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Captioned Web Videos from BBC

Captioned Web Videos from BBC

By Cheryl Heppner

Editor: If you’re interested in getting an international view of what’s going on in the world, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) does a great job of providing that kind of information. And, their website has captioned videos! Here’s the report from NVRC.


I just skipped over to the BBC website to check out a hot tip from NVRC’s Bonnie O’Leary. Ah, the magic of the Internet!

There, as the lead story on BBC’s home page, our friends in the UK chose “US candidates’ records breached” with a photo of Hillary Clinton. To the right, a five-day forecast for London shows showers, sleet and sunny intervals.

But that’s not the exciting news. On the black menu bar atop the page, over the three blocks with the BBC logo, a click on “Accessibility Help” will take you to a “My Web My Way” page where you can click on another link to find the prize.

But we’ll save you all that by giving you the direct link:

There you will find that BBC now has a range of subtitled videos after holding trials during December 2005 and January-March 2007.

I was feeling adventurous, and here’s the result:

– I discovered that I couldn’t view everything on the page. Episodes of “Torchwood” are blocked to those outside the UK “for rights reasons.”

– I watched an 74-second video of the BBC’s longest-running soap, Pobol Y Cwm. I had to first select English language, and then click on the box that that said “en” for the English subtitles.

– I took a look at BBC Film Network page to see what was up. A subtitling trial is being run. I clicked on “A Plastic Toy Dinosaur,” which runs on Windows MediaPlayer or Real Player, then clicked for “subtitles on.” One minute into the film, I still hadn’t seen any subtitles. You have to wait this one out; subtitles eventually do arrive. They’re in black box below the video screen, and the controls (pause, rewind, etc.) are in between. It’s interesting that the subtitles are in different colors to show which character is speaking — the young boy’s words are subtitled in white and the father’s in yellow.

– “Signs of Life” advertises thusly “Follow Daisy and Joe as supernatural events disturb their quiet village life.” Can they magically make the show appear on my computer? Bummer. This video is also available only for those within the UK.

Folks, it’s after 6 pm on a Friday and it’s time to give Galaxy a few hundred chases of the frisbee, so I’ll leave the rest of the exploring to you. Try these:

Click – Keep up to date with the latest developments in the world of consumer technology.
Panorama – The longest-running current affairs documentary series on BBC television.
Lifeline – Has raised money for charities across the UK for over 20 years.
Capture Wales – Digital stories by Welsh storytellers.
See Hear – BBC’s flagship series for deaf and hard of hearing viewers


(c)2008 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.