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Closed-Captions On In-flight Video  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5104 times:

Hi Everyone,

I have a question about the feasibility of putting closed captions (i.e. English subtitles) on in-flight video programs. I am hearing-impaired, and benefit greatly from captions when watching movies. In addition, I have friends who are deaf and obviously would be unable to experience movies and televisions without such captions. I have flown for many years, and not once to my memory have I seen an English-speaking program captioned.

I am wondering if people can shed some light on whether any research is being done as to the feasibility of captioning programs and videos. I recognize that for main-screen entertainment this could prove difficult given the size of the monitors. However, what about PTVs showing videos? Even on JetBlue, which shows live television, captions are not an option. Do people feel that captioning in-flight entertainment is a good idea, at least as an option, and does anyone know if progress is being made in this regard? I personally think that it would prove beneficial to many fliers, especially those with difficulty hearing.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments!


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3299 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5095 times:

I certainly think it can be, and should be, an option. If we can dub foreign movies to English, or vice versa, we should accommodate our hearing impaired friends.



Cheers,
Cameron

Edit: just saw you're new here, so welcome to the zoo that is a.net!!

[Edited 2008-03-31 20:13:47]

User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4974 times:

Thank you! I've been a long-time reader and (finally) decided to become a member.  Smile


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4964 times:

I don't see how it would be a problem if the video source is already encoded for closed captioning. And I would like to think the video equipment has the capability to read those codes, just need an option to select it. It would make a lot of sense on a PTV system.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4890 times:



Quoting DesertJets (Reply 3):

I would like to think the video equipment has the capability to read those codes, just need an option to select it.

I agree. Does anyone know if airlines are looking into this, or would the "coding" process prove too difficult? At least on the newer planes, is the video equipment able to read the codes, or would it involve a completely separate installation?



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

Or could you just load the already edited tapes onto planes with closed captions in place?

-A



What now?
User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4787 times:

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):

Welcome aboard!! I am also Hearing Impaired myself!

You will find very few airlines actually use subtitles, American Airlines uses them on all aircrafts except the MD80 series.

Delta uses subtitles on all their planes except MD88 I think?

Generally most airlines with TV's in the aisle (not neccesairily jet blue as you pointed out) will have subtitles in the safety briefing.

A lot of the airlines without TV's on board, usually Southwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines etc etc use manual voice safety announcements which do not help us at all.

A friend of mine is actually about to do a vlog about this very subject you were discussing and feel free to PM me or email me or anything and we can chat about it and I can show you the link once he is done with it.

Alex

[Edited 2008-04-01 18:01:33]


Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4764 times:



Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 6):

Thanks, Atrude! With captions I was actually referring more to in-flight entertainment, not the safety briefing. I'm sure federal regulations must require subtitles/captions and/or, when no monitors are present on the aircraft, a visual demonstration of the safety information. I'm wondering about the feasibility of entertainment (TV programs, videos, etc.), though I am sure many deaf and hearing-impaired people are very thankful for the captions on the safety briefing!  Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineBoeing743 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4754 times:

Welcome to A.net!!

I am deaf too and I always like to have some kind of closed caption or english subtiles so I would understand the emergency info. One weird thing everytime I get on planes that have PVT and they would use subtiles in varities language to welcome passengers aboard planes. I am not sure if I remember correct but on either DL or US while back when I was college student. I would remember saw subtitles during saftety briefing. I was impressived that they doing it but not on all of airlines.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4746 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 7):

Thanks, Atrude! With captions I was actually referring more to in-flight entertainment, not the safety briefing. I'm sure federal regulations must require subtitles/captions and/or, when no monitors are present on the aircraft, a visual demonstration of the safety information. I'm wondering about the feasibility of entertainment (TV programs, videos, etc.), though I am sure many deaf and hearing-impaired people are very thankful for the captions on the safety briefing!

Good point. That would also be very much appreciated as well!!

I fly SWA and worked for them so I was used to not having captions because SWA never had any IFE on board hahaha, supposedly our Flight Attendants were our IFE  Smile

I don't think to many airlines care really, and are only doing the subtitles for safety as an FAA/ADA agreement.

It wouldn't hurt to write into the airlines with the TV's and inquire about it.

I heard B6 got sued for not having captions on board. Not sure how the lawsuit was handled.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4724 times:

I don't know about the B6 lawsuit either, but when I did email them last year after a flight I got a response saying:

"Although we don't offer closed captioning with our DirecTV service at this time, we have forwarded your comments to our leadership for review. We have worked to provide this service in the past and so we will hope that your request will offer additional incentive to make this happen. We do understand how much closed captioning would assist our customers..."

I guess this could be looked at positively, or am I being too optimistic in reading the response?  Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineArticulatexpat From Hong Kong, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 156 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4655 times:

I hope this happens. It seems like a huge and inexcusable oversight that the American carriers haven't found a way to make this happen by now. Off the point slightly, I've wondered about the sign language interpreted (and for the sake of full disclosure I'm a former interpreter, with RID certification) safety videos on foreign airlines. Did no one bother to tell the producers of these videos that sign language is not universal? The last time I flew BA, the safety video had British Sign Language interpretation. Strangely, until last week I'd never seen one captioned at all. I was on an Air China flight from Seoul to Beijing. The video was in spoken English and Mandarin, with a Chinese Sign Language interpreter and captions in English. A Korean-language audio track was used when the video was shown a second time. I don't know if the CA's IFE is captioned but if the safety video is any indication, this is one area where the Chinese seem to be taking the lead!

User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4616 times:

Is there any way that this issue can be brought to the attention of airlines, apart from emailing customer service (I'm not sure how effective that would be.) Perhaps some upper-level airline people read the site...?

 Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1986 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4540 times:

Well... Air New Zealand is the first airline to have english closed-captions (with english/american movies) for the hearing impaired people and also there are lots of english subtitles if you watch foreign inflight movies such as french, german and spanish movies.

SQ inflight safety demo has a sign language interpreter.

Most airlines have english subtitles for the safety demo.



The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

It is not only the hearing impaired who need subtitles or closed-captions. Many of today's actors' speech is unintelligible, and the same can be said for some older actors - e.g. Marlon Brando, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzeneggar etc - who I can only understand when there are closed-captions. Also, people learning English (or any other language) find that the subtitles/closed-captions are an excellent way to advance their knowledge.

I remember once sitting next to an hearing impaired passenger and noticed that apart from the flight map, he never used his IFE once during a long-haul flight. When we got talking, I asked if he did not like the film choice on the IFE and he replied that there were several movies that he would like to watch but first because he could not use the headphones properly (due to his hearing aids) and secondly because he only understood about 10 per cent of the dialogue without closed-captions, he preferred to read a book.

I passed on his comments to the airline's customer services and was surprised to receive a detailed response. In brief, it said that they had considered offering closed-captions and audio descriptive tracks on their IFE but due to the cost involved (reportedly over GBP 100,000 per aircraft), committed capital expenditure (improving facilities for those who flew in J or F class), and the fact that their research revealed that less than five per cent of the passengers would use the facilities, they concluded that the expenditure was not justified. However, with the advancements being made in technology and IFE, it was possible that both closed-captions and audio descriptive channels would be available in the near future.

IMO it will need a cash-rich niche carrier, like EK or SQ, to introduce closed-captions and audio descriptive channels before the other major airlines will re-consider their stance. So maybe if we all constantly bombard Tim Clarke at EK and Chew Choon Seng at SQ with emails asking about the possibility of closed-captions etc, maybe they might take notice.

Drifting slightly off topic, what is the difference between subtitles and closed-captions? I tried them both and cannot really see that much difference.

[Edited 2008-04-03 01:16:10]


MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4461 times:



Quoting BCAL (Reply 14):
Drifting slightly off topic, what is the difference between subtitles and closed-captions? I tried them both and cannot really see that much difference.

I believe that closed-captions are used if the audio is in the same language as the captions (i.e. an English-speaking movie would have English captions) whereas subtitles would be to translate from a different language (English subtitles for a movie where Spanish is spoken).

I appreciate very much you contacting that airline and can see their standpoint. How long ago was this, because as you said, technology is ever-changing. Unfortunately I haven't flown on EK or SQ, so I'm not sure how much of an impact I would have if I emailed them. Living in the US, as I said before I sent an email to B6 who responded, and I have an email out to AA but so far no response. I'll try emailing some of the other US airlines with IFE, too, to see what their take is on the issue. The one big distinction you made is that EK and SQ are "cash rich niche-carriers" whereas US airlines are struggling a bit more, so they might not be as willing to make an investment. That said, perhaps if they DO make an investment, and word gets out that they offer captions, more Deaf people will be convinced to fly their airline as a show of thanks, thus potentially boosting revenue?

BCAL, if you do contact EK and SQ, please let me know what they say! As for what I, and others, can do, suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated!  Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

I think this will happen and IMHO MUST happen. That's what the ADA is for here in the U.S. As IFE gets more and more advanced the ability to select closed captioning should be part of the programing. It's the moral thing to do.

User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4441 times:

Soxfan and Atrude777, If you are a frequent travelers why not purchase a small portable DVD player (Walmart has on for around $70) and extra batteries in the meantime? There are plenty of options such as Netflix, or those kiosks in major airports that rent the players & movies. I'm not a big movie watcher, but I've seen plenty of English subtitles in the menus of the DVD's I've rented.

I'm not trying to downplay your needs, and while there is interest to help the hearing-impaired community, a strong business case would need to be made regarding the potential increase in revenue. Would you really fly Airline A that has closed captioning entertainment for $500 or Airline B that has no such option but offers the same trip for $350? For the price difference you can Bring Your Own Entertainment, and have something to use in the future.

While all this is sorted out (BYOE) may be a better option for you at this point.

Just looking at this from another viewpoint

BWI757



I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4436 times:



Quoting BWI757 (Reply 17):
If you are a frequent travelers why not purchase a small portable DVD player

True that you can use an iPod etc for your own entertainment.

Quoting BWI757 (Reply 17):
a strong business case would need to be made regarding the potential increase in revenue

It's isn't about a business issue. If that was the case vertually every accomodation for the differentially abled would not happed in the U.S. as it is a very capitalist society. Ramps, brail elevator signs etc. cost money that don't guarantee revenue. Again it simply is the right thing to do.


User currently offlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6001 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4424 times:



Quoting BCAL (Reply 14):
Drifting slightly off topic, what is the difference between subtitles and closed-captions? I tried them both and cannot really see that much difference.

I think subtitles only have the actual dialogue, while closed captioning also have any sound effects that may be crucial enought to understand what's happening (ie. If two burglars have broken into a house and a siren is heard in the background, the closed captioning would mention that).

Oh, and I'm hearing impaired as well & I also prefer having subtitles on movies  Smile


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4424 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 15):
How long ago was this,

It was just after a flight LHR-SFO in February 2005, so over three years ago.

Quoting Soxfan (Reply 15):
perhaps if they DO make an investment, and word gets out that they offer captions, more Deaf people will be convinced to fly their airline as a show of thanks, thus potentially boosting revenue?

As well as proving the airline is more accommodating for less able people, and also showing off who might have the best IFE in the air.

Quoting Soxfan (Reply 15):
BCAL, if you do contact EK and SQ, please let me know what they say!

They would probably not take much notice if one or ten people wrote in, but if they were to receive hundreds the decision makers might take more notice? You never know.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4392 times:

Closed Captioning = Movies or TV must already be encripted with CC script by a captioner, and you use a CC decoder to bring out the captions, but only will work on those that have the existing CC script written for the video

subtitles = already placed on the screen. but DVDs can have a frame that adds the subtitles

CC are geared toward deaf people, since CC captioners add sound effects and music lyrics so the audience is aware of all sounds going on.

CC decoders have become more portable and some are in Operating Systems, as a plugin and codec, so I see that it should not be that hard to install especially for PTV.

The Jetblue experience is frustrating for many, since many deaf fly on B6 and they cannot enjoy any of the DirectTV programs

(DIRECT TV is already caption ready, since all programs and movie channels in the USA by law now must be CC)

but B6 wont bother installing the closed captioner option and decoder in the system.



There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4376 times:



Quoting Malaysia (Reply 21):
but B6 wont bother installing the closed captioner option and decoder in the system.

I think JetBlue is a special case because they show live TV, as opposed to many airlines showing movies or pre-recorded television programs (although Delta and Frontier also show live TV on select flights). How expensive a process is it to put a coding system on, especially if JetBlue's DirecTV already is caption ready? Are there any B6 insiders that know if JetBlue is looking at adding closed captions to their TV system? (It might be interesting if they decide to expand their in-flight wireless system to other planes, that they could install the CC coder at the same time). As I said before, I emailed B6 and got a general response, but as of yet I haven't heard of any progress. What about Frontier, or other airlines that offer satelite television?

Thanks!  Smile



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4317 times:

Just got a response from American Airlines regarding my question on closed captions, I've pasted sections of it below; how should this be interpreted?

"We very much appreciate the time you took to send us your suggestion about our inflight entertainment. Your idea regarding closed caption certainly has merit, and it clearly reflects the thought that went into it. It is always helpful for us to consider our products and services from our customers' perspective, and you can be sure our Manager of Inflight Products is reviewing your comments. We try to be responsive to our customers and carefully analyze trend information based upon their reactions. In this way we can identify those service elements that are most appealing as well as improve those that produce a negative response. Our aim is to suit the needs and wishes of the majority of our customers.
As we determine the appropriate action in this regard, your preferences will be
considered. Thank you for giving us the benefit of your observations."



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

Well Windows XP and some DVD decoder programs have CC decoder script in it. some of those IFE is a linux OS often though.


There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
25 Post contains links Atrude777 : Hey Everyone- A friend of mine and I were actually just discussing this, and he posted a vlog regarding air safety in terms of using subtitles and suc
26 Post contains links Derik737 : There was a DOT NPRM on this subject. See http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspubli...=DocketDetail&d=DOT-OST-2006-23999
27 Soxfan : That is very interesting! It looks like the documents go through the summer of 2007. Do you know if anything came about as a result of this docket? A
28 CPH-R : Thumbs up to him for using a Pan Am safety card
29 Atrude777 : I know you want F/A but when I was a gate agent, I did little sign, I made sure they could read my lips if they read lips or I would use written pape
30 Soxfan : Actually I'm interested in how any position interacts...thanks for your insight with the gate agent. I think an added difficulty is that some Deaf pe
31 Atrude777 : Hey, sorry I missed this. I use my laptop to watch movies. However I am more concerned of the SAFETY announcements on board such airlines that do not
32 AirframeAS : I'm deaf (Most A.netters already know this...) and I really dont care about the lack of captioning on the IFE. As long as I get the DirecTV free on F9
33 Atrude777 : I don't care much either myself, but It is nice to have! I usually stare out the window taking pictures anyway hahaha. Alex
34 Soxfan : [quote=Atrude777,reply=33]Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 32): I don't care much either myself, but It is nice to have! I usually stare out the window takin
35 Scotland1979 : Hello! I have flown on British Airways 777 in 2005 - I watched foreign movie with English-subtitle. I recall watched closed-captioned movie on Air Tra
36 Scotland1979 : Nice to know you are one of us.. I am Deaf too and I am one of ANet photographers as well. Feel free to send instant msg me. Frank Robitaille p.s. I
37 Atrude777 : Wicked, we all should form some deaf spotting group thing HAHAHAHA I know there are a few other members also here! Alex
38 AirframeAS : I'm in if it's going to be in DEN!
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