Really HD (and subtitles) Ready? [s] (via Stageandsign’s Blog)

This is a must read article for anyone living in the UK interested in the status of subtitled TV content on HD broadcast channels. I wish it was better news than it is. Have a read:

Really HD Ready? [s] I have just invested in a shiny new Sky HD box and am enjoying the improved picture quality, especially for some American TV shows where the standard definition has been of a lower quality than in the UK. However, I noticed a lack of subtitles for the HD channels. As a personal preference I’ve always preferred watching TV with subtitles even though I do not rely on them in the same way a deaf or hard of hearing person would. I can’t speak for oth … Read More

via Stageandsign's Blog

Classic chicken and the egg scenario. It is not too dissimilar to the early history of closed captioning in the USA as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong). Before automatically being included in a TV set, decoders were required to access the closed captioning. The sales of decoders would contribute to covering the cost of captioning. However potential customers would only buy them if more captioned content was available to them which could only happen on the increase of sales of the decoder!

With OFCOM’s regulatory policy of channels requiring a greater percentage of subtitled content the greater the audience reach of the channel, we have the same chicken and the egg scenario. For example, I am absolutely a potential HD customer but I am not going to subscribe to an HD channel if subtitles aren’t available to me and if I don’t and others like me don’t, how long will it take for HD channels obtain an audience reach where it will be required legally on the terms of its broadcast license to subtitle content? Many channels thankfully provide subtitled content above their legal requirement, which makes me think OFCOM ought to rethink its strategy anyway – I don’t have the solution but the current one won’t resolve the above issue any time soon. Thoughts anyone?

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