Foxtel launches captions on its movies on demand

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Thursday, 31 October 2013 10:39am

People who are Deaf or hearing impaired will have greater access to Foxtel’s content after the subscription service launched closed captioning for selected on demand movie services from 1 October this year. This move will see Foxtel provide closed captioning for the vast majority of new release movies aired across its 14 On Demand movie channels, plus instant access On Demand movies to iQ subscribers.

Head of Channel Partnerships Benjamin Cox told Media Access Australia that the introduction of closed captioned content was a response to the increasing popularity of its rental movies and TV shows.

“We’ve received a lot of customer feedback over the years and closed captioning for on demand content is something that has always been requested, particularly since video on demand has grown in usage over the recent years,” Cox said.

 “We’re heavily investing in captions for our linear channels and it makes sense to provide it across on demand services as well.”

Around 90 per cent of the films aired across these On Demand channels are released the same day as DVD.   

Media Access Australia’sproject manager for television, Chris Mikul, said the inclusion of closed captioning on Foxtel’s On Demand channels is a big step forward for access.

“What we are now seeing is a growing trend towards access following content, however it is provided to the viewer. 

“I really like the way that Foxtel has ramped up the captioning for On Demand to significant levels instantly. This gives viewers real choice and a product that they are more likely to buy.”

Foxtel also announced closed captioning is now available for around half of the free on demand content accessed via the ‘Featured’ section of iQ and MyStar set top boxes.

Currently, Foxtel provides a range of alternative remote controls. One remote called ‘Easymote’ provides large buttons for people with motor difficulties and older customers. The Foxtel TV Guide App can be used with VoiceOver, the inbuilt screen reader for Apple devices, allowing blind or vision impaired iPhone or iPad users to access program information.

According to Cox, the addition of accessibility options throughout Foxtel’s services has long been acknowledged as an important priority for the business. He said, “Foxtel is committed to innovations which increase the accessibility and choice of content for all our customers and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand these services to new technologies.”

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