BBC adds subtitles to live channels on iPlayer

In a bid to make its services as accessible as possible, the BBC has added subtitles to live channels on iPlayer - a world-first for the tech.

Previously, subtitles have only been available on linear TV and on-demand programmes - where a huge 20% of viewers switch them on - but now for the first time they've arrived on live online streaming.

It's currently still in the trial stage, and only available on PC and Mac computers. Once it's been tested and refined, however, it'll roll out to the iPlayer apps on tablets, mobiles, and smart TVs.

The channels you can now watch live with subtitles are:

  • BBC One
  • BBC One Northern Ireland
  • BBC One Scotland
  • BBC One Wales
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Four
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies
  • BBC News

All are also available in HD with the subtitles too.

Disability groups welcome the new feature. Dr Roger Wicks from Action On Hearing Loss said: "We welcome this breakthrough from the BBC, which is a huge step in the right direction for full accessibility for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. Our Subtitle It! campaign has been working towards increasing online broadcasters' use of subtitles on online content and we're delighted that the BBC is leading the way by trialling this new feature."

That said, the Beeb isn't stopping there when it comes to making telly available for its disabled viewers.

"We know there is always more to do," Gareth Ford Williams, BBC head of accessibility, said. "We want to ensure our content and services are accessible to everyone - and this trial will give viewers who are deaf or hearing-impaired access to even more programming than ever before."

Source: BBC

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