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  • iheartsubtitles 4:53 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , History, , ,   

    The Power of Accessibility: A Personal View from a Life-long Subtitling User 

    Below is a transcript of a presentation I gave to attendees at the 10th Languages & The Media Conference 2014 in Berlin. Thank you to the organisers for asking me to present.

    My name is Dawn and I run a blog and Twitter account on subtitling called i heart subtitles. And I currently work in broadcast TV so I think I understand both sides of the story. I both require access subtitling and I understand the challenges that have been overcome in the industry and challenges still to face.

    I was born in the early 80s in Oxford, England. I must have been in a hurry to get into this world because I was born three months premature and my hearing loss can be attributed to my early arrival. However it was not diagnosed until I was four years old. This meant that I was registered into a mainstream school and fitted with hearing aids and was never encouraged to learn sign language. I instinctively learnt to lip read as my parents discovered when I told them what a newsreader on TV was saying when the sound was turned down.

    A screenshot of a BBC Ceefax page (the BBC's version of Teletext)

    BBC Ceefax (the BBC’s version of Teletext)

    Image of a BBC1 Station Ident with 888 indicating subtitles are available.

    BBC1 Station Ident with 888 indicating subtitles are available.

    I first discovered subtitles for TV in the mid-90s when my parents acquired a new television with teletext facilities. Programmes that had subtitling were indicated by an 888 caption in the top right hand corner of the screen. 888 was the Teletext page number which provided subtitles

    Still of Neighbours opening credits from the 1990s

    Neighbours opening credits from the 1990s

    My earliest memories of subtitles are from an Australian soap opera called Neighbours and once I discovered them I never switched them off. However, this may surprise you, at first I found subtitles a bit depressing. Because it made me very aware of how much I was not hearing without them even with my hearing aids in and I took pride in coping in the hearing world. That quickly faded to loving them because it made TV viewing so much more relaxing. Hearing aids help a lot but wearing them is not the same experience as wearing glasses to help poor eyesight. I still unconsciously strain to hear everything – at work and at home all day . So to be able to rely on text and use my eyes to hear via subtitles is nothing short of amazing.

    A screenshot of Take That on Top of The Pops with subtitles.

    Take That on Top of The Pops with subtitles.

    In my teens subtitles gave me a peculiar benefit in that I could recite the words to the latest pop tunes which I had seen on a TV pop music chart show called Top of the Pops. If you’re a 90s music fan some of you may recognise the above screenshot of a subtitled Gary Barlow from the boyband Take That. I used to be and still am a big fan.

    In the mid 1990s I don’t remember seeing much, if any live subtitling for live television programmes. I always had the Teletext 888 subtitles page turned on. And so when programs without subtitles aired this would be indicated by a blue 888 icon showing on the top right of the screen. I used to refer to this as the “blue screen of death”. And I hated it seeing it because I knew it meant that I was going to struggle to follow what was going on throughout the rest of the programme.

    Seeing the “blue icon of death” instead of subtitles appearing left me feeling left out and frustrated so as a teenager I took my first steps in advocacy by supporting an RNID campaign to increase the amount of subtitled content on major UK channels. This small involvement in an effort from numerous parties led to the UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom, implementing the code on television access services.

    Seeing this change come about relatively quickly was the start of me maintaining an awareness of the issues surrounding SDH subtitling.

    By the end of the 90s/early noughties I had left home and gone to university. At that time real-time subtitling for university lectures was not available. However I had access to a note taker which certainly eased the task of picking up what was being said during lectures.

    During this time I also witnessed the move away from analogue to digital broadcast which I am happy to say had no negative impact on subtitling provision so far as I can remember as a subtitling user. It was also a time when VHS was being replaced by the DVD and blu-ray. As I am sure you are all aware, this had a hugely positive impact when it came to being able to access far more content that came with When I left university I got my first job in broadcasting. Both as a consumer and as a broadcast TV employee I have witnessed huge changes in the way we consume content, in particular the rise of video on demand (VOD) services. Some VOD providers are meeting the challenge of providing access to content via SDH subtitles despite no regulatory requirement to do so. For that I am grateful. However the majority do not and I find myself facing a blue icon of death in very different circumstances. I am not going to go too much into why I think this here today. But I have discussed this in various publications and on my blog.

    Screenshot of Twitter Image search results of #subtitlefail

    Twitter Image search results of #subtitlefail

    Instead I want to focus on another observation of change. Not only has the way we choose to watch content changed but the type of content has too. In particular traditional scheduled linear TV has seen a huge rise in the number of hours of live content. What was once limited to news and sport is now hundreds of hours of live entertainment programmes on prime-time TV. Format shows such as Big Brother, The X Factor, The Voice, Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing On Ice to name a few are shown as live broadcasts for months at a time.

    These shows are subtitled live and with the rise in social media attract a huge amount of public comments from viewers tweeting online as the show airs. The popularity of this sort of event TV viewing means subtitles and in particular live subtitling errors have attracted mainstream attention via social media. If you search the Twitter hashtag #subtitlefail you will see that much of the attention focuses on the hilarity of the errors and even I do often find them funny. What gets lost in translation sometimes is how lucky we are in the UK to have the volume of live subtitled TV content that we have. I won’t go into too much detail about how it’s done except to say there seems to be little mainstream awareness as to how live subtitling is produced and why errors occur. Again you can read more about this on my blog. I am hopeful that the technology behind it will continue to improve and improve faster in the next 10 years than it has in the last 10.

    Screenshot of BBC Genome project website

    BBC Genome project website

    Taking a pause for a minute, I’d like to reflect on how far we’ve come in the UK. Recently the BBC made available a TV and radio channel listings search facility called Genome.

    The first entry for subtitling came in March 1975 on BBC2. This was a subtitled opera programme and so doesn’t really count as access subtitling. Second entry was June 1975. On BBC1 a series called I See What You Mean. The synopsis states: “A series for hearing impaired people and in this episode a studio audience discusses a preview of Ceefax a new BBC technical development which provides some exciting possibilities for the subtitling of programmes for the deaf and hard of hearing.” It seems so understated!

    The next four entries were again subtitled opera and we have to wait until February 1977 for BBC2’s News On 2 Headlines with subtitles for the hard of hearing.

    In March 1980 the momentum begins when on BBC1 Life on Earth, a David Attenborough program is subtitled. By the end of 1981 subtitling of BBC programmes for the hard of hearing was just starting to slowly expand a little bit more.

    Coming back to the present day. Since working in the broadcast industry and seeing the operational workflow involved in getting a TV channel to air and attending industry events, I’m excited by the business benefits SDH subtitles can bring particularly in regards to metadata and search engine optimisation. I hope online Video On Demand providers are listening to this. Again you can read more about this subject on my blog.

    So SDH subtitles – why does it matter? The obvious answer is that it’s the right thing to do, to include all members of society. It should be the only answer required for businesses to act but often times it is not and that’s why I’m grateful for regulation in the UK. But to talk about regulation somehow dehumanises it all that’s the crux of it.

    You might think giving access to a trashy entertainment programme is trivial but it’s really not. It’s about the positive social impact that this access goes on to have.

    You remember earlier on I spoke about Neighbours and Top of the Pops as being early subtitle memories. The reason is because these TV shows were a talking point in the school playground and because they were subtitled it meant I could join in with such conversations about Neighbours plot points or I would know the lyrics of a song that has aired on Top of the Pops and subsequently could bond with a schoolmate over the latest chart music. My life could have been much lonelier.

    To give another example, in my first year at university I stayed in hall of residents but my TV reception in my room was so poor I struggled to get reliable subtitles. But not wanting to miss my favourite soap I plucked up the courage to ask my neighbour if I could watch EastEnders with her on her TV which had better reception. She happily obliged and we got to know each other quite well. This friendship that started over sharing a TV and watching a subtitled programme has stood the test of time and we remain close friends.

    Such social impacts are hard to measure but are not to be underestimated.

    Today I live and work in London and advocate for subtitling in all forms of media. The UK is one of the few countries that has open SDH subtitles in cinemas and whilst there are limitations with screening times this is a fantastic result and resource to have. I have also spent the last year volunteering for a charity called STAGETEXT which provide open captions for live theatre as well as talks and lectures in art galleries and museums across the UK.

    I’m excited about where else we can see SDH subtitles being provided. There are various companies offering live subtitles for lectures, talks at conferences, and meetings in the workplace. And you can access this live real-time subtitling through PCs, laptops, tablets smart phones and even Google Glass.

    There are always improvements to be made and battles to be won with access to audiovisual media via SDH subtitles. Some of the biggest challenges are the direct result of new technologies but I remain hopeful that new technology will also provide some of the solutions.

    To anyone who has ever typed, spoken, edited, or QC’d subtitles. Or if you have built and contributed to technologies that allow me to switch the subtitles on I thank you for doing so. Thank you for your patience and indulgence. I hope you enjoyed my story.

    Sound label subtitles image saying CHEERS AND APPLAUSE.

    • Michelle 6:13 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! Turns out we have similar parellels in our lives! Although I was born in the 70s, like you I was probably born deaf due to complications but not diagnosed until 3 years old, and was in mainstream school most of my education! We got our first teletext tv in 1982 and I can remember all the first milestones of the various programmes – Cornation STreet, Grange Hill, Neighbours, Top of the Tops, Auf Weidershein Pet, Olympics, Doctor Who, Wimbledon and the list goes on!! I remember the first subtitled episode of Neighbours, we were on holiday at the time and we had to get back to the caravan especially to watch it!! Subtitles enhanced my social life at school too, especially in the playground as we talked about last nights episode!

      I do feel that a lot of people who have had subtitles all their lives (and the sheer volume) take it for granted and dont appreciate how slow progress can be. It took a long time to get to the stage where the terrestrial channels would subtitle a huge amount of their content, and that is exactly how it is for Satelite and VOD services. We cant have it all at once (as much as I would love that!) it has to be gradual. I accept that. What isnt acceptable is when they seem to make no effort at all and not bother with any percentage at all.

      Anyhow, I loved your blog and glad you shared it 🙂


    • Sabrina 8:35 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great post, Dawn! Congratulations, and thank you for this informative and candid story. 🙂


    • Claude Almansi 11:35 pm on November 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Dawn. Your post is very instructive for me as non-deaf.


  • iheartsubtitles 6:59 pm on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , History, , , , , , , , ,   

    Subtitles and Captioning – Regulatory requirements update 

    In the USA the deadline set by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVVA) passed at the end of March. This was the deadline for US broadcasters to ensure that any live or near live programmes captioned for TV linear channel broadcast are also captioned on online catch-up services. So for anyone living in the USA reading this should you wish to file a complaint due to lack of captions online you can do so by completing a FCC Form.

    Currently in the UK there are no regulatory requirements covering online catch-up services. The major broadcasters services such as BBC iPlayer, itv player, 4OD, and Demand 5 do provide subtitles where available. In addition BBC iPlayer and 40D provide audio description online if it has been providing during TV broadcast. This is assuming you are streaming the content online from a PC, as opposed to downloading for which subtitles are not yet available. So, a fairly good start has been made without regulatory requirements being put in place. The question is, is it enough? I don’t think it is. Not all broadcasters are doing it. This is not equal access to a catch up online service.

    A broader but related issue to this is that broadcast services and the technology behind it is moving at a fast pace. One of the poorest areas for captions and subtitles availability is in OTT* services. When connected TV becomes the norm, it makes sense that these OTT services will sit next to traditional broadcast channels and online catch up services. Maybe they will even appear in the same EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) on your TV. The issue here is, consumers aren’t going to know or be interested in the difference. Both are TV channels offering content to watch, both should provide the same kind of access through captions or subtitles. And why shouldn’t consumers think and feel like this? For OTT services, Netflix is probably currently leading the field in the provision of captions and subtitles (anyone disagree?) but it’s interesting that this appears to have come about as result of the company being sued by National Association for the Deaf (NAD) back in 2011 for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for doing the exact opposite and failing to provide closed captioning! Maybe we do need more regulatory requirements. What do you think?

    *OTT refers to ‘Over The Top’ Television and refers to broadband delivery of video and audio without a multiple system operator being involved in the control or distribution of the content itself. For example Netflix provide content but to access their services you need a broadband connection that they do not control but ‘ride over the top’ of this service to provide content to consumers. Consumers can access OTT content through internet-connected devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, Smart TVs and gaming consoles such as the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

    • Larry Goldberg 7:59 pm on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Though Netflix is definitely building up their inventory of captioned (subtitled) TV programs, Apple’s iTunes (available via their OTT Apple TV device or Mac or PC) probably has just as much captioned content.


    • iheartsubtitles 10:33 pm on April 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the info Larry. Good to know.


  • iheartsubtitles 2:35 pm on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , History, , , , , ,   

    CSI User Experience Conference 2012 Part 5 – Broadcast subtitles and captions formats 

    CSI User Experience Conference 2012: TV Accessibility

    CSI User Experience Conference 2012: TV Accessibility

    For background info on this conference read:Part 1.

    Frans de Jong, a senior engineer for European Broadcasting Union (EBU) gave a presentation on the history of work and current work being done to ensure standardised subtitle formats as broadcast technology evolves whilst ensuring that legacy formats are still support and compatible. The subtitle format evolved from teletext technology STL has evolved to a format called EBU-TT Part I. Jong explained:

    We have published this year (2012) EBU-TT part one. This is the follow up specification for that old format (STL). It takes into account that nowadays we like to define things in XML and not in binary format because its human readable, and because there many people who read XML…and of course nowadays [broadcast] its all file based, network facilities. Because if you look at the way that subtitles are produced, this a very generic sketch, typically it comes from somewhere, external company or internal department, can be based on existing formats, then it goes into some central content management system. Afterwards it archived and of course its broadcast at a certain moment, then provided to several of the platforms on right. This list of platforms growing. Analogue TV, digital TV, now there’s HDTV, iPlayer, we have IPTV streaming platforms all these platforms have their own specific way of doing subtitling. But in the production side we have for a long time being using STL and also proprietary formats based on them or newly developed. There’s several places where this format is useful but we felt we had to update that format to make sure we can fulfill the requirements of today. That is HD TV and the different web platforms mainly. So the new format published was focusing on that, very aware of web format, but focused in our case on production. Our goal is to really optimise the production, to help the broadcasters get their infrastructure up-to-date.

    The EBU-TT format is not a stand-alone invention and is based on W3C Timed Text (TTML) but restricts the featureset, makes default values explicit, and adds (legacy STL) metadata. Similar work has been done in the US by SMPTE with the captioning format SMPTE-TT. This captioning standard received an honor from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) —a Chairman’s Award for Advancement in Accessibility last month:

    The FCC declared the SMPTE Timed Text standard a safe harbor interchange and delivery format in February. As a result, captioned video content distributed via the Internet that uses the standard will comply with the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, a recently enacted law designed to ensure the accessibility, usability, and affordability of broadband, wireless, and Internet technologies for people with disabilities.

    SOURCE: TV Technology

    The EBU are currently working on EBU-TT Part II which will include a guide to ensuring ‘upgrading’ STL legacy subtitle files and how they can be converted to EBU-TT file. This is due to be published early this year. Looking further ahead Jong’s said:

    There is also a third part coming up, that is now in the requirements phase, that’s on live subtitling. Several countries, and the UK is certainly leading, are working with live subtitling. The infrastructure for this and the standards used are not very mature, which means there is room also to use this format to come to a live subtitle specification. We will provide a user guide with examples…One word maybe again about live subtitling that’s coming up. What we did here is we had a workshop in the summer in Geneva at the EBU. We discussed the requirements with many broadcasters, what would you need this type of format. There are about 30 requirements. Some of the things that came up for example, is that it would be really good if there is a technical situation for routing, if I am subtitling for one channel maybe 10 minutes later I could be subtitling for another channel – to make sure that the system knows the what channel I am working for and that its not the wrong channel. And you need some data in the format that was used. Again the issue of enriching the work you are working on with additional information, description and speaker ID.

    To conclude the presentation Jong’s discussed his views on future technology and the next steps for subtitling including automated subtitles and quality control:

    There is an idea we could be much more abstract in how we author subtitle in the future. We understand that the thought alone can be quite disrupting for a lot of people in current practice because it’s far from current practice. Just to say we’re thinking about the future after this revision. I think later we’ll see on more advanced methods for subtitling, there is a lot of talk about automation and semi-automation. I think it was a week ago that You Tube released their automated subtitling with speech recognition, at least in the Dutch language. I am from Holland originally, I was pretty impressed by the amount of errors! … It’s a big paradox. You could argue that Google (owners of You Tube) has the biggest corpus of words and information probably of all of us.. if they make so many (automated subtitles/captions) mistakes how can we ever do better in our world? For the minority languages there is no good automated speech recognition software. If you ask TVP for example, the Polish broadcaster, how they do live subtitling, they say we would love to use speech recognition but we can’t find good enough software. In the UK it’s a lot better. It’s a real issue when you are talking about very well orchestrated condition and even there it doesn’t exist. I am really curious how this will develop.

  • iheartsubtitles 5:07 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: History, , , , ,   

    Goodbye Ceefax, Hello digital and streaming content 

    Ceefax switched off yesterday. Teletext technology gave us subtitles/closed captioning so it seemed fitting to mention it here. Turning on the TV to a BBC channel in my household was almost always quickly followed by turing on Ceefax and selecting page 888 to switch on the subtitles.

    BBC 1 ident with Ceefax Page 888 Notification

    I remember always being annoyed if the ident prior to a programme starting on the BBC did not have a “Page 888” notification indicating that subtitles are available!

    I am showing my age now sharing this next clip but I was grateful that most (though sadly not many of the cartoons) programmes on Children’s BBC were subtitled via Ceefax back in the 90s – here’s a more fun notification to viewers:

    The closure of the Ceefax service seemed to bring out a wave of nostalgia on Twitter. With the TV digital switchover its probably fair to say that few of us have used it in recent years but lots of people took to Twitter to share fond memories:

    Zs, night tweeps, dream tonight of putting Ceefax subtitles on for Taggart just one last time…

    Not only but it was *the best* RT @midnight_movies: hands up who *only* ever used Ceefax to put subtitles on for Top of the Pops? thought so

    555 for lotto numbers, 888 for subtitles and 303 for premiership scores. childhood memories! #ceefax #goodnightceefax

    Thank you for teaching me most of the english I know with your subtitles on the BBC programmes, Ceefax. Goodbye.

    My grateful thanks to #ceefax – you will be greatly missed. Ceefax revolutionised my life with subtitles from an early age.

    RIP Ceefax, may you provide hours of subtitles and bamboozle games for the big telly in the sky.

    @guardian It was all about #Bamboozle on #Ceefax. I also remember when I found out that page #888 put subtitles on everything. Happy days!

    Not everyone was a fan:

    #ceefax you & my dad annoyed me on Saturday afternoons for a decade and your subtitles were rubbish. Goodbye

    However if your still feeling nostalgic you can read about the early days of subtitling with Ceefax here.

    It’s understandable why Ceefax has closed – very much out of date with the digital and online world, so now what? Subtitles are still available on UK Digital TV, and efforts are being made for subtitles to continue to be available in the multi-platform environment of digital TV, online, VOD,and smart phones.

    In the last few weeks I’ve been seeing adverts on UK TV for the launch of You View which I have high hopes for given its promises regarding accessibility (see this post) You can watch the advert on the website but ironically it is not subtitled! Has anyone bought this yet, and can you give feedback on subtitles? At the beginning of this year I upgraded my TV to an HD Freeview, internet enabled TV model. None of the internet streamed content appears to support subtitles. This includes providers for whom online equivalents do provide subtitles such as You Tube, BBC iplayer, and Demand 5. There is clearly work to be done here.

    On a more positive note, I was pleased to read that Netflix (US) settled with National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and have agreed by 2014 to reach 100% closed captioning of the streaming content that they provide, a service called Netflix’s Watch Instantly. (Can you also do this for your UK services please?). You can read more details here. Following suit is Amazon (US) according to an article by Tech Crunch (Message for Amazon – can you please do the same for your UK service, LOVEFiLM INSTANT service please)

    Sticking with the US, the first deadline of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) which requires access to online programming that has previously been shown on TV with captions, passed on September 30th 2012. If you wish to file a complaint CCAC have provided helpful guides here. Interestingly You Tube is also encouraging users to submit a form to tell them of publishers who are not providing closed captions but you think should be by law (presumably according to the CVAA)

    On a similar note for UK based readers, OFCOM and Action On Hearing Loss are have created a survey which is running until the end of this year. They are seeking feedback on your experiences using subtitles on UK TV. The survey is particularly interested in feedback on the quality of subtitles that are being provided. You can contribute by completing this online form.


  • iheartsubtitles 8:38 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , History, , ,   

    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?

    • Liz 11:47 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I know I have been told how having HD is good. But if not getting subtitles like you say. Then I’m not interested either. I always have subs on when I watch tv. Turning up the volume does not help. You think that subs would not be a problem on HD. They should be there, like most original channels do.


    • Wendy Bradley 6:37 am on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      There are new rules for public bodies under the 2010 Equalities Act that apply from April but don’t really start to kick in till April 2011, when they have to set themselves targets for specific actions to take and what data they’re going to publish to show their progress. So a campaign NOW to get Ofcom to set itself a 100% subtitling target…?


      • iheartsubtitles 9:49 am on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll be interested to see what is published in April. 100% subtitling sounds like fantastic goal. The BBC already have that target. But I sometimes wonder if that means quality is forgotten about (that is for another post). I’d rather have 80% quality subtitles than 100% subtitled content of which 20% is badly subtitled. Bad subtitling serves no purpose to anyone. What I’d like to see for the HD channels is that if that channel is established in terms of its SD output that the channel reach is included as part of the HD channel requirement to start subtitling a high amount of content as is already on their SD stream. I do know there are technical issues to overcome but those issues can be overcome and the legal requirement would push a solution to be found quicker than it has.


    • Steve 10:27 pm on April 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This annoyed me a lot. We had SkyHD for a while and because I never watched any HD channels I never noticed that lack of subtitles on them. Then, Sky flipped their Sky1 HD channel into the position where Sky1 SD was and it took me at least a week to realise that was the reasons that no subtitles were showing.

      Generally speaking though, ignoring HD, Sky do have very good subtitles on most of their programmes so I can’t grumble too much.

      Great blog by the way, we all heart subtitles!


      • iheartsubtitles 5:08 pm on April 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Steve thanks for the info. Glad to hear Sky have good subtitles but let’s hope they can apply the same level of service to Sky HD. Why should it be missed out?


  • iheartsubtitles 4:11 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: History,   

    21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act 

    Friday marked a key historic day for anyone who loves and uses closed captioning in America, or indeed for anyone wishing better access to technology.  It was the day President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act. This is a fantastic achievement and will help to ensure that those with disabilities are not left behind in gaining access to the ever evolving and changing world of new technology. This includes web TV, smart phones, digital TV, DVD etc. Watch the speech:

    The fight for progress isn’t about sympathy by the way, it’s about opportunity.

    • President Barack Obama

Unfortunately some countries have a way to go with progress. If you live or know someone who lives in New Zealand, point them to this blog fighting for better access.

  • iheartsubtitles 12:09 pm on September 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: History,   


    Before the arrival of digital TV, access to subtitles on UK TV could be turned on by starting ceefax/teletext and pressing 888 on your remote control. If the program was subtitled the text would appear for the broadcasted programme you were watching. I stumbled across a blog that celebrates some of the mistakes made by live subtitling from 888. Like the subtitles themselves the examples are helpfully colour-coded as follows:

    Green = Live subtitling mistake
    Yellow = TV audio
    Blue = Broadcast information (The TV show/broadcast during which the error occurred.)

    Check out the blog here.  It also has some interesting links including one for history fans that looks at the early testing of some of the first ceefax/teletext subtitles in the UK.

    • Page 888 4:42 pm on September 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, glad to see you enjoyed reading the Page 888 blog, many thanks for writing about it! I have now included a link to “i heart subtitles” from my blog.


      • iheartsubtitles 6:22 pm on September 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        thanks very much 🙂 I have been checking out the other links on your blog which are also very interesting. May I ask, were you/are you involved in subtitling on broadcast TV? I wondered if the source of the subtitle errors is just from memory/recordings or if you had access to a library or something? Either way, glad you set up the blog.


    • Page 888 7:40 pm on September 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, no I am involved in subtitling TV, I did a Media Studies course and wrote a thesis on subtitling. The links on the the blog are mainly those I included in my thesis, as are some of the subtitling mistakes. After I had finished the course I continued to collect the subtitling mistakes.

      If you see any good subtitling mistakes then please email them to me and I will try to include them on the site.


      • iheartsubtitles 12:38 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Is your thesis available to read? I would love to read it if at all possible. No worries if not. I’ll let you know if I spot any mistakes. I have seen people tweet spotted mistakes on twitter. If you are on twitter please follow me as I will be retweeting these if I see any: http://twitter.com/iheartsubtitles


    • Page 888 4:36 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, I can try to email the thesis to you if you would like I will be including my email on my blog soon.


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