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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 09:23 GMT
Click Online trials web subtitles
Stephen Cole
The Click Online subtitles trial lasted for five weeks
Click Online has finished its trial of online subtitles.

This enabled deaf and hearing-impaired viewers to benefit from the facility to watch the programme on the website.

It has been the first structured trial of subtitles on the BBC website for the public's review and feedback.

It differs from previous versions because of the technology used, which accesses the subtitles files made for television broadcast.

Approximately 90,000 people accessed the online programme during the trial.

Several hundred users have already given their feedback (using the form at the foot of this page), and their comments and suggestions will be collated over the coming months.

It was absolutely brilliant!!! I watched the programme three times, in awe, just because the subtitles were so so so clear
Click Online subtitles user Karthik, from Denbighshire

Depending on the final evaluation of this feedback, subtitles could be added to much of the streamed video on the BBC website in the future, possibly from 2006.

The project addresses the issue of accessibility, which in recent years has rapidly been gaining recognition as a vitally important area of development for all websites, and to which the BBC has an ongoing commitment.

Media selector
The media selector was adapted to offer the option of subtitles
As well as helping the BBC's sensory-impaired audience it is hoped it will be of use to people learning English as a second language.

Click Online, shown every week on BBC News 24 and BBC World, with shorter versions on BBC Breakfast at the weekend, was chosen to carry out the trial as it is the BBC's flagship programme covering lifestyle and consumer technology issues.


Microsoft's top tech toys of the future, and hospital operations live on the net

How libraries are embracing the digital age, and the burgeoning special effects industry in Eastern Europe

A controversial wi-fi scheme in Philadelphia, and how digital radio is set to take our eardrums by storm

Asia's largest annual mobile wireless exhibition, and diplomats wrangle in Tunisia about who oversees the net

Robots on the rise in Japan, and pedal power goes hi-tech in France

For five weeks until mid December 2005, the BBC's online "media selector" tool allowed users the option to select whether to watch the programme with or without subtitles, after clicking on the video icon on the Click Online website.

The "media selector" tool is also used on the BBC News website to allow viewers to watch in narrowband or broadband video and to watch in Real Player or Windows Media.

When watching the archived versions of the trial (see above right), the media selector will either pop up automatically, or users can select "settings" to access it. It will suggest how it thinks the computer is set up and, as well as looking at connection speed and type of media player, there is an extra option to tick the box "show subtitles". These settings are saved on the computer so they will always apply when watching BBC News media.

Below is a selection of your feedback on the Click Online subtitles trial. Scroll down to find a e-mail form to add your comments.

The system is excellent, no technical problems encountered. I think you shold subtitle as many programmes as possible. Personally I like documentaries, scientific, technical and news programmes, but deaf people's interests are just as varied as hearing people. Also some feature to increase the font size of the subtitles may be advantageous to those with sight defects as well.
Peter Brennan, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

What can I say - fantastic. About time that there are subtitles. Hope the 6 O'Clock news will be next as well as other programmes. Keep up the good work....
Mr B Peace, Sheffield, England

Stephen was perfectly right when he said on the programme that the subtitled version on the internet could be a tremendous help for students of English as a foreign language. I am a teacher of English myself, and my students found it much easier to understand the details when watching the new subtitled version on the internet.

Keep up the good work and provide us with more goodies in the future. Many thanks from a staunch admirer of most things British and of the Beeb in particular.
Frederic Delaroche, Vichy, France

It was absolutely brilliant!!! I watched the programme three times, in awe, just because the subtitles were so so so clear. They were in context with the speech and didn't falter at all. I had no technical problems at all. Amazing! In a perfect world I would like all programmes to have online subtitles but I guess it depends on how important the programmes are. Three cheers for implementing online subtitles, from a happy deaf person :)
Karthik, Denbighshire

It's a super deal for me although I'm neither hearing-impaired nor have any troubles with the English language. It works for me because I have kids at sleep at night and I can turn down the volume on my PC and follow everything by reading the subtitles. Great site, keep up the good work!

That is exactly what I was looking for! The system is working fine and helps me a lot with my English language studies. Thank you.
Roberto Grignani, Littlehampton, UK

What an absolutely amazing idea. An incredible use of technology that has been available and needed for years. I am NOT an audiably impaired person but I still use subtitles to catch words I may have misheard.

I look forward to using and advising more use of this effective use of licence payers' money. However, this should be combined with the freedom to download and store important news videos from our time so that there will be a huge catalogue of human history throughout computers of the world.
Luke Dalton, Norwich

I think the subtitles is a great idea, thanks for that. But I have one suggestion: you need the subtitles to be on the picture screen like in television; having them below the screen means you really just read the subtitles and can't see much of the picture even with rapid eye movement.
David Byars, Paisley, UK

Great, really loved this, didn't have any problems watching it. Would love to see this on CNN, Sky News, BBC News.
Tina Lannin, London, UK

I think the subtitles feature is fantastic, saw it mentioned on your show last week and thought I'd take a look. It enables everyone to enjoy the video experience (deaf people). I think it would be a great service more widespread. Well done the Click team!!!
Steve Anderson, Reading, Berkshire

Send us your comments:

Which other programmes would you like to see using online subtitles?
Are there any other aspects you think should be incorporated?
Did you have any technical problems?

Your name
Your e-mail address
Your town & country
Your feedback on the subtitles trial

Disclaimer: Please note that, while all your comments and questions will be read, we cannot guarantee an individual reply to all of them. Some feedback on the trial may be published on the Click Online website.

Online programme to get subtitles
25 Nov 05 |  Technology



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