Use closed captions or SAP to blab over music at Olympics


2 years ago, I got so frustrated at Bob Costas blabbing over parts of the Olympic opening ceremonies that clearly were not meant to be blabbed over that I rush ordered a satellite dish to watch the rest of the Olympics on the CBC.

(Besides, you find out there are events at the Olympics in which Americans are not competing for medals!)

This year Costas was probably a little better, the CBC announcers a touch worse than before but still better than Costas. However, there's an obvious answer out there. Use more text. If you need to explain the symbolism of a piece of music or art, do it in text. Either put text on the main screen, or just put the text into the closed captioning but don't say it.

Another alternative, use the SAP. Have the announcer exercise some judgement, and create one audio stream with just the non-intrusive commentary (during applause and breaks) and add in the blabber on the other channel (probably the main channel since they think the bulk of their audience wants this blabber.)

For those watching in HD, there is much more potential to add text, since you have more screen real estate and can have smaller text and thus more of it.


What? Not syncing & supplementing bcast vid with webcast audio? Brad!

SAP would be cool, on screen text fine, but PLEASE don't give folks ideas about messing with the closed caption text! That stuff is supposed to be a textual mirror of what is being spoken, intended for those who can't hear. Given how piss-poor the close caption text often is (see rant below), please don't give anyone the idea that they should deliberately make it different from the audio program!

On the plus side, can we relegate Bob & Katie to the SAP channel? I'd be pretty happy with a live feed.

I have the close captions turned on not because I'm deaf, but because I've got small children and my wife and I believe having the captions running all the time will help them learn a little faster.

And I have to say that here in the US the CC data ranges from interestingly off (how do so many mis-spelled words get into the CC data? Why isn't this stuff reviewed as part of post-production? I'm talking major television programs, with plenty of budget here, not Dr. Who!) to complete piles of steaming . Try watching the CC data on a news broadcast. Apparently they have given up using humans, but instead use some sort of voice recognition system. Which doesn't work. I've seen news reports where 5 minutes will go buy and I can't see a single correct word in the CC data.

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