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.'
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
I noticed this last week when watching the Andrew Marr show live on my Mac and all of a sudden, realised I was actually understanding what they were saying and only then, I realised there were live subtitles! Well done BBC! I hope other networks will follow suit and hopefully it'll be available on BBC iPlayer's iOS app for live programmes soon too.
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