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to be shocked by subtitles?

(34 Posts)
riskit4abiskit Sun 03-Nov-13 11:47:40

I am not hard of hearing but I have a young baby who feeds very noisily, cries loudly and a husband whose sleep needs to be undisturbed as he is doing 12hr shifts at the moment.
Therefore I have been having the volume on the tv low and subtitles on.

I have been shocked by how crap they are. On live programmes I can understand the difficulty of accurate typing, although there are many mistakes. On prerecorded tv, for example I am watching atlantis, there is a lag so that the dialogue is considerably behind the action.

It makes me have sympathy for those who unlike me may depend on this service. So..with technology as fab as it is, AIBU to expect this service to be better?

AnyBigFuckingJessie Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:41

You are not unreasonable! I'v noticed too.

Osmiornica Sun 03-Nov-13 11:56:09

It's even worse with quiz shows as often they are ahead of them so you read the answers almost before the question. Very annoying. They are full of typos and just downright mistakes as well. As you say, live tv you could understand but recorded stuff surely there's no excuse.

Onetwothreeoops Sun 03-Nov-13 11:57:57

My DS relies on them and I'm sure I read something within the last couple of weeks about plans to improve them. I can't remember exactly where I read it but I was pleased that there are plans. Watching live tv with them is almost pointless there are chunks of dialogue missing and what there is lags badly behind the action.

cozietoesie Sun 03-Nov-13 11:58:48

Broadcast companies don't give the facility much priority or much financial backing. It's only there, really, to satisfy legal requirements and their accessibility policy.

PipkinsPal Sun 03-Nov-13 11:59:02

As much as I hate spelling mistakes I love reading the errors on subtitles. Once Graham Norton mentioned cheesy wotsits and it came up as cheesy whatnots. The hard of hearing, of which I am one, and the deaf must be sitting watching some tv programmes in total confusion.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 03-Nov-13 11:59:51

They are pretty crap. You might as well not bother with them on live news because they get so much wrong the stories don't make sense.

When you think how much technological progress there has been in the last 15 years it is pretty appalling that subtitles have not improved at all in that time.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 03-Nov-13 12:02:01

That's good onetwo - I really struggle with tv without them so would love it if they improved.

Sparklingbrook Sun 03-Nov-13 12:03:57

It must be so hard for the person typing. BBc Breakfast is always very fast paced and there's loads of mistakes. haitch ess 2 the other day.

MrsCakesPremonition Sun 03-Nov-13 12:05:14

They are sometimes brilliant, sometimes funny but the live ones, with the enormous lag and whole bits of conversation missing, are dire.
I wouldn't want to be without subtitles even though I don't have hearing problems that stop me hearing the TV (real people conversations are a trickier business altogether - I wish people came with subtitles).

MrsCakesPremonition Sun 03-Nov-13 12:06:32

Also - I've always suspected that the ones on live programmes like BBC Breakfast aren't typed at all - but are some sort of bizarre voice recognition software. Sometimes it is like watching someone using predictive texting.

manticlimactic Sun 03-Nov-13 12:10:26

I think you're right MrsCakes. I seem to remember reading something about voice recognition. My mum has to have them on and they are awful. Time lags, wrong words and if the person talking has a strong accent it's all gobbledegook.

Sparklingbrook Sun 03-Nov-13 12:10:53

They often give up completely on BBC Breakfast. You might be right MrsC I hadn't thought of that.

IamChristmas Sun 03-Nov-13 12:16:21

The weirdest thing I've noticed is sometimes the language gets softened for the subtitles, so for example I was watching a film once where an actor said "shit" it came up on the subtitles as "sugar" like the hard of hearing need to be protected from bad language!!

Quoteunquote Sun 03-Nov-13 12:18:57

On many TV programs, dramas, films, if you use subtitles, you may as well be watching a totally different program.

SauvignonBlanche Sun 03-Nov-13 12:19:41

YANBU OP, I agree.
I can't watch TV without subtitles due to the severity of my hearing impairment but sometimes they are so crap I have to give up.

I watched a film on ITV2 last night with DS and quickly realised that they were only subtitling every other line - WTF was the point of that? I gave up and went on MN.

Theincidental Sun 03-Nov-13 12:21:27

I absolutely hate them too.

The signing for shows has got better over the years though and most children's shows seem to have a signed version.

However, it's hard trying to find them on the planner and also recording adult shows with sign that are screened in the wee small hours is a pain.

It's just frustrating and sloppy in general. The bbc are better than any of the other channels by a country mile, but I wish there was properly accessible television.

If channels can run a +1 hour channel and an HD channel as well as their main one, why is it so hard to run one that is signed?

cozietoesie Sun 03-Nov-13 12:24:07

BBC guidelines. Interesting, although I haven't read them thoroughly.

More interesting is the proposed Ofcom review which is what, I suspect, is being referred to above. We'll see what happens.

RegTheMonkey Sun 03-Nov-13 12:27:17

They're done using voice recognition software. The subtitler sits watching and listening to what is happening on screen and simultaneously repeats what they are hearing into a mic that translates their voice onto onscreen text.

MammaTJ Sun 03-Nov-13 12:28:49

YANBU, I worked in a residential home for the elderly and they always had the subtitles on. Oh my goodness! I went so far as to ask a deaf friend of mine if she could understand the news.

riskit4abiskit Sun 03-Nov-13 13:06:54

I noticed also that they dont type the swear words on some programmes!

RustyBear Sun 03-Nov-13 13:11:53

My favourite was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - admittedly a bit of a challenge, but I think it could have done better than 'Cue the family wedding stall...'

riskit4abiskit Sun 03-Nov-13 13:14:17

Interesting, I didnt know about the voice recognition software. If its anything like the one on my phone it explains a lot.

riskit4abiskit Sun 03-Nov-13 13:14:40

Haha rusty bear!

NoComet Sun 03-Nov-13 13:19:36

My hearing isn't brilliant and DD2s is the utter opposite, so I stick subtitles on so as not to deafen her or wake her and DD1 up at night.

They can be awful. Mastermind puts the answers up too soon, other things lag and live stuff is unusable.

Adverts are hilarious, so far behind you get them blending into each other.

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