systems and are usually available from stock.
Teletext+ software with CC Teletext card £125
Caller Display Unit with Caller Display V2 software £104
Modulator for connecting RGB output to television aerial input£59
Speak software (for speaking alarms and announcing callers)£20
TeleButler Pack, comprising all of the above (save £29)£279

These prices include UK delivery and VAT at 17½%. All hardware has a a one year guarantee, and if you need any help, full technical support is available by phone, fax, post or email, and also from our support pages: TeleButler Support, Teletext+ Support, Caller Display Support.

For more details please email us at:

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