Thursday, 28 July 2016

Deaf Girly and subtitled LIVE iPlayer

OK, so regular readers will know how much I rant about lack of accessible content online. Things like out of time subtitle on a programme that aired two days ago and was pre-recorded – There's No Such Thing As The News – although to be fair, the @iPlayer peeps on Twitter were great at sorting that out.

Or subtitles that quite simply aren't there on some days – which is the case of my favourite Australian soap opera on Channel 5 – on writing to them, I was assured that these were problems that they hoped to iron out in the future.

I've got around the live TV problem at home with a clever dongle in the back of our computer which then attaches to the TV arial and creates a primitive digibox service of sorts (And yes, we have a TV licence). It's good – although the sizing is sometimes wrong and the subtitles start in the middle of the screen and come out the other side, which is really quite distracting and tests your speed reading abilities.

However, the app for this gadget is only available on my log in for the computer so when FJM is logged in, he will live stream the BBC from iPlayer.

The other evening as I was making my salad for the following day's lunch, he had live BBC one on and I was watching along and laughing to a repeat of Mock The Week. I laughed along for about 10 minutes, while washing tomatoes, chopping chicken and putting a pan of quinoa to boil on the hob – yes that sounds unbelievably tw*tty but it's cheap and filling and I'm broke at the moment.

About halfway through the episode FJM and I looked at each other and had a sudden realisation – I WAS LAUGHING ALONG TO A PROGRAMME HE WAS STREAMING LIVE OVER iPLAYER... and it was then we both noticed the subtitles, which I had been reading for the last 15 minutes, without realising.

iPlayer went and got live streaming subtitles and I didn't now about it!

But that's awesome news right?

I had a look on the iPlayer website and sure enough it says:

'We’re also trialling subtitles on our live TV Channel streams. Currently, they’re only available in Flash and on our HD streams (so computer browsers only). We hope to improve the appearance and roll it out further over the coming months. Only our England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales (Nations) streams are HD capable. You can change region from the location selector at the bottom of the page.'

Amazing huh?

I always get incredibly excited about things like this because it means that new technology is arriving, people are finding affordable ways of incorporating it into existing services and hopefully a whole area of inaccessibility will soon become accessible.

So thank you iPlayer – thank you for leading the way. Please now tell all the other channels how you did it and let them do it, too. It's better to share after all, isn't it?

Happy Thursday peeps


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Deaf Girly and the cinema

Regular readers will know that I love going to the cinema but rarely go due to the lack of times and venues showing the movies I want with subtitles. And I know I am not alone in my plight.

Recently, I've been keeping quite erratic working hours which rather brilliantly means I've been able to attend the 3pm screenings of movies with subtitles, but with my working hours now returning to normal, I'm back to needing evening screenings. And they are rare as hens' teeth.

Like most of us, YourLocalCinema is my go-to website for subtitled showings and when the new movie Absolutely Fabulous arrived on the big screen, I was desperate to go. The first week, there were no showings local to me – or at a time I could make.

I tweeted Vue to ask whether they would be showing any subtitled showings of Ab Fab and to be fair, they were great at getting back to me. They asked me where I wanted to go, and I chose a massive cinema complex, thinking that the many screens would mean at least one could be given over to subtitles for the evening.

And they tweeted back to let me know that there was as subtitled screening at 6.45pm in the evening one day this week. Who goes to the cinema at 6.45pm? Who runs out of work at breakneck speed and legs it, without a drink or any time for dinner to sit through a two hour movie?

Well apparently, cinemas think that deaf people do. But not this deaf person. All I want is to go to the cinema in the evening. About 8pm or later, so I've got time to come home from work, have a bite to eat, buy some extremely calorific snacks and head off to see a movie with FJM. A proper date night. An evening out.

And so, while staking out the YourLocalCinema website, I have finally found a cinema that has put on a showing at a civilised 'date time' – that's not a mad dash from work, and that will hopefully sell calorific snacks in abundance.

Hopefully this week will be the week I get to watch Absolutely Fabulous. More than two weeks after it opened at cinemas. Hopefully it will be Absolutely Fabulous.

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