Telstra introduces captions on BigPond Movies

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Friday, 19 September 2014 11:38am

Telstra has released an initial batch of 14 BigPond movies with open captions, with a promise to expand the service in the future.

To find the captioned titles on BigPond Movies, click on ‘Movies’ on the home page, then ‘Open Captions’, which will bring up a list of them. The initial titles include The Lego Movie, Transcendence, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Veronica Mars. Because the captions are ‘open’, they will be visible when played on all devices.

“This is a very welcome development,” said Chris Mikul, Project Manager for TV at Media Access Australia. “I know there have been a lot of people over the years who have asked for captioned movies on BigPond, so while the number of captioned titles is quite small, it’s a good start.”

Captioning is still rare on video on demand services in Australia. However, captions are available on the catch-up services of ABC SBS and Seven, and last year Foxtel introduced them to its Movies on Demand.

Last year, Media Access Australia released a report, Captioning on Video on Demand: It's Time for Australia to Catch Up, which looked at the situation both here and overseas, and recommended legislation similar to that introduced in the US, which makes it compulsory for captioned TV programs to have captions when transmitted over the internet.

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