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Neil Jones6,002 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
The subtitles tag belongs in the bin. Might as well say Stereo, or Colour.


Why does BBC still have it??


I think its a "legacy" thing, the practice dates from 1999 when they used to have "888" instead to indicate subtitles as that's where it used to be on Ceefax but when digital TV came along page 888 wasn't going to exist.
But of course these days a subtitles tag is irrelevant anyway as all of the BBC channels output (bar Parliament) is 100% subtitled, and has been since I think 2008.
Spencer (previously Spencer For Hire) 6,074 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The subtitles tag belongs in the bin. Might as well say Stereo, or Colour.


Why does BBC still have it??


I think its a "legacy" thing, the practice dates from 1999 when they used to have "888" instead to indicate subtitles as that's where it used to be on Ceefax but when digital TV came along page 888 wasn't going to exist.
But of course these days a subtitles tag is irrelevant anyway as all of the BBC channels output (bar Parliament) is 100% subtitled, and has been since I think 2008.


I suspect its main purpose these days is as a little reminder that the licence fee funds an important service for deaf people.
TheMike88 posts since 12 Jan 2019
Central (East) East Midlands Today

Why does BBC still have it??


I think its a "legacy" thing, the practice dates from 1999 when they used to have "888" instead to indicate subtitles as that's where it used to be on Ceefax but when digital TV came along page 888 wasn't going to exist.
But of course these days a subtitles tag is irrelevant anyway as all of the BBC channels output (bar Parliament) is 100% subtitled, and has been since I think 2008.


I suspect its main purpose these days is as a little reminder that the licence fee funds an important service for deaf people.

But on that basis, one could argue, why not add a tag for Audio Description?
Andrew Wood3,765 posts since 30 Mar 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today

I think its a "legacy" thing, the practice dates from 1999 when they used to have "888" instead to indicate subtitles as that's where it used to be on Ceefax but when digital TV came along page 888 wasn't going to exist.
But of course these days a subtitles tag is irrelevant anyway as all of the BBC channels output (bar Parliament) is 100% subtitled, and has been since I think 2008.


I suspect its main purpose these days is as a little reminder that the licence fee funds an important service for deaf people.

But on that basis, one could argue, why not add a tag for Audio Description?

I don't mean to sound glib saying this, but would an audio description tag be suitable for partially sighted/blind people? Granted, I do appreciate that ITV does have one.
VMPhil10,138 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today

I suspect its main purpose these days is as a little reminder that the licence fee funds an important service for deaf people.

But on that basis, one could argue, why not add a tag for Audio Description?

I don't mean to sound glib saying this, but would an audio description tag be suitable for partially sighted/blind people? Granted, I do appreciate that ITV does have one.

But surely Mike's point is that, if keeping the 'Subtitles' tag is mainly to serve as a reminder to non-deaf people about the BBC's public service in providing subtitles (in reference to Spencer's post), shouldn't there also be an 'Audio Description' tag to remind non-blind people about the BBC's public service in providing audio description?
whoiam989906 posts since 22 Dec 2007
BBC World News
But on that basis, one could argue, why not add a tag for Audio Description?

I don't mean to sound glib saying this, but would an audio description tag be suitable for partially sighted/blind people? Granted, I do appreciate that ITV does have one.

But surely Mike's point is that, if keeping the 'Subtitles' tag is mainly to serve as a reminder to non-deaf people about the BBC's public service in providing subtitles (in reference to Spencer's post), shouldn't there also be an 'Audio Description' tag to remind non-blind people about the BBC's public service in providing audio description?

Plus, it would help, for example, a normal person living with a visually challenged person.

This is going a bit off-topic, but I have a question. Do continuity announcers in the UK indicate a programme with audio descriptions before it starts?
Spencer (previously Spencer For Hire) 6,074 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
But on that basis, one could argue, why not add a tag for Audio Description?

I don't mean to sound glib saying this, but would an audio description tag be suitable for partially sighted/blind people? Granted, I do appreciate that ITV does have one.

But surely Mike's point is that, if keeping the 'Subtitles' tag is mainly to serve as a reminder to non-deaf people about the BBC's public service in providing subtitles (in reference to Spencer's post), shouldn't there also be an 'Audio Description' tag to remind non-blind people about the BBC's public service in providing audio description?


I'm surprised they haven't, on that basis. I'd guess it's likely that's why ITV added theirs - as Andrew points out, its use to those who benefit from it is limited.

Do continuity announcers in the UK indicate a programme with audio descriptions before it starts?


I've never heard them do so. There were occasional trailers for the service on the BBC and ITV at least - not sure if these are still running.

Also on Sky boxes there's a 'beep on audio description' option you can enable, which I presume (never having tried it) plays a tone at the start of a programme with AD. No idea if this is available on other platforms though.
Technologist102 posts since 10 Oct 2018
London London
The RNIB as was never pushed for an AD “bug” ...they were keener on getting EPG more accessible for the visually impaired and getting more programmes with AD.
EPG access has not yet been achieved and OFCOM has only just got to grips I with questioning the providers as to why they are not making it better.
But AD programmes from the larger broadcasters have always got about quota level ...
.... and the RNIB have always understood why 100% would not be cost effective,

As for the subtitle /888 on network symbol ....
I’m am surprised that for the BBC it is still there ...
I can remember having to say to the relevant lobbying parties that the BBC would NOT have the top right bug on subtitled programme but it would always show in vision when a programme was subtitled...... aka the Otis tha aardvark piece of cardboard
and when with digital tv the “888”become” subtitle” reminded that the BBC were well to their target of 100% and thus it may be phased out ....
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Spencer gave kudos