Have you ever used Teletext? It used to be a handy way to check news headlines, weather forecasts and television schedules right on your TV, many years before the digital revolution.

Telehex is a web application that gives a modern twist on the Teletext service, allowing users to create their own personalised TV schedule, complete with reminders and recommendations. It also includes a very liberal dosage of hexagon-themed design, as the name suggests (which makes for some fun CSS!).

The main Telehex search page
Seriously, look at those hexagons.

I created it with several of my friends — Hayden, Miles, Chantel, Will, Jack and Simon — as a group coursework entry for a “scripting languages” module at university.

The specification for the coursework pitted teams of students against each other, in a bid to win a contract from a (sadly, fictional) company. The teams had to create a prototype web application that would run on the Google App Engine to show off their server-side Python and client-side Javascript skills, in no more than 1,500 lines of code.

The Telehex page for New Girl
The Telehex page for New Girl.

The main features of Telehex include:

  • Giving detailed and up-to-date information on almost every TV show you can think of, scraped on demand from a number of online sources (such as The TVDB)
  • Allowing users to sign in to the website with a Google account, and subscribe to their favourite TV shows
  • Presenting a profile page to each user, showing their subscribed shows and when they are next airing
  • Allowing users to view the TV shows they’ve subscribed to on a calendar
  • Sending email updates to users each week, telling them which of their subscribed TV shows are airing in the coming week
  • Showing the ratings for each season and episode of each TV show in an interactive graph, allowing easy discovery of the best (and worst) episodes for the show
  • Providing an explorable network graph of TV shows that are similar to each other, by comparing user subscriptions — allowing users to find other TV shows they might like

It turned out that our fictional clients loved the concept of Telehex and we were awarded a mark of 92%.

Telehex is still running at http://telehex3001.appspot.com, where it remains almost entirely untouched since it was submitted.