Showing posts with label closed caption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label closed caption. Show all posts

Thursday, February 24, 2011

30% of Netflix Streaming Content Has Subtitles; 80% By End of 2011

This is Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer for Netflix, with an update on subtitles on content available to watch instantly from Netflix. In the US, more than 3,500 TV episodes and movies have subtitles available, representing about 30% of viewing. (This is in addition to the subtitles already available “burned in” to the picture for all non-English content.) More subtitles are being added every week, and we expect to get to 80% viewing coverage by the end of 2011 (with similar goals for Canada).

We've added this page on the Netflix Website that lists all of the TV shows and movies that are available with subtitles. It is accessible via a link in the Netflix Website footer, via search (for “subtitle” or “caption”), or linked from the detail page of any title that has subtitles.

Subtitles are supported on PCs and Macs, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3, GoogleTV, and the Boxee Box. We expect that Roku and Xbox 360 will support subtitles later this year. Most new Netflix ready devices released this summer or later will support subtitles

For content that has subtitles, look for the Subtitles button in the player on the PC/Mac:

On Netflix ready devices, look for Audio and Subtitles on the movie or TV show detail page before you begin playing:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Subtitles Now Available for Some Titles for PC/Mac Viewing

This is Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix. As I promised last year, I'm pleased to report that today we have enabled closed captioning for some TV episodes and movies that you can watch instantly on your PC or Mac. Although it's a limited library of content with subtitles available - about 100 titles - we now have released the technology and we will be working to fill in the library over time.

We have similar technology working in the lab for some of our game console, Blu-ray, and DTV platforms, which will roll out in releases starting this fall, along with support for 5.1 audio.

It's a start, with much more to come. You can try it for yourself with most episodes of "Lost" Seasons 1-4.

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.