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Subtitles on the Telly

Community Veteran
Posts: 16,815
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Subtitles on the Telly

I am not deaf, but I am "hard of hearing", that is, I have two hearing aids, which assist me to discern what people say !.
When watching TV. I have the subtitles on, to further assist me, as I would otherwise need the tv sound turned up too loud. 
When watching films with subtitles, it is quite good, as they usually agree with the speech on the screen, HOWEVER, it bugs me when watching the news and weather on tv as they are always lagging behind the voice on screen by one or two whole sentences. AND some of the words are either totally mis-spelt, or the wrong word is used for what is said. which holds up the thought processes, and complicates the "sense" of what is being said, Especially, when the subtitles "hang" while it corrects the spelling and misses out the next two sentences, in an effort to remain two sentences behind the voice on the screen.
As the News and Weather - use "autocue" for the presenters, (and especially the weather, which is pre-recorded)  Why can`t they get the thing to work properly? It wouldn`t take much technology to transer the Autocue text to the screen as subtitles...
(OK, so some "live" interviews are obviously more difficult to subtitle on first transmission, but they usually use the same interview in later news bulletins where they "make out" it is "live" but could well be properly subtitled as we all know it is a repeat..!)
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: Subtitles on the Telly

I do believe that subtitles on "live" news broadcasts are created "live" just in case there's anything that needs to be said or announced at short notice. It's done using a keyboard a bit like the ones a stenographer uses in a law court (ie relies more on syllables rather than spelling because it's much faster), hence the frequent mis-spellings.
Community Veteran
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

But the newscasters have a script, and also have the autocue on the camera, they read the news from the autocue, so why can`t we?  If there is something "so important" that it has to go "live" then the technology is there, as at present, the controller tells the presenter that something is going out live, and they deal with it... then revert back to the autocue. Undecided
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Subtitles on the Telly

I've often noticed the delay on live broadcasts.  It's got to be a problem to anyone relying on the subtitles on screen.  Guess this is particularly annoying when a scene changes and the subtitle lags the new scene.
Community Veteran
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

I accept the problem with the "live" interview, it is the "normal" news that needs to be fixed, and the original "live" interview that needs to be fixed before being repeated.
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

Light hearted subtitle diversion
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
Brilliant, loved it, bookmarked it........ but it proves a point.... there was a "live" interview, with subtitles that actually were "in synch" with the person who was speaking !.  Grin
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

Although not hard of hearing, I am a subtitle fan as my hearing is sensitive and I don't like the television to be too loud.
The lag is rather annoying. This happens even on the BBC's 'Click' programme and that is not live so don't know why.
I think that it is probably best to rely on one method or the other then it is not too confusing.
Whilst on the subject, why does the BBC news channel have the 'ribbon' of news running across the bottom of the screen?
Do they think that we can take in two pieces of information at once?
Community Veteran
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Re: Subtitles on the Telly

I think the "ribbon" of news on the BBC world channel, is put there to comply with the US news stations formats, so that they look as if they can "keep up" with the competitions technology !... I, too, find that annoying, especialy if you switch on halfway through a particular "ribbon" of news, and have to suffer all the rest, just to find out what it was about ! !  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Subtitles on the Telly

On BBC News 24 there is sometimes so much at the bottom of the screen that it is impossible to see the picture Roll eyes
jmd
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Subtitles on the Telly

What annoys me with subtitles is that on my TV I only see first part of the sentance the rest is off screen!!  So have to guess the rest.
But, if I use freeview through the Humax PVR they come up much clearer and complete.  Not sure why that using that makes a difference.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Subtitles on the Telly

what's more annoying is when the ribbon of news obscures the necessary subtitles translating from a language i don't speak.  makes the whole viewing experience pointless.