Internet Video and the Deaf Problem Noticed

Hacking Netflix posts an entry regarding Netflix’s customer support didn’t provide TTY support fast enough when the company moved to phone support. Furthermore, it doesn’t caption its online video (big surprise).
I love that one of the comments says that the lack of subtitles/captioning affects more than just those who are deaf or hearing-impaired. The commenter writes, “Frequently I turn on the English subtitles when watching NF rentals with difficult English accents. And some times I turn on the subtitles when the music is overpoweringly loud compared to the spoken soundtrack rather than constantly adjust the volume.”

Hacking Netflix links to a DeafDC post. I wrote to Netflix about this online video captioning issue and got the same canned response. For a company that tries to be “Internet” forward, it’s disappointing it doesn’t make an effort to set an example for online video captioning.
DailyKos, a popular political-based blog, also noticed the issue and referenced the DeafDC entry. Keep spreading the word about lack of online video subtitling/captioning, folks! Plenty of free and low-priced tools are availble to make this possible.
Coincidentally, while writing this post, I learn that CNET-TV adds closed-captioning to its video. FYI — although the below video isn’t captioned, a transcript is included. Here is the announcement from Cheryl Heppner via DeafNetwork:
I received news today that CNET-TV on the Internet has announced it is adding captioning or text to its videos. Click on this link for more information:
Ah, the irony! The video with the announcement is not captioned. I asked one of my staff, Debbie Jones, to listen and give me a summary. Here it is:
A consumer (CM) wrote in to encourage C-Net TV to add captioning or text to its videos. Molly Wood is pleased and proud to announce that closed captioning is now available on C-Net TV, and thinks they might be the first video site to offer this online. In the lower right hand corner of the video interface (display), there will be a CC button. Click it to activate the captioning.
The captions will not always be available the exact second the the video goes up because the transcribing takes a little bit of time, but if they’re not there right away, they should be within a few days at the most.
Following this announcement, Molly Wood talked about some other items that had nothing to do with captioning.
Cheryl A. Heppner, Executive Director
Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons
3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130
Fairfax, VA 22030


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  1. That CNET video is captioned. Click on the CC icon right under the video.

    • Meryl on December 18, 2007 at 10:14 am
    • Reply

    Jared, we did click the cc button and the screen said that cc was not available.
    It was updated late morning today (12/18). Though the site says it can take a few days to add the CC, the video was out for a week before receiving the CC.

  2. Yeah, I noticed same thing that newest video doesn’t have CC yet but I guess it will appear eventually but look at other videos, it works very well.

  3. The cost of the software isn’t an issue for a corporate Web site, and by constantly reiterating “You can do it with free software!,” captioning proponents make captioning seem trivial or so straightforward that any idiot can do it, which, increasingly, they are.

    • Meryl on December 18, 2007 at 2:29 pm
    • Reply

    BBS: The Documentary was a small budget project of Jason Scott, a passionate computer historian. He captioned the whole film himself. Like Joe says… what’s a company’s excuse?

  4. wow…i have tried it,a friend told me the good news this morning( a sexy lady who i met on DEAFROMANCE.COM -a popular deaf dating site) it seems not work for newest video, but works well for older ones.GREAT!!!

  5. Merry christmas hun 🙂

  6. The Iris 3000 video phone is a perfect video communication tool for the deaf and hearing impaired. It has a large 7 inch viewing screen for easy use and allows unlimited calling worldwide between other Iris 3000 video phones. It is truly a remarkable video phone.

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