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davidhorman2,243 posts since 8 Mar 2005
Channel Channel Islands

One thing I remember from Ceefax subtitles back in the day was the use of flashing subtitles for continuous sounds such as a ringing phone.


They also used to use a wider selection of text colours and would use coloured backgrounds to represent non-human voices, like the computers in Star Trek. If you watch something like Allo Allo on Yesterday you'll also notice that they used to do a lot more editing of what was spoken. These days subtitles are almost always verbatim transcripts (barring errors, though once or twice on Holby City I've seen the subtitles correct an actor's medical terminology error).
VMPhil9,844 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I noticed those old style editorialised subtitles when BBC Four did a repeat run of Blackadder Goes Forth a while ago. Whole jokes had been reworded into substantially different versions.

I think most of the time those old subtitles have been replaced with new ones, but that was one exception.
Neil Jones5,505 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Subtitles for Dad's Army retains its original "rephrasing" in a lot of cases and a lot of those files were done in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of them were redone but not all of them (originally they had "BBC Scotland 19xx" on them, and now the remade files have Red Bee Media).
buster1,776 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
Yes the EastEnders repeats on Drama are substantially different sometimes from what the actors are saying. Initially they said BBC Scotland on the end and had the old "character - colour" lines during the titles, but they seem to have been redone by RBM now (though the content is otherwise still much the same).

Interesting how at one point the colours explainer at the start was supposed to be helpful, though really you just want the two or three characters talking at any one time to be different colours and that's enough.
Gary Baldy28 posts since 28 Dec 2018
Granada North West Today
I completely disagree with this. Despite me using the internet nowadays, the red button has been a huge part of my life for years. The layout is just really comfortable for me, and after roughly 20 years of using it, the fact that I’m just going to have to adjust to being without is crazy to me.
Interceptor781 posts since 20 Oct 2014
I completely disagree with this. Despite me using the internet nowadays, the red button has been a huge part of my life for years. The layout is just really comfortable for me, and after roughly 20 years of using it, the fact that I’m just going to have to adjust to being without is crazy to me.


I know dude, I felt the same about ONgames. They said that I could use the Two Way TV service instead but it was never as good. The pain will never fade.
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Steve in Pudsey10,274 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
If you happen to have a web browser on your smart TV (or Firestick or whatever device you use to make a dumb TV smart), this may make you very happy if you think the Red Button isn't a patch on what it replaced



Write that down in your copybook now.
Steve in Pudsey10,274 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The editorialising was to keep the reading speed down ...
But it was informally discovered that It was not too relavent
So the idea was verbatim subtitling ( almost) in the mid 90s
The formal work is here
https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2015-09-how-fast-should-subtitles-be
Just a few years ago !

I think another reason for going to verbatim captions is that for somebody who has hearing loss rather than being totally deaf, partially hearing (for want of a better phrase) one version of the dialogue and reading a paraphrased version is confusing.

Abridged captions also don't help people whose first language is not English who are using the subtitles in addition to the audio.
Write that down in your copybook now.
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