Friday, June 12, 2009

Closed Captions and Subtitles

This is Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix. We've had some inquiries about why Netflix doesn't yet provide closed captioning or subtitles for streaming movies and TV episodes. Captioning is in our development plans but is about a year away.

You might be asking how it could be so hard, since we already subtitle foreign language streams with English subtitles. These subtitles are "burned in" to the video stream at the time of encoding - they are so-called "open captions" that cannot be turned on and off by the viewer. The majority of viewers would object to English captions on English content, so we have to figure out how to let individual viewers turn them on and off.

Encoding a separate stream for each title is not an option - it takes us about 500 processor-months to make one encode through the entire library, and for this we would have to re-encode four different formats. Duplicating the encoded streams is prohibitive in space too.

So we are working on optionally delivering the SAMI file (Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange), or similar, to the client, and having it render the text and then overlay it on the video at playback time. Unfortunately, the tools for rendering SAMI files in Silverlight, or in CE (Consumer Electronics) devices, are weak or non-existent, and there is some technology development required.

I would expect to deliver subtitles or captions to Silverlight clients sometime in 2010, and roll the same technology out to each CE device as we are able to migrate the technology, and work with the CE manufacturer to deliver firmware updates for each player.

758 comments:

  1. Well said. I can see now why it is "so hard" to do. I've only needed captions for a few English-language movies here and there, that literally had English or Irish characters. The accents get so thick, it's hard for me to catch every word.

    I can't promise you'll get many thoughtful replies to your blog post (All these people know how to do is talk about everything else BUT what you brought up), but I appreciate the explanation, nonetheless.

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  2. Sir, YouTube already provides this technology to accommodate the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

    So quite frankly, I find Netflix's claim that this will take a year to develop and implement, hard to believe.

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  3. sending captions over SAMI makes sense - hopefully you can push Silverlight to support it.

    Have you considered dropping silverlight altogether ( no SAMI support, no Linux support) ?

    On another note, I'd like my kids to watch streaming netflix on the PC, but don't want to give them free reign over my account. Any news on that front ?

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  4. While I appreciate that you're working on SAMI, is there any chance that the community features will be working again soon?

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  5. Thanks very much for the update. I can see why it's cost and space prohibitive to duplicate the entire collection with open captions. Might it be possible to do so with a small selection-- the top 100 movies viewed, say, or the top 50? Having something available while the larger issue is worked on would be helpful.

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  6. Silverlight is not the problem. http://www.codeplex.com/amp

    The technology is available. So your blog post doesn't fly, unfortunately.

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  7. This is total baloney. There are a ton of sites that have figured it out. Give me a break. The technology is there and has been there. I began asking about this issue from the beginning of on demand and have been blown off with the "we do not offer that feature and do not plan to do so in the future." It's been clear from the start, Netflix doesn't care. The deaf/Deaf/hard of hearing are not a big enough demographic to deal with until they start to generate bad press. I really hope we do see a follow through but I'm not holding my breath.

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  8. Consider dropping Silverlight and changing to Flash. If Hulu can use Flash, so can you. Plus there is captioning technology for Flash: http://ncam.wgbh.org/webaccess/ccforflash/, http://www.buraks.com/captionate/, and http://www.hisoftware.com/products/hicaptionstudio.html. If you truly wanted to be accessible more quickly, you would dump Silverlight in favor of Flash.

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  9. I understand that it is probably hard to do on the CE devices, but it is not so hard to do on the PC streams. And why do companies insist on using junky Microsoft technology when Flash is much better. Just look at what Vimeo is doing, their HD stuff blows yours away, by a far, far margin.

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  10. You should have done that when you started up your company. I do not buy your excuses.
    Shame on Netflix.

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  11. Include the captions now and shut off the sounds now.

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  12. Ray Chesnick rbc@juno.comJune 12, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    To Neil Hunt: Why can't you do it TWICE??? Once without captions so people don't complain as you state they would, and again WITH captions??? No coding needing then to turn on/off captions!

    PLUS, if you need people to type/create captioning, some of us will organize a volunteer effort!!! I, for one, would volunteer LOTS of time to help.

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  13. Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO) is on Microsoft's Board of Directors, so don't expect them to dump Silverlight anytime soon. Microsoft needs to get Silverlight out there through friendly outlets like Netflix and MSNBC in order to counter Flash; the interests of the customer and the disabled be damned.

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  14. Neil, Silverlight supports SAMI. Is it the custom implementation of your streaming that is the challenge?

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  15. This is ridiculous BS -- and you KNOW IT. How is it that FREE streaming video sites (youtube, hulu, all the major networks) have been able to provide captioning since the beginning for most of their shows? Yet -- netflix -- a service we pay for -- cannot accommodate those of us who are D/HH?

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  16. I am not personally affected by Netflix's lack of subtitles but from reading multiple deaf consumer's complaints about Netflix's lack of support of Closed Captions I can sympathize with their point of view. from a technological standpoint I would say that Netflix has totally failed. I've been able to view DivX movies with subtitles for at least 7+ years. And it in no way required bringing the text into the the video. In fact all it required was a simple time-stamped .txt file that took up maybe 10-20 KB (that is 0.001% the size of a normal Netflix movie). There should be ZERO reason why Netflui/Silverlight can't support the use of .SRT. files and be able to EASILY support CC in multiple languages.

    Quite frankly I think Netflix has really disappointed a non-significant size of its customer base and is hiding behind non-existent "technological difficulties" as an excuse.

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  17. J Pratt - Netflix CustomerJune 13, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    Silverlight shows such grainy crappy movies on my 1920x1200,
    that it's completely pointless.
    I've been watching movies with the prior plug-in which worked just fine on the same computer, but I installed Silverlight tonight as required, watched about 10 minutes, then pulled the plug and deinstalled Silverlight. The movie
    quality is terrible.

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  18. Rubbish!

    You could leave the Line 21 available for normal captions!

    One year? How about this... Shut down the video on demand until then.

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  19. Thank you, Netflix. I pray for a speedy process.

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  20. Now we see why the whole system fails: You’re using Microsoft all the way, and not even Microsoft’s own products support the full SAMI specification.

    I fear you also have not reckoned with the difficulty of translating other caption formats into SAMI.

    You should have thought of this up front. Or were you inviting a lawsuit?

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  21. just wanted to say that English is not a native language for me and I have trouble with some accents even though I have been in US for a long time. So it is an issue for non "native english" audiences as well. I have been waiting for this for so long. Surely it cannot take this long to add this feature. Anyway all I can request is please keep this on top of your priority and I love Netflix. Don't make me hate it. One year is a long time :(

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  22. I'm an EX-netflix customer. I was planning to get the streaming video this summer, but not any more. Who wants to wait a year while Netflix's inept engineers figure out what every other streaming video provider has? I'll take my business to Blockbuster, thank you very much. Netflix, go take a flying puck with your lame excuses.

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  23. Thanks Neil and others in the NF team for explaining the situation clearly. Keep up the good work. And ignore the whiners here who don't have a clue about anything (lawsuit? LOL)

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  24. Although I am disappointed that it will be one year away, at least THANK YOU guys for being aware of this issue and taking the appropriate steps toward to adding subtitles to English-language films.

    and regarding the 2nd comment: yes, youtube does provide subtitles, but not ALL users upload subtitles! I want to watch Chris Crocker's videos, but there are no subtitles or transcripts on his videos. It's up to the user to upload subtitles, unfortunately.

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  25. I really hope you can get us Closed caption/subtitles as soon as you can. Thanks for the update.

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  26. I guess I'm in the minority, I always watching my English DVDs with English subtitles.

    Its one of many reasons I don't watch movies in theaters anymore.

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  27. Totally false information about Silverlight. Silverlight has had SAMI support since day 1.

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  28. With today's technology, a year is too long of a wait, especially with solutions out there. Netflix, please do the right thing and get the captions available so that deaf and hard of hearing individuals can have the same access to films that everyone else has.

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  29. Hi:

    It is good to see that you are working on this.

    There was a good thread last July in the Netflix Community Forums wherein some of us discussed that we would like to see closed captioning:

    http://community.netflix.com/forum/topics/1993323:Topic:222890

    Separately, but related, I also started threads both in the Netflix forums and the Roku forums expressing that I would like to see other features like Subtitles (aside from the ones included already with foreign films), other-language audio tracks and all of the DVD Bonus features.

    http://community.netflix.com/forum/topics/1993323:Topic:215832


    http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?t=16870&highlight=


    If possible I would like to see these capabilities brought to Netflix instant download, along with closed captioning. It will be one of the first things I look for in any new video sources that Roku makes available through their box.

    I believe that Roku engineers have indicated somewhere that the issues here are for the content providers to solve? That their box can pass along cc: and other things? I don't know, I can't find any direct links to their comments.

    Anyway: I will look forward to your solving of this old problem of closed captioning. Also I wanted to re-express that I would like to see an addressing of the issues of DVD Bonus Features (such as Director's audio commentary), Multi-Lanaguge Subtitle and Multi-Language Audio Track features. I realize there are various reasons that have been given by others for the holdup on these features being brought to Netflix Instant Watch. I will still be keeping an eye out for them, as they are important features to me.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for the explanation about closed captioning,

    jlsoaz

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  30. It's funny to read all the comments, seems like everybody knows how to make it work. Everybody but Netflix.

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  31. I have no comment on the technical aspects of this issue. Basically I am very pleased with the Netflix service and with about 95 percent of the foreign language films I watch on Instant View. However, there are a few films on which the subtitles can not be seen on films viewed through my Roku connection.
    examples are 'Shanghai Triad' , 'Second Skin' and 'Le Cercle Rouge'.
    Certain other films have subtitles that are readable with such difficulty that they are not worth the trouble in viewing.
    At least two films that I know of: Spanish language
    'Cayo' and Hebrew language 'Walk on Water' are completely without subtitles.
    What is especially frustrating about this situation is that in several cases I have made telephone report of these problems and have been politely thanked for making the report and have been assured the the situation is being corrected. Weeks later I check back and find that the situation re: subtitles on the films in question remains the same.

    As I indicate I am a great fan of Netflix and greatly appreciate the service. However, with respect to subtitles on foreign language films I would suggest that Netflix is needlessly incurring a customer relations deficit with these films. I suggest that if it is not possible to provide these films with good readable subtitles that they not be made available on Instant View unless and until that can be done.
    Surely the frustration incurred when a customer attempts to view a film without good subtitles results in an unnecessary cost in goodwill.

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  32. I'm like Dreamer, I watch DVDs with captions and Netflix, while not perfect, has superior detailed information about captioning & subs on DVDs.

    As for streamed video, include me out. Give me a button that lets me turn off all info about video on demand. I don't have the line speed or the inclination to clog the lines with streamed video.

    One of the biggest problems I've encountered with captioning is Independent movies--typically do not caption DVDs. I'm assuming to save money. Too many British productions don't caption. Perhaps for the same reason.

    Anyhow I'm satisfied with most of the Netflix efforts to provide a wide variety of captioned rental DVDs, & could care less about streamed video. As for those who tout Youtube and Hulu, you may be talking about a very few TV shows (last time I looked) and selected movies. (Just looking at Hulu, now:)On the first page of Popular Movies 4 out of 20 are CC (Not Bill & Ted!!). Documentaries fewer. Can't search for cc/ captioned titles, so don't prattle on too much about Hulu. If you are so keen on subs, torrent and go to subtitlesource.org or one of tvsubtitles.net. Meanwhile I'll stick to Netflix, able rent all the titles I want with subs/cc.

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  33. BULLSHIT! I'm LIVID!! I've been customer of Netflix for many years. I find it insulting that you expect me to believe your excuses. I should be able to watch movies like any hearing person.

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  34. why dont u jag offs fix the silverlight issue.

    give us an option to use old wmv player until gpu accelleration is enabled on silverlight.

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  35. Who wants to do a class action lawsuit for discrimination? The technology is out there, but they CHOOSE to ignore it.

    Seems that Netflix is just putting us off another year.. they started this TWO years ago... heck Marlee Matlin just joined the fight!

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  36. How about letting consumers in on the fun with encoding until you can figure all the closed captioning stuff out.

    Setup a Grid computing project with Boinc. Give customers free or reduced service for a certain amount of points.

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  37. Hi!

    IMHO there is a wrong approach to encode the subtitles into the video itself. This way the user is not able to change the font, font size, font colors/backgrounds,, position (top/bottom) and so on. This would be a very ppor implementation of subtitles. This approach would be only appropriate for a very dump player.

    The subtitles should always be seperately sent and displayed from the video itself. This would benefit SEO, as well.

    I cite a paragraph of the homepage of the JW Player which includes subtitling functionality:
    (source: http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/tutorials/Making-Video-Accessible )

    Besides the JW FLV Player, Windows Media and QuickTime both support closed captions, with SAMI format and QTtext / 3GPP Text support, respectively. However, neither of these players support a closed audio description.

    One interesting accessibility method is used by the Dutch government; they have a multi-layered embed method (source code available). First, the multi-layered embed tries to detect Flash. If not available, next it tries QuickTime and finally Windows Media Player. If none of these players are detected, they offer a video's full text transcription along with both a WMV and an MP4 download link on the page. Here's an example video (bottom of the page).


    Additionally the iplayer of the bbc offers subtitles for 100% of their TV content.

    Here a list of subtitle formats:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtitle_(captioning)#Subtitle_formats

    Cheers

    Artur Ortega

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  38. I'm one of the growing population - seniors / aging / and am extremely disappointed that captions are not available on the streamed downloads. I should also mention that if I have to wait until 2010 - I'll no doubt forget to look for the 'promised captions' ... and instead will find streamed video that is captioned (sorry, as i age, i become less able to wait for a promise - i go and find it elsewhere.)

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  39. You guys have a NICE knack for avoiding getting contacted by your users. I'd just like to let you know, I WAN'T MY MONEY BACK! I was on the FREE trial, and you charged me THREE TIMES! The bank took two off, but I expect my money back for the third. It was a free trial, Not We used it for not even an hour! It states in the guidelines that it's a 2 week trial, Not 15 seconds!

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  40. I don't want to just bash microsoft for the sake of it, but the silverlight platform doesn't seem to be a good thing. I kind of lean toward the proven, flash, hulu is very good as are other sites.

    This is just one more feature. The nasty quality of silverlight (lots of tearing etc) and this makes me wonder, what politics is holding neflix to silverlight?

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  41. Ortega: I doubt very highly that NF cares about SEO in their streamed videos. I really really doubt it. It serves no purpose. Why would NF want Google crawling the text of their videos? What benefit would that provide?

    Also, enabling all of the crap you talk of as far as setting how subtitles are displayed would make the user interface a pile of crap. It would be button and setting overload. Microsoft would be jealous of it.

    "How many nested menus and check boxes can we throw at 'em?"

    I sympathize with a lot of the Deaf/HH people here, but some of these comments show a real ignorance of what actually goes into this stuff.

    SEO???

    Pfff.

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  42. Netflix advertises on the Late Show staring pervert David Letterman. When my paid month runs out that will be it for me.

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  43. If it were easy, they would already be doing it.

    It's not a make or break feature. they do not have unlimited development efforts. they have to pick. which would you rather have: cc or say, better ff/rew capabilities?

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  44. Thank you for the update!

    I love using the subtitles in some movies like someone said in here, that have thick Irish/English etc accents.

    But is NOT the end of the world if it cannot be done, that's when I choose to get the movie on the actual DISC format, duh!

    It amazes me to see so much negativity in a simple NETFLIX blog of all places.

    I love NETFLIX! they day that the do not make me happy I will just leave & find a company that does!
    No need to whine =)

    ~Long Beach Netflixer~

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  45. Dear recent Anonmous poster..

    For many deaf, hard of hearing people it IS a make or break feature. If you can't understand what is being said, why watch in the first place?

    I would love to upstream movies thru my Xbox 360, but since this feature is not available, both Netflix and Microsoft won't be getting my money.

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  46. @"Its All Just A Ride" Did you never searched for a particular/famous quote and wouldn't you like to see the particular movie with that quote? e.g. "Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake."
    Or if you want to have the right Star Wars where C3PO and R2D2 have a discussion on the dangers of cigarette smoke. You would be more likely to rent the /watch the movie from the same movie provider where you found the right movie.

    My problem with this blog entry is the wrong approach to add subtitles and using this wrong approach for not providing them at all. For me it's more like having an excuse. Why not offer the subtitles already available on DVDs anyways? Netflix even don't have to create them tehmsselves - in contrast for example to the the bbc.

    I think the Times are over, where Deaf and hard of hearing people can be told, they don't get subtitles because of economic reasons and some other weired technical excuses if thousand of others on the world proove that's it's possible. Even subtitling live shows.

    And the killer argument that it's not economically worth to offer subtitles is wrong as well.

    • More than 120 million Americans benefit from subtitles including

    * 28 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people
    * 26 million elementary school children practicing reading skills
    * 30 million people learning English as a second language and
    * 40 million Americans ages 16 and older learning to read.

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  47. Funny, this Microsoft site for Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 claims:

    Caption support - Use SAMI or Timed Text (DFXP) to synchronize text with media enabling subtitles or captions in a Silverlight media experience.

    By the way, I'd stick with DFXP to be more open standards compliant.

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  48. "The majority of viewers would object to English captions on English content . . .."

    This myth, attitude, or whatever you want to call it has been used to deny access for millions of people for decades. Enough is enough!

    People don't object when they need English captions or subtitles on English content (like to watch TV in noisy places like bars and gyms, or in quiet places like near a sleeping spouse or child, or to understand someone with a strong accent). They only seem to object when deaf or hard of hearing people need them. It's like, captions are great when I need them, but you can't have them when you need them. Enough is enough!

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  49. The new Silverlight player is awful. It seems that they have been trying to increase the quality of video, but they have done so to the point that we can't watch them on a regular DSL connection. It buffers for a long time before starting the movie, and then stops multiple times inside it.

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  50. The rating system: The movie rating system needs to be improved. Often I see something that is just "OK". I don't want to rate it with 3 stars that indicates I liked it, and I don't want to say I didn't like it with 2 stars. It was just OK--neither liked nor disliked. I recommend a 7 star system with 4 stars being "OK"--neither liked nor disliked. A 7 rating could be reserved for the really great movies like Oscar nominated movies (Casablanca, Annie Hall, the Wrestler); 6 for the excellent movies but not the greatest--the current 4 stars; 5 for the "liked it--current 3 stars); 4 for the "OK"--neutral about it; 3 for what is now the 2 stars, 2 for the current l star. In rating systems, people tend to avoid the extremes which means that the current rating system does not convey as much information as it should. Researchers who devise rating systems recommend 7 point systems more than any other. When Siskel and Ebert were doing their thumbs up/thumbs down system they found it inadequate and started saying, "thumbs way up" and thumbs way down. They needed more categories. YOu could change by converting everyone's previous ratings to what I have listed above, and then if they want to go back to fill in the extremes, they can. This would help all of us if you would do this. Best, Sarah

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  51. Not true. Don't insult our intelligence. HULU and youtube have the capabilities now... for FREE! And yet you claim it will be at least a year to develop an alternative for PAYING customers!

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  52. Hi- different topic. Netflix used to have a movie trailer viewer that would just show one movie preview after another. I really liked it because it showed me movies I may not have heard of before. I can't seem to find it anymore. Can anyone help? Thanks, Rachel

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  53. Silverlight isn’t the problem. In fact, the Accessible Media Project that is owned by Microsoft uses Silverlight.

    http://www.codeplex.com/amp

    That is a lame technical excuse, and implimenting Captioning for streaming media as a porject should take no more than 6 months. Unversities do this all the time.

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  54. I really like your service but I don't get DVDs because I'm on the road alot. Please add movies more often to watch instantly, thats the only reason I would leave...

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  55. Waking the Dead Season 3 DVDs are close captioned, a detail not list in the description.

    Whatever happened to the link where a person could tell Netflix something about the DVDs that might be helpful....I used that link all the time.

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  56. Technology be damned... when are you going to bring streaming to Weeds Season 3 & 4, Stargate Atlantis season 4 & 5 and Battlestar Galactica?? Its not hard to do. I can encode a movie that I can stream within my house within hours... so why can't Netflix deliver more movies in a streaming offering... I am dissappointed and if it doesn't improve I'll probably drop Netflix in favor of a BlockBuster and Hulu combination.

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  57. this is bullshit! Hulu.com already has closed captions...Media Player supports closed captions... so therefore...drop silverlight and use Mediaplayer or use the program that hulu.com uses for closed captions...IF I find that blockbuster instant download video supports closed captions, I am switching to them...and not supporting netflix any longer...This is not a game!

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  58. Is there currently another outage breakdown...nothing has shipped since Tuesday...weird...

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  59. Is anyone else experiencing problems with the Netflix website today (June 19)? It has run prohibitively slow all day. Too slow to view the site, much less watch a movie. All other websites I've used throughout the day have worked fine so I'm thinking it's a netlfix problem.

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  60. Rick:

    Flash has just as much screen tearing.

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  61. I am a multi-platform household, (Ubuntu Linux, Mac OS X and WinXP) .. Hulu works great on all of them with CC. Even MLB changed form Silverlight back to the proven use of Flash. I have been EXTREMELY unhappy with the streaming since I was forced to Silverlight.

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  62. I wish NetFlix the best in your close captioning efforts. Although, I do agree with other posts about Hulu that already has close-captioned service as well as other features including easier Fast Forward & Rewind. (Can't find these subtitles for Youtube as someone mentioned). Personally, I question just how many more people prefer movies without subtitles as opposed to movies with them. They make so much difference. Despite seeing Indiana Jones 1 for years, when I saw it for the 1st time in CC, everyone was convinced I never saw it before because I laughed so hard. However, I think NetFlix provides a valuable service and will be even better with CC ASAP.

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  63. What Netflix can't say:

    They are operating under heavy restrictions from studios on what they can and cannot do, what players/features they must use and what they can release.

    These restrictions are basically BS, sold to the studios by Microsoft (hence Netflix being forced into Silverlight). Ask an MS rep how much THAT cost them.

    Several of you have claimed Silverlight is capable of doing this already, but all the links I see are to third party add ons to Silverlight, or alternate players. Netflix is very likely not allowed to use these.

    Were they given the choice, I doubt Netflix would use a low install base, unproven and problematic technology to launch their service. They are not singling anyone out, as a Mac user I had to wait to even be able to watch anything, at least hearing impaired people got video :)

    If you want to find the culprits, talk to the studios about the restrictions they have put Netflix under in the name of protecting their content.

    The technological limitations are real, and difficult, but unnecessary.

    That being said, I congratulate you all in making this a large enough issue that it became worth Netflix's while to fight these limitations.

    I also congratulate Netflix on not pointing fingers, for owning up to the problem and agreeing to address it. For this, I will point them for you :)

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  64. I just recently started with Netflix and am very disappointed by the lack of closed captions. More than half the films I have tried to watch without captions rely so heavily on dialogue that I end up giving up trying to struggle through the stories. I have been hearing impaired for about fifty years and, as I get older, I end up feeling "left-out".

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  65. So much of this discussion has been about setting up straw men and knocking them down rather than real issues. It started with the original Blog post that tears down traditional subtitling, an approach that would never have been a logical choice for captions in the first place. It not only suffers from all of the flaws that were pointed out but also fails to address the important accessibility issues either. In the comments area, the sport has been Silverlight bashing. There may be some validity in this but it would be better if those that want to do this took the time to research the truth about it captioning capability. For all its flaws, Microsoft has always been a major player on the industry computer accessibility committees and instrumental in pushing for cross-vendor standards to address these problems. They have spent more time and money than most but get little credit.

    Captioning in not an after thought in Silverlight. Nor is it intended to be a single monolithic approach. One approach would not suit every circumstance. As a reality check, I have placed a functional example of the Accessible Media Project Silverlight player on my website: http://t2sami.com so that anyone can see what Microsoft may have had in mind when it comes to the current situation. This prototype player is attributed to Sean Hayes, a member of the Microsoft’s Accessible Technology team and he lays out the rational for its approach in a Word document that is also on their site. (Try naming other high tech companies that task even a single engineer to seriously comment on accessibility issues in their products let alone an entire group)

    So if I believe the discussion so far misses the mark, what is my explanation? I can think of two far less technical reasons:

    First is the reality of project priorities. In any on-going software project, there are a lot of features that can be added and a lot of issues to fix – some hard, some easy. The ones that are deemed important get done first, the less important later. Being easy doesn’t make things happen quicker. Only being important has that power. Companies and people seem to find other’s problems are not important until they strike close to home - but are loathe the admit to it.

    The second is overall cost, not simply the development cost. Many people have pointed out that the captions are already available with other media – broadcast television, physical DVDs. My own page demonstrates how easy it is to move them from those media to Internet streaming but the story does not end there. Copyright law and the arcane Hollywood contract system is more than a little hostile to the movement of anything between different media. Television broadcasts such as those Hulu distributes with captions are a easier only because there are fewer copyright owners. Movies and DVDs are a bit of a nightmare. Even on Hulu, captions on television shows out number those on movies for this reason. If Netflix does not have the right to make this type of conversion, it would have to return to the studio masters for source material as it does for the audio/video portion. Worst case, it would have to go back to scripts and re-caption everything from scratch. For, twelve thousand movies, that would take a while and be difficult to justify to their stockholders. Even Netflix is at the mercy of the studios.

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  66. Are you serious?! A YEAR AWAY?!
    Hulu has been doing it for months now. If it's so hard for your (seemingly retarded) programmers to get it right, you should:
    a) license the tech from Hulu
    b) hire me, and I will single-handedly get it down in less than 3 months BY MYSELF.

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  67. The most hilarious but sad part of this conversation taking place here is that it is one sided. Like all the other comments listed here on this blog site (in particular the blu-ray price increase), it falls on deaf ears (no pun intended) since Netflix doesn't participate in a dialog with its users.

    I almost think they are afraid of their customers. You can't email Netflix or open support tickets via the web and you can't talk to anyone at Netflix via the very vehicle they setup to communicate with customers: this blog.

    I've been a member since October of 1999 and this is honestly the first year I've even considered another service or considered canceling. With Gran Torino stuck in my queue on VERY LONG WAIT (DVD not Blu-Ray) it is getting even more likely that I'll try Blockbuster out.

    Netflix - Hear us and respond please!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Ever since the last Silverlight update (May?) I have not been able to watch "Streaming Now" videos at all. I only get about 2 frames a second, and the sound is all choppy.

    How do I use netflix on WinXP? It worked fine before the latest, er, upgrades. Now it a total failure.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Although it seems strange that it's going to take a year to implement something (soft subtitle tracks) that are standard in pretty much every media application, including the 12-year-old DVD format, I'm glad you guys are trying.

    While you're at it, could you also look at including multiple audio tracks? Netflix has a lot of Asian films available online that I can't watch because of the horrible, horrible English dubbing.

    ReplyDelete
  70. http://www.google.com woops!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hello jmemmott:

    You wrote:

    First is the reality of project priorities. In any on-going software project, there are a lot of features that can be added and a lot of issues to fix – some hard, some easy. The ones that are deemed important get done first, the less important later. Being easy doesn’t make things happen quicker. Only being important has that power. Companies and people seem to find other’s problems are not important until they strike close to home - but are loathe the admit to it.


    My response to the paragraph above is that I tend to concur that there is probably a matter here of prioritization, but I think that captioning should get a somewhat higher priority than it seems to be getting. Perhaps they really do have it at that priority, and a year is the best they can do. It's hard for me to say.

    There is, for one thing, a matter of giving proper respect to progressive societal issues involving serving the handicapped (hard of hearing).

    I'm not hard of hearing, but simply like such features as captioning, subtitles, alternate audio tracks, dvd bonus tracks and realted. Some of us are perhaps following the squeeky-wheel-gets-the-grease dictum because we believe captioning (and for some of us, somewhat-related matters such as subtitles and audio tracks including director's commentary) is being considerably under-rated in importance by others requesting features and maybe those making the real-world decisions as to allocating programmer resources.

    Sure, it's possible that I am an example of someone not seeing another person's point of view as to what should be priorities. I guess I just want to make sure that one of my own Netflix priorities gets a good hearing. I'll admit it's "not the end of the world", but overall (including DVD Bonus features and such) I want to try to avoid the sweep-them-under-the-rug syndrome?

    I can't strongly argue the technical points, but some here seem to have gone through enough examples and counter-examples such that it calls into question the one year estimate to find a solution or workaround.

    Some have mentioned the problems of politics and business that have nothing to do with technicals. It's hard for some us to say what Netflix and their competitors are up against. I can say that it will be a priority for me, as a Roku user, as to which Roku channels carry the most (or any) features along the lines of captioning and DVD Bonus features, and I'll perhaps choose which channels to keep partly based on that. It is not yet some super-huge issue for me, but I do think it worth articulating to Netflix management, sooner rather than later, that these will be things I will be looking at, going forward.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Thank you for posted this great article!

    ReplyDelete
  73. well at least I would like to see enlglish or spanish closed caption. But IM glad to hear that its on its way. I will stick with Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I appreciate this blog post as I have been wondering where the subtitles would be implemented. As a developer I do understand that this is a lengthy process and am already grateful that your company even has a Watch Instantly feature. You guys are always setting the standard for all the movie rental companies out there so thanks for that! Great job!

    I do have a suggestion however dealing with a different subject. I've noticed that there has been a decrease of new foreign films available to rent. I love watching the newest Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese movies and it's really hard to find a reputable sites to rent from. The ones out there like tigercinema and ehit are all subpar compared to you guys but I've been thinking about switching over just because they have the newest asian movies and dramas. They also charge about the same fee as Netflix does and it would cost a lot to have two different subscriptions.

    I wouldn't mind paying extra for Netflix (as we do with Blu-Ray currently) in order to have access to asian movies. Perhaps a $3 to $5 more a month to get into a different database of movies that include asian movies? Just my two cents. :) Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I have the same sentiment about Asian movies. There are less and less. why is that?

    Yung
    http://headsetplus.com

    ReplyDelete
  76. WTF? Neil Hunt just lied the whole garbage thing.

    Now I remembered why I decided to stop doing anything with Netflix 3 years ago.

    Their quality of service is dismal. So their treatment towards Deaf people seems to be consistent in what they do for living.

    R-

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks for the info and all your great work!

    I have a suggestion about the Instant Queue. Would it be possible to create member options concerning the relationship between the DVD Queue and the Instant Queue? For instance, members could select to have any film in their DVD Queue that becomes available for streaming automatically added to their Instant Queue and deleted from their DVD Queue. Obviously there could then be a whole host of relatively simple options.

    Just a thought--thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I agree with the posts that want no excuses from Netflix. I am hard of hearing and watch all my tv/dvr programs with captions, just by clicking one button on the remote....everything comes up with captions. I want captions on my streaming films from Netflix....as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  79. • More than 120 million Americans benefit from subtitles including

    * 28 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people
    * 26 million elementary school children practicing reading skills
    * 30 million people learning English as a second language and
    * 40 million Americans ages 16 and older learning to read.


    Netflix, are you sure you want to ignore this entire market (120 million) for a year? By then I'm sure cable and satellite companies will make it easier than signing up with your service on the 360 and listening to that excuse.

    If you insist on using Silverlight, I suggest you get your top men on the job and start thinking outside the box rather than waiting things out.

    My money will be better spent with high-definition Video on Demand with my cable service or renting DVDs through other means because at least they allow me to enable CC on my TV without excuses.

    ReplyDelete
  80. deaf_are_people_firstJuly 1, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    Thanks for working on this.

    It is just as important for the deaf portion of our population to have captions with Netflix's delivered video just as it is for other to have the audio track. Much of the frustration expressed in this blog comes from those who have been wounded over time by others who have ignored their need to communicate. The full impact of this can only truly be felt by the Hearing-impaired, and perhaps to some extent by those close to these folk.

    Until I grew close to a deaf person I didn't understand this, know about this, or care about this.

    Whatever you can do to ramp up the deadline and speeed the delivery of captioned video will be greatly appreciated. It will show that your company cares, not just about making money, but about meeting needs. That translates to goodwill for the company, which in turn is a useful asset for any company.

    Thanks again for all your hard work in making this possible.

    ReplyDelete
  81. FD.....I am thankful for your post...I agree with you...there are other means and we will find them. I am a charter member of Netflix...but, will not continue without a successful resolution to this problem.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Nasa TV Video, parabéns astronauta.

    ReplyDelete
  83. It is ridiculous not to have closed captioning. Although I am not hearing impaired, everyone in my family loves closed captioning and having watched two movies tonight without it on your instant viewing option, it was quite challenging and almost made it worthless to watch them.
    You may think that this is an issue for only a small portion of the population, but you couldn't be more wrong. This is a huge issue for many people and really needs to be fixed. At least get it for top watched movies. How hard could that be?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Do I care, how you do it, I just want subtitles. I am just a movie watcher, I am not a techie, other wise we would have switched our seats!!
    or you could have said, we cannot provide subtitles for streaming, so we charge less !!

    wake up guys, i wonder how would even your marketing let this blog out. "We cannot do it!"
    that's from Netflix, WOW!
    you guys lack some serious competition.

    By the way, there are not that many movies out there for streaming on netflix, they are all either old or not good rated movies.

    ReplyDelete
  85. It’s a great news.

    There are obviously quite a few scenarios where people would use CC.

    Always:
    1) deaf/HH (est. 0.38%)

    Frequently:
    2) Non-native English speakers watching English movies (est. up to 10-15%)

    Occasionally:
    3) Native speakers watching foreign movies (20-40%)
    4) People who can't watch a movie loud enough (like a mother lulling a baby) (est 1-3%)

    Numbers are just ballpark estimates. But you see that it might affect quite a large population, although not the majority, so it’s probably not a Pri 0, but a Pri 1 work item.

    Severity-wise it’s also pretty high, as for many people it is a deal breaker.

    The technology side of it is probably rather complicated, and one year sounds very reasonable to me (as a software industry insider), although it should have been a year from the launch, not a year from today.

    To the several posters above: there is nothing wrong with SAMI and Silverlight. What’s tricky is probably the scale of the project – thousands of DVDs have to be manually processed to convert whatever CC data is in them to SAMI format.

    Since the original Instant watching feature didn’t have CC, adding it would also require lateral changes across all the components – extraction, conversion, storage, maintenance, displaying to the user and letting the user to control the CC – choosing the language, turning CC on and off, etc.

    This sort of investment is usually implemented in parallel with large-scale system re-design, not through targeted fixes. So reading the blog entry (and also some recent interviews with Netflix CEO) I would guess that there is a next big version (or beta) of the Netflix Instant watching feature is being scheduled for the next year, and it sounds great to me.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Vitaliy, your comment are excellently stated. Also, please don't forget the LARGE number of our population that is growing older and for them (me) it is harder and harder to understand/hear the dialogue. I am hoping for all the segments of the population you listed and for Boomers like me....this will happen soon.

    ReplyDelete
  87. First off let me state at I have been a Netflix fan and subscriber for 10 years now; and for the first time ever I am considering switching providers. Not providing CC for the hearing impaired is inexcusable. I honestly don't see how your going to get out of this mess without a class action lawsuit.

    Don J.

    ReplyDelete
  88. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help me! I cannot find a way to communicate personally with anyone at Netflix. They think I still owe them a DVD and are taking money from my credit card account for membership which I dropped about two weeks ago. With no membership login available, I simply can't reach them--convenient for them, don't you think--no phone, no e-mail address. I absolutely do NOT owe them the DVD they say is missing but can't figure out how to get them off my credit card. I'm desperate!!! Can someone help this poor old retired teacher out by giving me a way to contact Netflix PEOPLE?

    ReplyDelete
  89. For Ann: who says PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help. It is very easy to contact friendly knowledgeable customer service personnel by phone. On any Netflix page click on 'Help' on upper right corner or on bottom of page.
    This will take you to "contact customer service". Under here click on "other" which will reveal the customer service number which I will reveal here to save a couple of steps.
    That number is 1-866-716-0414.

    I will concede that this access procedure is unnecessarily cumbersome but the humans you reach are generally very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Thanks so much to WAS for your reply and the info. It will be a relief to get this problem solved and YOU really helped!

    ReplyDelete
  91. So now that Silverlight 3 is out, can you explain what that means for closed captioning (and streaming in general)?

    ReplyDelete
  92. I dont agree with Mr Hunt that most People would object to English subtitles on English spoken Movies.I am sure that there are thousands of hearing impaired potential Customers out there that do not subscibe to Netflix because of missing subtitles.Disgruntled

    ReplyDelete
  93. I recently tried to watch Gran Torino, but it didn't have TV captions or DVD subtitles. I called customer service, and she sent me another DVD after assuring me the DVD had captions. (NFLX lists Gran Torino as a closed captioned film.) The second DVD also didn't have captions. I noticed the DVD cover was gray. It turns out that gray-colored DVDs are made specifically for Netflix and may be different from other publicly-sold DVDs. In this case, it appears the studio, Warner Brothers, didn't provide Netflix with a captioned DVD. No one had apparently figured this out. Netflix and its contract lawyers should ensure that all of its specially-issued DVDs have captions. Why would any studio want to prevent hearing impaired people from enjoying their product?

    ReplyDelete
  94. I've been with netflix for quite some time and am very pleased with the service. Not only have I been able to rent for such a great price, I can now watch it streaming. I use subtitles/cc whenever I watch a dvd/bluray, but I accept that I cannot use it for streaming. If I need it, I wait for the dvd. All this talk about lawsuits is ridiculous. I don't see anyone vision-impaired compaing about not having streaming audio descriptions for the instant movies. I agree it is something that should be a high priority as many customers feel so strongly about it, but some take things a bit too far. Some say disable the streaming until a solution is found. Users who do not need cc can't use it until they can too. That is just as selfish. Yet if this extra free service had never come about, there would be no complaints.

    ReplyDelete
  95. What about multiple language for movies... more so with anime... i don't watching those dubbed to english... is there a way to fix that? even on some movies ... i rather watch JCVD in french than the english translation... why can't i choose the language???

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hey, I wanted to say thank you for willing to put up the subtitles on Netflix's instant player. I'm hearing and I have wonderful fiance who want to watch instant movies but he is feeling fursturated about Netflix not providing the subtitle by choice to turn them on and off. When I found out that Netflix will set up the subtitle and it won't come out til 2010, but my fiance are very exciting and willing to wait. He know that it take a lot of supercomputers to keep movies running. We are really appreciate that! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  97. Quicktime has selectable text captions if you set it up with something like "subtitle" or "road movie" on the mac. You don't have to burn them into the stream, so it doesn't add any additional time on encoding. AppleTV uses the same system to turn on/off subtitles/captions for the few movies that allow it in iTunes. I personally rip most of our movies straight away to give us selectable captions on the AppleTV.

    I had hoped that NetFlix learned from iTunes' mistakes, and therefore encoded their streaming films with selectable text. This doesn't appear to be the case.

    I like the idea of NetFlix streaming to the TV from my XBOX, but without any means of subtitles, there's no way in hell I'm signing up for it.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I am not personally affected by Netflix's lack of subtitles but from reading multiple deaf consumer's complaints about Netflix's lack of support of Closed Captions I can sympathize with their point of view. from a technological standpoint I would say that Netflix has totally failed.
    Latest news about NETFLIX ....

    ReplyDelete
  99. For Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer, Netflix:
    We are searching for a movie we cannot remember the name of. Perhaps you can help, or point us to someone who could. it's an older movie. It had a myriad of big stars, but none were recognizable until the end, when (as the credits rolled) they peeled off disguise faces and revealed their true IDs! I'm thinking it was a murder mystery or "who-done-it" type film. Can you help? BBunch

    ReplyDelete
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  102. we are definitely enjoying your instant watch movies; however, as a parent with a deaf child, i find the fact that you will not be able to caption these movies for another year very difficult and frustrating to accept. i think where there's a will...there's a way...and you should be able to figure out how to provide captioning for your instant watch movies much quicker than a year. it's actually kind of sad to acknowledge that you're still a year out. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll realize that it can actually be done much quicker.

    ReplyDelete
  103. In addition to the many good comments laying out the importance of closed captions to various parties (deaf people and millions of hard-of-hearing, people learning languages, etc.), I wanted to say that for some of us they are simply a desirable feature. I have not lost my hearing but on occasion if there is noise in the background, or if a few lines here or there are poorly articulated or in an accent that somehow I am not getting, then I like to use closed-captions or English subtitles to supplement my viewing of the movie.

    The importance of my use is not as high as, say, someone who is deaf and cannot watch the movie realistically without the CC, but since I do use CC for these purposes from time to time, I thought I would mention it.

    I think this is possibly a question of prioritization at Netflix Management. Sure, they can explain that it will take several quarters and why, but many of us are guessing that if it *really* mattered to them that somehow they could find a technological innovation and get it done sooner.

    ReplyDelete
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  110. Netflix is so oblivious to the comments on this site they can't even bother themselves with removing the spam that is posted here nor preventing it. Aren't you glad you spent your time commenting here? (of course, I guess I can't say much since I'm here commenting...)

    Thanks for all your attention Netflix!

    ReplyDelete
  111. I'm not technologically advanced (I don't even understand the term "stream"), but am a DISCERNING movie fan. (You'd see by looking at my queue--full of interesting movies! No futuristic or action movies may apply; all that interest me are plot/character-driven slices of life or actual documentaries.) Having said that, I have a differentiation hearing problem that makes subtitles essential to the enjoyment of most films. My question is: Why don't ALL movies & docus include subtitles??? I tried to enjoy "King Corn" recently but couldn't understand many of the quotes. If a movie has only Spanish subtitles, I don't rent it. (It's a shame; I'd love to see Felicity Huffman's transsexual movie, but NO subtitles. Ditto the docu. on teenage prostitutes . . . It's just a coincidence that these are both of a sexual nature.) Thanks for the person to whom to address these comments. I LOVE NETFLIX, and tell everyone about its wonderfulness.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Mary, I am with you....feel exactly the way you do about films and subtitles!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Hi everyone. I know this isn't exactly "on topic", but I had a comment about the way foreign movies are all lumped together. My wish is that someday I can see sub-categories that allow us to choose a language (like, for example "French"). Sometimes I'm in the mood to see a French film, and it is time-consuming to navigate movies from all different languages. Does this exist and I'm not aware of it? Does anyone out there ever have the same wish?

    Thanks in advance!
    lollyc23

    ReplyDelete
  114. Hello everyone:

    I think some a string of decent comments have been made, even granting some minor attempts to disrupt our discussion. It has also been pointed out, probably rightly, that we should not have high expectations that Netflix pays much attention, if any, to what we're saying.

    Last year I participated in a couple of discussions on this matter in the area community.netflix.com. We had some of the same feeling at that time that Netflix probably wasn't paying much attention. Here are the two discussions:


    http://community.netflix.com/forum/topic/listForContributor?user=igiqfwhzaihw


    CLOSED CAPTIONING
    Posted by REUBEN SILBERMAN on July 3, 2008 at 10:09am in Instant Watching

    http://community.netflix.com/forum/topics/1993323:Topic:215832


    Lack Of (Some) Subtitles, Foreign-Language-Dubbing, Commentary Audio Tracks And DVD Bonus Features
    Posted by jlsoaz on June 29, 2008 at 5:58am in Instant Watching

    --------------
    I wonder if anyone here can comment:

    Are there other recommended places to engage in Netflix discussion? Or is that area pretty much it?

    I guess I'll focus somewhat on keeping track of whether other places have started offering closed captioning, foreign-language subtitles and DVD Bonus Features.

    If a strong competitor or two starts offering these things, then if all other things (price, features) are equal, we can consider leaving. I don't think that I personally am really at that point... I am not worked up enough about this issue, but it bears mentioning that if a competitor offers something, we can perhaps use that as a bit of leverage to get more attention to improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  115. James R. Marsh, Deaf Netflix subscriberJuly 20, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    We, the Deaf, had enough of being treated as second class people, "after thought", and etc.

    I am 4 years and a half Netflix subscriber. I got occasional non-captioned DVD and had made complaint to Netflix regarding them, but just got extra DVD for particular month at no extra charge which does not satisfy me because I wanted to watch particular title with captions. I never tried movie on demand. From newspaper "Signews", I noticed that on demand movies are not captioned. Oh enough of treating us as "after-thought". Regarding the insensitivity, it would be nice that Netflix is sensitive to all kinds of people by stop providing non-captioned (or not subtitled in English) DVD and on-demand movies to hearing people until captioning or subtitling for completely all DVD (not occasional lapse) and on-demand movies are provided. As Deaf people pay same fee as hearing people, therefore we get equal access. Hearing people should not get particular movie if Deaf people can't watch it due to its being neither captioned nor subtitled.

    ReplyDelete
  116. I've been a long-time subscriber, but have decided NOT to purchase one of your movie-viewing devices until captions are available.

    Hurry up. You are shutting out the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Hulu.com has this capability. Perhaps you should using something a little more superior to Silver Light.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I just got off the phone and the costomer service rep directed me to this blog. I am Deaf myself, and very annoyed with the constant waiting. We as Deaf/HOH people have just as much right to enjoy movies and TV shows as well. There is no reason in this day and age not to have closed captioning or subtitles. We are fans of the CSIs, but there are no subtitles on it. Luckily our TV does the closed captioning for us. Netflix shold have automatically had the closed captioning option built in. My husband is hearing and upset with this as well. It pisses us both off that in the year 2009, Deaf/HOH people are still dealing with the ignorance and laziness of hearing people who just don't care. We are just as important of a demographic as any other group.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I purchased the Roku device for playing instant movies to my television..I am hard of hearing, and I get the jist of most movies but I know I'm missing so much..how will it work with the device I already have..I would have closed caption on all the time..I'm hoping this will work for me when u get the technology perfected..if I'm going to have to buy a new device, I'll send this one back..I truely thought if a movie ran through my tv..the television would just take care of the closed caption for me..but it doesn't ...I'm so dissapointed at this poing..Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  120. You know I'm going to say this, every new building that goes up all are ADA accessible, because if they don't make it ADA accessible they get fined and shut down, until they fixed it. A similar law should be passed to all movies and movie theaters must accommodate subtitles or closed captions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. If America won't help us then maybe we should start a petition or file millions of complaints until they listen, I am tired of not being able to go to the movie theaters with my friends and such because I won't be able to keep up with it because it doesn't have closed captions or subtitles, America caters to every other disabilities but nothing for the deaf communities? We don't require as much as others granted but in this age and time television and movies is a huge entertainment value, with the economy drought not a whole lot of people have the money to go on vacations and such, therefore television and movies is cheaper entertainment for us. Plus its more profitable for Netflix to offer closed captioning and subtitles because they'd have a lot more consumer base, because I'd imagine theres a lot of deaf and hard of hearing communities out there nowdays. OFFER SOMETHING ALREADY NETFLIX!!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Ultimatum:

    You have two months to provide full support, or I cancel my account, as will my friends and family members. I don't care about the Microsoft technology debate, etc. As long as I can view captions.

    September 26th, buddy. Get your ass moving. No excuses. Or shut the whole thing down until it's working.

    ReplyDelete
  122. We need caption info in the film descriptions. We often return movies--especially those with Irish or English accents--unwatched because we can't hear the nuances in language. From experience, we know that TV shows don't have them, so we, regretfully, took them out of our queue.
    Thanks,
    D and B

    ReplyDelete
  123. I'm not a foreigner, nor am I deaf. But I am one who likes to READ CAPTIONS while watching a movie. Especially if the movie has weird accents or if the actors mumble a lot.

    This is why we decided to CANCEL our current free trial with Netflix because of NO CLOSED CAPTIONS! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! It's 2009 and not 1909!!! Even our cable company's ON DEMAND movies have had CAPTIONS included with our $3.99 or 99 cent movie for YEARS!!! YouTube has them. Hulu has them. Granted, it may be a bit difficult with TIVO service boxes, but I'm sure someone could figure out something TEMPORARY whilst you lose customers because of this. It's not worth paying $9.99/month to watch countless movies and then have to read the synopsis for free online.

    If you're waiting for Silverlight programming to finish, well...by the time you do, you may have a really hard time attracting customers back. There will probably be another new programming language coming out next year as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  124. Maybe they were testing it out or something, but I watched a movie with Instant Netflix and toggled the closed caption button ... it worked. Sure the captions were maybe a second late, but it did work. That was the first and last time I saw the option, on a TV show I think ... so what happened?

    ReplyDelete
  125. I appreciate that this might be difficult, but please understand this is not a luxury, but an absolute necessity for people like my wife. Without captions, she simply cannot follow a show.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Forget Silverlight!

    This is ridiculous! YouTube, Google videos, Hulu, ALL have many of their selections captioned.

    Silverlight is obviously not interested in accomadating the 10% of the population who are deaf or hearing impaired, nor the 40% who will become deaf and hearing impaired, not to mention children and english as a second language veiwers, who use captions to help learn to read english.

    This really is NOT rocket science. Do it, DO IT NOW! or lose many customers!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Can you *please* make sure it works with TVGuardian when you do it on the Roku box?

    ReplyDelete
  128. I used to have a Netflix account, but I had closed it years ago when it became apparent that Netflix simply had no interest in supporting deaf/hard of hearing/English as second language users. And, checking back in, it looks like nothing has changed (surprise, right?).

    "Captioning is in our development plans but is about a year away."

    You guys have been saying that for years. It's obvious to me at this point that closed captioning never has and never will be in your "development plans". I wish you would simply be more up front and be honest rather than hide behind jargon and marketing speak.

    So it remains that the only way for me to watch movies online is to download movies and captions illegally. Alas, Netflix still wont see my subscriber dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Additionally, don't feed us the line about how you're waiting for "Consumer Electronics" manufacturers to support closed captioning. Roku's box (the one Netflix advertises as the official Netflix-sanctioned on-demand streaming device) has supported closed captioning for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  130. This is just pathetic. I'm really ashamed of being a customer and (former) supporter of Netflix.

    The technology barriers are trivial. A talented undergrad could make this work (at least, our undergrads here at Cal). It could be that the real reason are data availability or cost issues, but hiding behind "technical infeasibility" is just indefensible.

    I am really disappointed in these actions, and completely skeptical of the "one year" (if lucky) estimate.

    ReplyDelete
  131. I wonder if anyone in the press is ever going to pick up on this thread and the disrespect that Netflix has apparently been showing for customers on this issue? If any of us knows of someone in in the internet press beat, maybe they could email them this thread and point to some of the tastier comments. Maybe they'll get the idea of covering the question of whether Netflix has been doing right by their customers on this point.

    ReplyDelete
  132. From the looks of the comments you are in for a boycott. YouTube, Hulu, VLC, all use CC and give the option to turn it on and off. And silver light is bolony. The act that people try to copy the streaming video is always going to happen. You will never stop it a person if they have to is do what they do in the theators manual record with a screen recorder and ad audio, or just do what we all do "back up" our DVDs.

    ReplyDelete
  133. http://captionaction2.blogspot.com/
    hey netflix you better check that website out the law is gonna spank your wee lil arse.. so get into action pokeys..

    ReplyDelete
  134. Guys it is not related to silverlight. They should write a program and adding such ablity they should have a plan and lots of enginering. This stuff is not that easy you think, indeed it is a large scale progamming model, as far as I know about this scale of system they should provide some ablity to their server and improve their server programs. even they might need caption server for example. if the other company provide such ablity because they have the server fundation.
    Programming is not just a Click, It is a plan and hard working and it always take time!

    ReplyDelete
  135. This blog from May 29, 2009 is a good read. I think it helps us understand that about 2 weeks before the June 12, 2009 blog that we are responding to, the Netflix CEO was outed as not really concerning himself very much with captions and subtitles as a real priority.

    http://willworkforjustice.blogspot.com/2009/05/netflixs-annual-shareholder-meeting.html

    ----------begin quote----------

    "...

    "I then mentioned Netflix's failure to add captions/subtitles to its online streaming videos. Netflix's "instant play" option doesn't include captions, making its online video option unusable for many users. As a result of not offering captions, Netflix is alienating its hearing-impaired, deaf, and senior citizen customers. According to some estimates, there are 34 million hearing-impaired persons in the United States. One would think Netflix would think better than to alienate such a large customer base.

    "I asked what Netflix was doing to make its website and online video accessible to everyone. Mr. Hastings said other sites didn't offer captions, and mentioned hulu.com as one of them. He said as time progresses, captioning technology will become more widespread, and Netflix would then incorporate it into its own technology. He also said that customers can continue to receive DVDs through the mail, and most DVDs contained captions.

    "Unfortunately for Mr. Hastings, I use hulu.com to watch Simpsons episodes. Except for a few episodes, every Simpsons episode I've watched had captions. Obviously, the technology exists to make online video accessible to everyone, so I wasn't quite ready to let this topic pass. I gave Mr. Hastings another chance to explain how he would make his business accessible to everyone. I mentioned that hulu.com did indeed offer captions, and I said (paraphrased), "It sounds like you're not planning to do anything to add captions to your site. Am I correct in understanding that you don't plan on making your online videos accessible to the disabled?" Mr. Hastings said he would check out hulu.com, but essentially agreed that adding captions wasn't an active agenda item. Now, I don't want to go Kanye West on anyone, but it didn't feel like Mr. Hastings or Netflix cares about deaf people.


    "..."
    -----end quote-----------
    There was also this followup:

    http://willworkforjustice.blogspot.com/2009/06/netflix-finally-addresses-online.html

    There is apparently now a facebook group called "Netflix Watch-Instantly Needs Closed Captions!" with more than 1800 members dedicated to this issue.

    http://www.facebook.com/s.php?init=q&q=netflix%20watch&ref=ts#/group.php?gid=72815765309&ref=search

    Actress Marlee Matlin (who is deaf) has reportedly had something critical to say of Netflix on this issue, though I haven't found an exact link to this.

    http://twitter.com/marleeMatlin

    ReplyDelete
  136. TO ALL DEAF FOLKS (OF WHICH I AM ONE):

    quit your complaining!

    Unbelievable!

    Do you live in this victim mentality in your real lives, when you can't post anonymously?

    Netflix is a service you pay for--don't like it, don't pay!

    Oh, and you are also hypocrites. Yup, you are...
    not one of you that are gripping about subtitles has advocated a text to speech option for this blog! What does that matter? Why, so the illiterate can participate in these blogs! Stupid, you say? Yeah, like your posts...
    unbelievable...

    ReplyDelete
  137. Anonymous,

    I would have to say that we see what has taken place here so very differently.

    If Netflix had started this out with a simple reaffirmation of the comments made by their CEO at the stockholders meeting – that their marketing and engineering groups had looked at the costs and market size for this feature and decided that it was too expensive relative to other uses they have for their time and money and they would revisit the decision in a year or so to see if that changes - so be it. I would be more willing to see it as you do. In fact, I have enough experience with captioning software to say that if they could suppress all of the complaints and avoid all negative publicity for their decision, it probably would the best financial decision to make.

    But that is not what was said. Instead, they indicated they really want to do this but it is not their fault that it can’t be done now. They are working on it but it will take them at least a year because the technical and implementation hurdles are just too overwhelming. Entirely true : no. Entirely false : no. Partial truths and spin…

    So what has taken place is what the Internet does best. Allowing others to address the issues with their own truths and distortions in the same place. In the end, everyone makes their own decisions to stay with Netflix and wait; leave for Hulu and other vendors that provide captions now; becomes active and supports Caption Action 2 and the pending COATS legislation; a mixture of these or whatever. All are reasoned choices, not stupidity. However, all also require clear access to all the different facts and truths.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Hi jmemmott:

    You wrote:

    "...In the end, everyone makes their own decisions to stay with Netflix and wait; leave for Hulu and other vendors that provide captions now;..."

    There's another element to this choice that is significant here for some of us: Some of us are basically with Roku, not so much really with netflix.

    On Roku we have two channels right now... Netflix Instant Watch and Amazon pay-per-view (my word). Both seem valuable, but to some of us Amazon is an insufficient alternative to Netflix instantwatch (and as far as I know does not have captions, via Roku, though I could be wrong, and I don't know if captions are offered via computer-viewing).

    Anyway, if-when Roku hooks up with another party that offers roughly what netflix offers, but also offers captions (not to mention subtitles and DVD bonus audio and other features would be nice), then many of us on the Roku side will have a decision to make at that point.

    I think there are other Netflix users using similar devices to Roku, but I don't know what other streaming services they have access to. My basically-satisfied netflix access has been with Roku.

    A point of dissatisfaction has been the poor (they made it clear they didn't care that much) attitude of Netflix toward Captions, Subititles and DVD Bonus Features. In the year or more I've been writing about this, I've said that when Roku adds competing services that do offer something along these lines, then some Roku users like me will consider whether in the end we wish to leave Netflix. I don't know that I will, but the choice will change, a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  139. I need Netflix on PS3, PlayStation 3. I really Need it. Playstation does not support silverlight, but supports most flash video players. PS3 supports Youtube. I tried Stickam.com and it works too. But why not Netflix?? PS3 is not even a netflix ready device. Even the player is not supported on its browser.

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  140. I can understand that there might be issues related to closed captioning. In the meantime, can the audio levels be bumped up? The main reason I would use closed captioning is that the audio levels are quite low on some programs.

    ReplyDelete
  141. I am writing about his here since I called customer service and they had no idea what I was talking about.
    About 3 weeks ago in the friends page where you can see the slide bars, movies not rented in Netflix are no longer appearing there. I really enjoyed this page and checking out what my friends were watching regardless of wether the movie was rented in Netflix, watched in a theatre, in cable, whatever. Please return this page to the way it was.

    ReplyDelete
  142. BULLSHIT! There's plenty of ways to submit CC into your programs. Your excuse made no sense and should not be tolerated by the public. Just like any other major cooperation you use "big vocabulary" words in your form to deceive the public to get them to be understanding. Get to work Netflix, Your excuse is unacceptable especially in this day and age. If I read your reason why you don't provide CC 2 or 3 years ago, OK understandable. But for a company as professional as you are, We expect more from you. HULU has CC on majority of there Videos and its free. We pay for your service, go find out what HULU did get back to us with a more detailed explanation of your plans.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Neil:

    I would suggest putting this at the top of the list. It is really an ADA issue. Hire some Deaf or hard of hearing techno folks and they will figure it out in a week or so. I cancelled my dish network in lieu of the ROKU box and am dissapointed there is no closed caption. I just talked to one of the help line guys and he is passing my concerns on up the line.

    ReplyDelete
  144. i agree. i'm not deaf, but someone close to me is and I REFUSE to even watch anything (DVDs included) that don't provide closed captioning.

    this response is a bunch of bull sh*t. Netflix just doesn't want to spend the extra $ to include captioned versions.

    ReplyDelete
  145. English is the second language for me and my wife. I really like the instant watch feature in NF. But we have problems in understanding all the conversations in English movies. Shows and movies on Hulu can include the subtitle features. Why can't NF do it? I do appreciate if NF can solve this problem as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Some thinks are very suspicious about this statement and the whole situation for that matter. First, the statement is timed shortly after rolling out their new Silverlight player client. The player itself is suspicious until you learn (as I did in a post here ) that the NF CEO sits on the Microsoft Board of Directors. I see no performance related reason for the change in client software as it was playing fine even on my old slow computer. If NF had any sincere interest in providing subs they would have made sure it was part of their new client. They have had years to make such an accommodation. I know because I, and many others have been asking for subs since streaming began. I also rent a lot of movies from NF and I don't remember ever seeing a DVD without subs so I don't see why any sweeping changes need to be made to their existing library. As many others have already pointed out the technology already exists. IMHO, this statement is a delaying tactic. Next year they'll have another excuse. I hope I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Ok. So I don't know if you're following this thread still, but I'd like to talk to you offline about it in even more depth than this.

    I just ... well, I'll call it tied, and you go with lost, if that seems better to you ... a twitterwar with no less than Marlee Matlin on this topic; she'd like to take the decision out of your hands, and is pushing HR 3101 to do just that.

    You don't, in short, have a year, folks, and this really *should* not be that hard -- -708 captions will embed nicely in several types of streaming container. And the -608 captions you should be receiving on your source material will upconvert in an automated fashion.

    I'd like to see this get done, and I would *not* like to see HR3101 drop a hammer on lots of Open Source coders, since it's poorly written enough to do so. But you guys need to get off the stick on it.

    Transparently.

    ReplyDelete
  148. As I researched this topic for a school paper; I came across this site. It is possible & even the amateurs are able to do this from home creating videos.

    http://www.jaredlog.com/?p=702

    Here is an excerp from this blog.

    "CNN, Netflix, and other professional media companies, are you listening? The fact that there is open source software that makes it so easy to plaster the subtitles on top of your not-yet-subtitled media content effectively removes all technical barriers and there are no more excuses. The only thing left is for you all to get your butts moving on making the video sections on your website more accessible for the rest of us who want the subtitled version."

    ReplyDelete
  149. I very much appreciate Mr. Neil Hunt for posting this blog to explain Netflix's position on closed captioning/subtitles.

    As I'm sure he can see from some of these comments, by opening up this conversation to the public, Netflix can learn about solutions that it possibly was not aware of before, and I hope the folks at Netflix are investigating some of these recommendations.

    Based on what other Internet captioned video sites state, I believe that Netflix can run through a video twice, using a line 21 decoder (or as the industry terms it LITOD), and that will capture the subtitles for use on online video streaming.

    Netflix also has resources at hand to seriously investigate the best way to implement captioning or subtitles on the Internet. The good folks at DCMP.org would be a place to start to find out who your allies are in providing this service to your audience.

    A blog post is not a conversation, when the postee does not respond to the comments. I would encourage Mr. Neil Hunt to respond to the concerns addressed by his users, and to demonstrate who Netflix is working with to come up with a solution.

    Those of you who are hearing impaired like I am, or who use subtitles for literacy or language translation that are provided by other great sites like BBC and Hulu, please continue to support those sites and every now and then drop them a Thank You note for providing this service to us. Let them be aware of the people they are helping and how you have been positively impacted by their service. Everyone likes to hear how they are helping out. So please remember to provide encouraging feedback from time to time.

    I personally left Netflix because I felt it was improper for me to pay for a service that I could only use some portions of, while others who pay the same amount got all the services offered to them. If Netflix does not care about the hearing impaired audience, then perhaps their competition will do something about it. Any company that thinks it owns the market share should think again. A smart company would also recognize the benefits for captioning also extend to SEO, which expands on a company's distribution, if you want to be searchable on Google, etc., and also expands on the company's ability to provide a search-friendly site for its users. How much money does Netflix spend on its internal search engine that perhaps could be corrected by voice-to-text recognition?

    I encourage Netflix to re-examine its priorities, and to also encourage Mr. Hunt to respond to the users who have taken the time to offer suggestions and tips.

    I will not post anonymously on this site. I feel that Netflix and everyone else needs to see us as real, identifiable people. We are your neighbors, your friends and your fellow citizens. Technology offers so many solutions for uplifting those who sometimes need a helping hand. Let's work together to offer the best services we can to as many people as we can.

    Thank you,

    Meghan Saar
    Managing Editor
    True West Magazine
    Surprise, AZ

    ReplyDelete
  150. I'm deaf and have been a Netflix subscriber since day one. I've always appreciated the captioning/subtitling info available on DVD descriptions. But lately (last six months, the description have been wrong as often as they've been right. I can't watch DVDs that are not subtitled, so when you say a DVD is subtitled in English and it is not (often just in Spanish), I've wasted a rental.

    Whoever prepares your description pages needs to actually LOOK at the DVD menus to SEE what subtitle languages are provided.

    If you cannot be accurate, I can no longer be a subscriber.

    REMEMBER: 17% of America is hearing-impaired, like me, and requires subtitles or captions. As baby-boomers age, that figure will increase to 30%.

    ReplyDelete
  151. it's a great service, and i'm glad that you're providing it.

    ReplyDelete
  152. This is an interesting issue to me. I have been a happy Netflix customer for many years, and so has my mother who is a huge movie buff. She is turning 70 years old this year and I have been planning on purchasing a wireless router and a Roku box so she can also enjoy the benefits of Netflix streaming video. However, she has some hearing difficulty and almost always watches movies with English subtitles on. Until I know there is a solution on the way, I think I will forget the Roku box and buy her something she can use. Netflix, please get this fixed ASAP or you will start losing a lot of customers. --Grandmaster B

    ReplyDelete
  153. Hi Grandmaster B:

    Great to see your comments. Those of us who have been raising these issues for 2 or more years have run into a lot of opposition not only from Netflix but also Roku. We were basically told "complain to Netflix". When we went to Netflix the answer was basically "we're not going to care enough to get this done expeditiously".

    If Roku sees that their sales are harmed, they might be more motivated to seek alternatives to Amazon and Netflix, neither of which offer closed captioning, nor (if I recall correctly about both services) any of the DVD bonus features or foreign-language subtitles, for instant download.

    I'm not deaf but sometimes use closed captioning or subtitles so as to better understand poorly-articulated or foreign-language dialogue. I'd also like to see the DVD bonus features made available on the instant side, identical to the disk-rental side of things. This could be done I think by offering the bonus features as a separate instant-watch disk and perhaps this would satisfy the legal-and-permissions issues that netflix seems to claim are the holdup on that front.

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  154. I also have been waiting for subtitles in my watch instantly movies. English is my first language and I am not hearing impaired, but I do enjoy subtitles in movies. Subtitles are a necessity for the hearing impaired and should be offered in a paid service.

    English subtitles also provide benefits to Americans (and other native English speakers) by being a sneaky way to teach them how to spell. Maybe even brainwash them into using their, there and they're correctly.

    Further - like it or not, English is a language that is spoken my many different nationalities around the globe. Because English is not their first language, it is very difficult to understand when it is spoken rapidly, mumbled, or with an unfamiliar accent. Being that Netflix is an American company, I would wager that many of the employees only speak English, and are therefore oblivious to the difficulties of understanding a language that is not your primary.

    (What do you call someone who speaks many languages?
    Poly-lingual

    What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
    Bi-lingual

    What do you call someone who speaks one language?
    American)

    If a company could provide the same watch instantly and direct-to-door DVD service as Netflix and provide subtitles, I believe they would be a great threat to Netflix's market share.

    ReplyDelete
  155. I was so disappointed to find out that Netflix does not provide this basic feature. If a competing company surfaced with captioning capabilities, I would switch to them in an instant. It's hard enough being hearing impaired. Netflix should make this much more of a priority.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Closed Caption not being available
    is the only thing keeping me from ordering a Netflix ready device.

    I have some loss of hearing in the speech frequency and watch the DVD's with caption on. I would like to have a Roku player but not sure I would enjoy it without Closed caption.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Oh come on. Silverlight can already do captions: http://tinyurl.com/ygdmgkx

    ReplyDelete
  158. Can we get a move on with this? I am sick and tired of not being able to watch half the things I am interested in because I am deaf and there aren't any subtitles available. With the level of technology prevalent in America, there is no excuse for this.

    ReplyDelete
  159. This is ridiculous. Tons of other sites have figured this out years ago. I guess MS didn't plan to make anything easy with SL like adding captions to content. This isn't new tech. What good are thousands of videos "onDemand" if I can't enjoy them by being able to have captions?

    ReplyDelete
  160. Thanks for the update on captioning streamimg movies. In the interim it would be appreciated if Netflix could do a better job of identifying which DVDs are subtitled and/or captioned. Amazon seems to do this meticulously, and is way ahead of NF. Why is that?

    ReplyDelete
  161. I am glad to see this coming..SOON!!

    Most of the “Limey” DVD’s do not have CC burned in. If any DVD needs CC or subtitles, it’s those with “Limey Language”. The slurred and mushy vernacular is as difficult to understand as a foreign language.

    Please be sure you begin “overlaying” the CC on DVD's starting with the GB produced material that you have.

    Art Ticculate
    26 OCT. 2009

    ReplyDelete
  162. This is the reality of business...
    Bottom line, there is no Business "Value" in doing that. Is that going to make the number of netflix subscribers explode? Is it going to give it bad publicity?

    Unless there is a business value, there is no pressing need.

    Interestingly HULU, which does something similar, has this already in place.

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  163. No "Business Value"? Are you stating that people who are learning english or can't hear very well, who would JUMP if this was offered on netflix not valued?

    FYI, you would be suprised at the the number one reason captions are utilized.. and its not by the deaf/people learning to read english but by hearing people who don't want to disturb other people by watching a movie! You can imagine this easily in the workplace, or around bedtime when one person wants to stay up and doesn't want to miss anything. Also this is hugely beneficial when there are accents, I know some hearing people who appreciate being able to understand some of the British/Irish/Scottish accents! The sad part is that Netflix doesn't see or understand that at all, therefore losing out on at least a million online subscribers. I personally own a XBoX 360, with a gold account, but with out captions.. they are not utilizing their resources efficiently to help out others.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Well Mr. Neil hunt I was going to say fuck you and call you an asshole but then I realized that it would take me a year to develop that and send it to Silverlight so I guess it will have to wait.

    ReplyDelete
  165. Closed captioning could, should, and must be associated with the audio stream not the video stream. It's just not important to Netflix. Too bad.

    But then streaming is clearly a second-tier facility at Netflix. Else why not have an idle-time/overnight download of full HD material initiated when placed in the stream queue? I'll buy the terabyte USB disc - you encript it to your heart's content (as it were) - so I never have to suffer down-verted video quality because of a temporary BW reduction.

    In any case, I've taken to using streaming for previewing and then may get the disc for real. At some point, Netflix (and the studios) will understand that full fidelity Internet distribution is WotF. But, as with most things in Hollywood, the capability of technology will lead utilization by about a decade. I guess we need a NextFlix to spur 'em on.

    Hard to change those old, tired business models. Voluntarily, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  166. To the poster above me: Historically, closed captions have been embedded in Line 21 of the video picture. It's the way the technology works. That doesn't mean it must stay that way for the Internet, but that's the way it is on television.

    As for streaming not being a large part of Netflix's concern, I have to agree...after all, it's not their primary business, is it? Their primary business is sending us DVDs.

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  167. What I don't understand is when Neil Hunt says, "The majority of viewers would object to English captions on English content, so we have to figure out how to let individual viewers turn them on and off".
    What about viewers like me who want subtitles on everything we watch, english or non-english. Why can't they provide a check-box on the netflix website where we can check if we want subtitles on all movies or not?

    ReplyDelete
  168. Here I am again, nearly 4 months after posting on this blog, and I've just had a perfect example of why subtitles are SO important. Once again, I have a differentiation hearing problem so must have captions in all movies with dense dialogue, difficult accents, and/or poor sound.

    I just rented "A Few Days in September," starring Juliet Binoche and John Turturro (and featuring Nick Nolte), which is set in Europe. While it was thrilling to hear/see John Turturro speak fluent French--and during those times, subtitles were present on the screen--when the actors spoke English, there were NO subtitles. Had I known that in advance (the listing simply says "English subtitles"), I'd NOT have rented the film. Especially during the climax of the story, when Nick Nolte is dying, he gasps out crucial info. to the story, and I still don't know what he said, exactly. I have a rough idea, but his lines were not there for me to read! VERY not good. I should think movie-makers would want their movies to be watched and enjoyed by as many people as possible; why don't they issue their DVDs with captions/ subtitles???

    As for Mr. Hunt's "point" about viewers not being able to shut off subtitles if they don't want them, why NOT? When captions are present on a disk, you have to change the DVD settings in order to GET subtitles . . .

    Thanks for this discussion board.

    ReplyDelete
  169. Hi Mary:

    Good points, but maybe they could have been made without issuing a spoiler?

    jl

    ReplyDelete
  170. You know, jlsoaz, I thought of that before posting this. I'm sorry! But, then again, it's a lesser spoiler; should you see this film, you'll learn that you hardly get to know Nick Nolte's character, so you're not too emotionally attached. (I REALLY hardly got to know him, since I couldn't understand most of his lines.) But yours is, of course, a good point.

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  171. An absolute joke and very disappointing. Why lie? Just say, "We aren't going to support it." So I can go ahead and find a better supplier that will.

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  172. how hard is that?!? There are 2 tracks in that streaming: video and audio. Adding another track for live texts should not be problem since file size of texts is very small.
    Why "live text" ? because we may want to adjust to read them better.

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  173. I would appreciate a simple solution while waiting for the final one. Netflix should publish the captioning text as text-files. I can then read it in a separate browser while watching the movie. I can scroll the text window manually.

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  174. Whatever it takes, man. Make it work soon.

    Sincerely,
    Bartlett Moore

    ReplyDelete
  175. We're really happy to know that Netflix is considering adding captioning to its streaming movies.
    My wife & I have poor hearing, and
    watch movies with captions, whenever they're available. Otherwise, we miss quite a bit of the dialog.
    We're quite pleased with Netflix,
    and captioning on streaming movies would make it even better.
    Please let us know when this service is available.
    Bill Nave

    ReplyDelete
  176. Don't hold your breath.

    Netflix has been saying "wait just one more year" from the start of this issue.

    :O)

    ReplyDelete
  177. I'm Hard of Hearing & depend greatly on CC even with 5.1 Surround. Hulu has CC. NetFlix needs to get up to speed.

    I'd also like to add that as soon as NetFlix adds CC, HD video/audio, and more streaming programs, I will change to an Unlimited "Streaming Only" Plan. Starz Play just isn't enough.

    I'm so tired of maddening junk mail at my postal address. I want to remove my postal mailbox.

    Receiving DVD's via postal mail is the last and only reason I still have a residential mailbox.

    So, please hurry NetFlix. Offer your members some real choices for streaming only.

    I'm so ready to be able to say, "If I don't receive it online, I don't receive it all."

    ReplyDelete
  178. The fact that they started the instant viewing without having support for captions shows a lack of caring for those who need it. I don't know all the technicalities of this, but a number of other instant viewing sites have this without all the problems. Netflix needs to hurry up.

    ReplyDelete
  179. News flash! Google is going to caption its YouTube videos. Looks like a game-changer to me!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/technology/internet/20google.html?_r=1&hpw

    ReplyDelete
  180. the closed caption are great, does anyone can tell me for more information how can i write xml code for closed caption ?

    ReplyDelete
  181. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  182. Delete Comment From: The Official Netflix Blog

    Blogger jlsoaz said...

    I started a thread on Amazon.com to discuss why they and Netflix are both behind in the race to make their videos more acceptable and of higher quality to a wider audience.

    ReplyDelete
  183. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOT TO PROVIDE CAPTIONING ON WATCH INSTANTLY NETFLIX!!

    ABC.COM offers it! After they received many complaints, they did it immediately so you, netflix CAN DO IT!!

    CAPTIONING NOW! Or NO MONEY FROM THE DEAF COMMUNITY.

    ReplyDelete
  184. While I love Netflix, I have been incredibly disappointed in its inability to provide captions or subtitles for films to watch instantly. Netflix's business model is evolving away from discs, what with programs to stream movies onto your computer and devices to stream movies to your TV. Deaf and hard of hearing people like me are being left behind, and Netflix really needs to step up its game. I hope that it can deliver captions or subtitles in 2010, but if it does not, Netflix will surely lose me as a customer, and I would not speak highly of it afterward. So please deliver, Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
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    film izle on SAMI, is there any chance that the community features will be working again soon?

    ReplyDelete
  186. Netflix won't stop its disc business until they've got all their movies available for streaming, IMHO. I'm watching one now that wasn't available for streaming.

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