Action on Hearing Loss Logo
    Total results:
    Search
      Total results:

      Catch-up or switch-off? The latest results for subtitles 

      By: Jessica McNulty | 31 August 2018

      Ofcom has recently released new figures from 2017 detailing how much of video-on-demand content has subtitles – but has your service improved?

      The good news is that, compared to 2016, subtitle provision has slightly improved. When considering all of the on-demand services that are in Ofcom’s remit*, the provision of subtitles rose from 38% across services in July 2017 to half (49%) of all services at the end of 2017.

      What’s the difference between a platform and service?

      Ofcom distinguishes between a service and a platform. The platform is the company which hosts and delivers on-demand content, whereas the service is the organisation which has editorial control over the programming. So if you’re settling down to catch up on the latest episode of Bake Off through Sky On Demand, then Sky would be the platform. The service you’d be watching is All 4 by Channel4.

      For better or worse?

      Accessibility varies greatly depending on the platform used to view the service, and there are only a small amount of services available with subtitles on some of the most popular platforms. Take Virgin TV as an example: only three out of 24 of services available on this platform have subtitles. A Samsung Smart TV has slightly more to offer you, with seven out of 17 of services offering subtitles. So if you’re ready to relax, put your feet up, and stick on the must-see show, you’re still likely to miss out.

      Catch-up or miss out?

      With on-demand TV on the rise, there’s still a long way to go to make all platforms equal. In fact, you’re better off watching the two main services, ITV Hub and All 4, on your web browser than through your smartphone, tablet, or Smart TV. If you’ve sat down to catch-up on the cobbles of Coronation Street or the latest crime scene in Unforgotten, then ITV Hub has 71% of its content subtitled on its own website. However, ITV Hub only has subtitles available on just four out of 24 other platforms. If you’re switching over the channel to All 4 to watch fan favourites like Gogglebox or Friday Night Dinner, then you’re better off viewing on your laptop, with 85% of content on the website being subtitled. If you’re watching on the go, or through your TV, then unfortunately only 13 out of 20 platforms which offer All 4 will provide you with subtitles.

      Find out more about the accessibility of your provider using Ofcom’s interactive tool.

      In 2017, we successfully campaigned for the Digital Economy Act (2017) to be amended, to ensure that, in the future, more services and platforms will offer subtitles. Find out what the next steps are to ensuring accessible content for all those who use subtitles.

      To join us in encouraging broadcasters to provide fully accessible content, and to receive the latest updates, please sign up as a campaigner.

      *There are some services that are not covered by the report, as they don’t fall into Ofcom’s remit (such as Netflix and Apple TV). BBC iPlayer is not covered either as it has different regulations.

      Subtitle it campaign logo

      Recent Posts

      Gene therapy breakthrough for hearing loss

      A team of international researchers have used a new gene therapy technique to restore hearing in mice with a genetic form of deafness that is similar to a type found in people (called DFNB9). Our Translational Research Manager, Dr Carina Santos, tells us more about their work.

      By: Dr Carina Santos
      18 March 2019

      Smartphone accessibility and security

      Smartphones are capable of doing extraordinary things. They have gone from basic text, email and call function to being able to complete complex tasks like a mini computer. With all of this capability, how can they be used to improve accessibility and what are the manufacturers doing to make them more inclusive? Also, are they doing enough to ensure people are safe when using these devices?

      By: Jesal Vishnuram
      18 March 2019

      Products for when you're on the go

      To celebrate English Tourism Week, we’ve selected our top travel products for deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. Whether you’re exploring a tourist attraction, attending an event or heading on holiday, we’ve everything you need to get the most from your visit.

      By: Sally Bromham
      18 March 2019

      Research to help improve the quality of hearing aids

      Robyn Hunt’s PhD project at the University of Southampton is testing whether computer algorithms can accurately predict how well hearing aids process speech in noisy environments, to help improve the quality of NHS hearing aids. She tells us more.

      By: Robyn Hunt
      06 March 2019