Wednesday, January 26, 2011

CBS finally provides closed captions for online episodes!

Some time ago, I had heard that CBS was planning to provide closed captions for its online episodes first shown on television.  Today, I checked the most recent episode of "The Good Wife" because my TiVo hadn't recorded the last episode properly, and found that there were captions available!  A Google search found no mention of CBS providing this feature, and it's not announced anywhere I can find on the CBS web site, so it's well-hidden.

( has been showing many captioned episodes for shows from other networks (ABC, Fox, NBC, and some premium networks), but CBS had been quite late to the game.  PBS has been quite slow as well, too.  I just checked whether the Masterpiece episodes were captioned on the PBS web site, and there was no indication of them.)

It may be a bit challenging to figure out how to turn on the captions.  CBS didn't do a good job of helping people to recognize right away that the episode would be captioned; everybody else is using a "CC" or "subtitle" indicator that can be seen right away.  Here are some instructions:

Go to  Find a *full* episode of a series that you're interested in and click on it.   To turn the captions on, bring your cursor into the middle of the video to see the menu show up.  Look for and click on the plus sign for "More" on the lower right hand side, click again on "CC  captions" just once. (Unfortunately, there seems to be no immediate visual indication of when the captions activate except by waiting to see if the captions show up; the letters of "CC Captions" don't change color or shading noticeably.)  You'll have to click on the bar on the right hand side to bring the video back to the beginning point because you will have missed the beginning dialog.

For now, captions will need to be activated each time you see a new episode.  Once you get used to the menu, pause the video every time you start a new video and then try to quickly turn on the captions before the whole window shrinks into a small box and makes the menu disappear.

Obviously, the menu is not well designed, but hopefully it will be improved over time.


Anonymous said...

Great news! I hope it continues and improves

Anonymous said...

That's great! NBC is really bad about providing captioning last year but watched The Office the other night and noticed it was captioned. However, Bravo (owned by NBC) needs to step up. I know it takes a while, but it's the year 2011 - it's time.

Thanks for sharing!


KGC said...

They have provided a link but most episodes still do NOT have caption even after you click on the button for cc.

www freetrial said...

They have provided a link but most episodes still do NOT have caption even after you click on the button for cc.

Anonymous said...

WE were just watching The Good Wife and due to back ground music it was drowning out their voices. We turned on closed caption, however you have to be a speed reader to read it and if the print was any smaller we would need binoculars to read it.