Timetable for closed captions of NetFlix content?

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Timetable for closed captions of NetFlix content?

Postby philippe » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:38 am

Is there a timetable understanding between NetFlix and Roku to having closed captions embedded in most (if not all) content streamed from NetFlix for Instant Watch service?

The reason this is on the Roku forum and not NetFlix's, is that Roku has the most to lose (non-sales and returns of players), not NetFlix. For the record, I've also suggested NetFlix to add CC to IW.

After having tried the player, I am quite pleased with the quality and overall experience, but lack of closed captions is a real deal breaker here.

Even if the FCC was extending the mandatory closed captioning rule to internet "channel", it would not change much, since new (currently only cable and over-the-air) channels would have a 4-year period to be in compliance, so, so much for "now".

So Roku, any push for closed captions from your end? Any timetable between you and NetFlix on when we can expect that? Otherwise, I kept all the packaging material to most easily return the player your way within the 30-day of purchase.
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Postby RokuLyndon » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:40 am

This really is a question for Netflix. The roku is already capable of playing back closed captioning if it were present in the stream.
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Postby philippe » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:38 pm

RokuLyndon wrote:This really is a question for Netflix.

I understand that Roku depends on the content provided by NetFlix for closed captioning, but it's Roku's bottom line profit that is ultimately hurt by the lack of closed captions in NetFlix streams, because at this stage, with or without the Roku player, NetFlix still pockets the monthly subscription fees, and Roku doesn't.

So, the questions are really:
  • How does Roku feel about lost business due to lack of closed captioning?
  • What does Roku do about it?
I don't think NetFlix would be able to choose any of the below on behalf of Roku.
  1. Roku doesn't really care about lost business due to lack of CC in NetFlix movies. It's just chump change.
  2. Roku asked once, but now just waits on NetFlix, nothing more.
  3. Roku bugs NetFlix every single day about CC in movies, and forward them every single request from the forum.
Because NetFlix customers could get the DVD's with (hopefully) the closed captions, or English subtitles, on them, it is not as important to NetFlix to offer closed captioning for "Instant Watch". On the other hand, Roku's profit is much more impacted by it, and the player is less essential to subscribers. So Roku is at the same time in a weaker position, and more dependent to closed captions availability on IW than NetFlix.
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Postby nowhereman » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:54 pm

philippe wrote:
RokuLyndon wrote:This really is a question for Netflix.

I understand that Roku depends on the content provided by NetFlix for closed captioning, but it's Roku's bottom line profit that is ultimately hurt by the lack of closed captions in NetFlix streams, because at this stage, with or without the Roku player, NetFlix still pockets the monthly subscription fees, and Roku doesn't.


I'd venture to guess that Roku won't be hurt at all in the long run by the shortcomings in the content provided by NetFlix.

1 - They knew what type of content was available via Instant Watch before they decided to build the box and they still went ahead and built it.

2 - The box has proven to be much more popular out of the gate than they estimated it would be.

3 - Roku is on record saying they are working with other content providers for the box. Once that happens, I have a hunch a lot more people will buy this thing to watch that other content than will buy it for NetFlix. NetFlix is just first, a way to get a foot in the door and establish an install base for the hardware.
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Postby unclebob » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:01 pm

philippe wrote:
RokuLyndon wrote:This really is a question for Netflix.

I understand that Roku depends on the content provided by NetFlix for closed captioning, but it's Roku's bottom line profit that is ultimately hurt by the lack of closed captions in NetFlix streams, because at this stage, with or without the Roku player, NetFlix still pockets the monthly subscription fees, and Roku doesn't.

So, the questions are really:
  • How does Roku feel about lost business due to lack of closed captioning?
  • What does Roku do about it?
I don't think NetFlix would be able to choose any of the below on behalf of Roku.
  1. Roku doesn't really care about lost business due to lack of CC in NetFlix movies. It's just chump change.
  2. Roku asked once, but now just waits on NetFlix, nothing more.
  3. Roku bugs NetFlix every single day about CC in movies, and forward them every single request from the forum.
Because NetFlix customers could get the DVD's with (hopefully) the closed captions, or English subtitles, on them, it is not as important to NetFlix to offer closed captioning for "Instant Watch". On the other hand, Roku's profit is much more impacted by it, and the player is less essential to subscribers. So Roku is at the same time in a weaker position, and more dependent to closed captions availability on IW than NetFlix.


These are very good questions for Netflix. Consider asking them at the netflix community website http://community.netflix.com

It is not a Netflix-owned site, it is for and by Netflix users, but management does read!

As my own hearing isn't what it used to be, I formed a "specil interest group" to try and improve Netflix for the hearing-impaired.


PLEASE join up!

http://community.netflix.com/group/deafmovieclub
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Postby Denver Dave » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:01 pm

Unfortunately, Netflix is not asking the right questions. We love the Roku / Netfix concept, but the lack of closed captions and very load background sound, makes the movies difficult for us to watch.
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Postby dominjon » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:01 pm

I understand that some people are desperate for Closed Captions. However, it has been pointed out endless times that Roku has a device capable of doing the job. Netflix has decided that it isn't something to do at this time.
All the twisted reasoning in the world doesn't change the fact that if you want to change it, then Netflix is where to apply pressure.
What you are all doing is akin to going to the grocery store and demanding that they change the cornflakes recipe, and ignoring the repeated attempts to give them Kellogg's contact information...
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Postby Denver Dave » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:09 pm

Actually, sometimes the only time the world does change is when consumers insist on a product or service feature. We seem to be doing a good job, I've seen numerous articles around the internet evaluating Netflix / Roku where they mention that the closed caption feature is missing.

For those that object to the discussion, I urge you to find a little compassion for those that require assistance.

As for the grocery store example, there are requirements for packaging and disclosure. Pretty much every movie theater in Denver has place for wheelchair access and the availability of special headphones for the hearing impaired, public and private buildings are wheelchair accessible, street curbs have ramps. This did not happen, until people insisted. It would be nice if businesses would be sensitive to the needs of the disability community without the requirement for special laws, meanwhile please speak up.
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Postby spumoni » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:25 pm

Denver Dave wrote:Actually, sometimes the only time the world does change is when consumers insist on a product or service feature. We seem to be doing a good job, I've seen numerous articles around the internet evaluating Netflix / Roku where they mention that the closed caption feature is missing.

For those that object to the discussion, I urge you to find a little compassion for those that require assistance.

As for the grocery store example, there are requirements for packaging and disclosure. Pretty much every movie theater in Denver has place for wheelchair access and the availability of special headphones for the hearing impaired, public and private buildings are wheelchair accessible, street curbs have ramps. This did not happen, until people insisted. It would be nice if businesses would be sensitive to the needs of the disability community without the requirement for special laws, meanwhile please speak up.


I have not seen anyone objecting to the discussion, nor do I see any lack of compassion... but the point remains, Roku is not the point to which pressure must be applied to effect change. The only player in this process that can initiate the close captioning is Netflix. THAT is where you should go to raise your valid concerns.
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Postby eri3k » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:31 pm

Denver Dave wrote:For those that object to the discussion, I urge you to find a little compassion for those that require assistance.

I have no objection - in fact I would love to see closed captioning - but I agree with dominjon that posting in this forum does not bring closed captions any closer to becoming a reality.

Denver Dave wrote:As for the grocery store example, there are requirements for packaging and disclosure.

Nice try, but the recipe change analogy made by dominjon is more apt. There is no mandated accessibility standard that this service must conform to. The Roku player has the capability to handle closed captions as soon as Netflix adds them to the streams.

Roku has staked out and prepared the ground. Now it's all up to Netflix to build the ramp. All dominjon is saying is that you need to take your complaint/request to Netflix. Applying pressure on Roku has zero chance of success.
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Postby Denver Dave » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:17 pm

That is a good point. I would like to thank Roku for having a product that is closed captioned enabled and for having a great user-friendly discussion forum.

I know that there are technical issues on the Netflix side, it would be nice to know if anyone is seriously working on closed captions. I sure wish the Netflix discussion forum was structured more like this Roku forum:

http://blog.netflix.com/
http://netflixfan.blogspot.com/

I think the link below is the netflix forum (not as good as this forum), but lots of people wanting closed captions here also - be sure to post in the forum below:
http://community.netflix.com/forum/topi ... ed+caption
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Postby jeffrok » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:27 am

Being one with good hearing, I'm happy I don't NEED closed captioning, but I am one of those who really would like it too.. For foreign films, I can't stand some of the almost comical English voice-over work that's done on some of these movies.. Subtitles would be such a nice option, and probably really, really easy to add to the streams.
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Postby QuantumIguana » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:24 am

We really should have a sticky thread for this, it keeps coming up.
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Postby pintnight » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:06 pm

...bump...
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Postby jlsoaz » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:34 pm

dominjon wrote:I understand that some people are desperate for Closed Captions. However, it has been pointed out endless times that Roku has a device capable of doing the job. Netflix has decided that it isn't something to do at this time.
All the twisted reasoning in the world doesn't change the fact that if you want to change it, then Netflix is where to apply pressure. [...]


The original poster has not entirely disagreed with you. His or her idea seems to be that we can apply pressure to Roku to apply pressure to Netflix. Your comments have not exactly addressed that idea.

Closed Captions, and subtitles in both English and other languages, and other features such as audio channels of the director's comments, and such, are all features that would be of value and use not only to Deaf people but to others. It was made somewhat clear to many of us who complained about this when the Roku DVP first came out that we should not complain "here" but should complain "over there" and so-on, and so-on. We were given the runaround. When we did complain at the netflix community forums end then we were more or less told it's an industry issue over which Netflix has no control, and it seemed clear they were saying "years, if ever". At least, that's how it seemed.
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