Saying something nice for a change

I’m always ragging on CBC captioners. While two CBC networks have the highest captioning requirements anywhere, the Corpse was blowing it in major ways. And, like other captioners, they make shit up as they go along.

While there are still a few boners here and there, some things are improving. They’ve pretty much stopped pretending that subtitling is captioning, so subtitled movies are also captioned. But they’re still rerunning real-time captions on repeat broadcasts (e.g., the overnight-Sunday rerun of CBC Sports Saturday). And their instincts can be quite bad. From what I can tell, they’re taking advice not just from a secret industry cabal, but from a failed Conservative electoral candidate. (Left-wing bias?)

Still, they do some things right. And I suppose I should have prefaced this post with the standard warning My Own Boring Shit Alert.

Of course I was there with bells on for the débuts of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I even TiVoed the latter, which meant I driftnetted this little shrimp along the way:

Centred caption reads I'm Alex Trebek. Jeopardy! premieres now on CBC.

(Yeah, blurry picture, sorry. Best I could do after several reshoots.)

That’s just from a voiceover. There isn’t any videotape playing in which the pride of Canada delivers that line. In other words, Peggy and her gang (of two) were alerted to this voiceover, created a caption (I wouldn’t have used all-centred text, and we need a speaker ID like MAN:), then figured out how to actually transmit it. I’m still not clear on how they do this. No doubt their astonishingly expensive captioning software – Swift, at up to $13,000 per seat (with bugs) – can auto-insert a caption on the fly like that. (Swift TX?) It’s how they do things in European captioning a lot of the time.

You’ll see a similar interstitial caption like this just as Wheel of Fortune ends and the 6:00 (“6:30 in Newfoundland”) news begins.

So: Well done, kids. Good attention to detail there. Now get the rest of your networks up to 100%, and prepare for that cabal to be demolished in November.

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