uHear™ never miss a line of dialogue

I like movies and often purchase DVDs including the blu-ray HD format. Recently I came across a review for The American DVD which discusses a feature on the disc called uHear:

Universal Studios Home Video has introduced an overdue upgrade… On its Blu-ray release of the new suspense drama “The American,” there’s a feature called uHear™. Hit the pop up menu and click on the uHear button and the movie skips back a few seconds and turns on the subtitles just for the patch of dialogue you missed.

Wow. Why’d this one take so long to get here?

SOURCE: explorehoward.com

I can’t find out much more about this on the internet other than it also seems to be a feature available on what I assume are Region 1 blu-ray DVDs of the movies: Despicable Me, My Soul To Take, and It’s Kind Of A Funny Story.

Now I’ve missed the bit off from the above review in which the author claims that this feature solves the issue of having to watch an entire movie with the subtitles for the hard of hearing switched on throughout. Firstly, I don’t agree with that being a ‘problem’ – no surprise there, and also the feature wouldn’t be available if the whole movie wasn’t subtitled in the first place! I am pleased that the author is positive about this new feature on the blu-ray disc though.

However, all of this misses the point because the fact that this feature is available means that someone at Universal Studio Home Video decided they could market subtitles as an extra feature. That’s actually kind of awesome. Somebody realised that it isn’t just people diagnosed as hard of hearing or deaf that might well appreciate subtitles being available. I’ll repeat that – somebody in a marketing department has thought about subtitles! I find that exciting! (Next time can that same person remember that ALL extras on a DVD should be subtitled – that includes the commentaries). The very nature of subtitles or closed captioning being an option to switch on means most people have probably never thought about them that much. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reminded people subtitles and closed captioning exist and to turn them on is the solution to the problem they are having! I wonder how many more movie titles will have this feature and if other distributors catch on and do the same. I’ll be looking out for it on my next Universal blu-ray purchase.