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I don't know if this is a common issue with DVDs, but I have a number of DVDs (mostly Doctor Who episodes) that don't include closed-captioning. Also, I have yet to encounter <i>any</i> DVD that includes captioning for the commentary track.
I find this very annoying, since I prefer reading subtitles
to listening to the dialouge (which can be difficult to follow if the actors don't enunciate) - and I don't even have hearing problems. For those with hearing problems lack of closed-captioning could make a DVD completely unwatchable.
Now, I usually watch DVDs on my computer, so it seems to me the solution to this lies in software. Someone whould write a program that combines a simple DVD player for the computer with voice-recognition software - the result being a program that can provide captioning for ANY audio track, albeit not necessary accurate captioning.
Given the current state of voice-recognition programs, the captions might be pretty miserable, but they'd still be better than nothing for hearing-impaired users. This could be worked around by offering an option for the program to 'learn' by having the user listen to and then type accurate versions of a few lines, similar to voice-recognition input programs that ask the user to speak sentences to accustom the program to their voice. (Hearing-impaired users would obviously have to go without or ask a friend to do this.) As voice-recognition software improves, the program's ability to provide accurate captions would increase.
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||//Also, I have yet to encounter <i>any</i> DVD that includes captioning for the commentary track.//
||I have some DVDs that do. I think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon does and I know Kung Pow does. This is a good idea, why should the hard of hearing miss out? No closed captions on Doctor Who you say? How ironic, I remember watching a programme on BBC2 when I was younger that was on the idea of extra speech added to programmes to explain the action to the blind or visually impaired. The programme they demonstrated with was Doctor Who.
||"and they're running on the spot as a background scrolls behind them..."