Why am I having problems with subtitles?
Live subtitling: for live and some topical pre-recorded programmes, the subtitles are written by a subtitler as the programme is being broadcast. This is a demanding task so you may notice occasional spelling mistakes or the text may stay on the screen for too long or not long enough. Subtitlers often have to contend with fast dialogue or a number of speakers, but they have to keep up as the programme continues and make sure that the subtitles are readable. They don't generally have a chance to go back and make corrections, and they may sometimes miss out parts of the dialogue.
Pre-recorded subtitling: with pre-recorded programmes the subtitles are usually both accurate and timed with the speech.
Technical issues with subtitles
- If the subtitles are breaking up or going missing, it may be that your overall TV reception is poor. This may be caused by an old or damaged TV aerial or cable - an aerial installer will be able to advise. You can go to the CAI (Confederation of Aerial Industries) or Registered Digital Installers sites to find a registered installer in your area. Other causes of poor reception include transmitter faults or even the weather. Please use our reception problems tool to diagnose the problem and get advice on what to do.
- There may be subtitle problems when BBC programmes are rebroadcast on other channels or platforms (satellite, cable or broadband). Please contact your service provider for advice.
- Some digital receivers, particularly older models, may not process and display subtitles very well. Please try the following:
- Turn the subtitles off and then on again, using the subtitle button on your remote control or via the on-screen menus.
- Select a different TV channel, wait until the picture appears for that channel, then reselect the channel you were originally watching.
If these suggestions don't solve the problem, you should contact your equipment manufacturer or retailer for detailed technical advice. You may need to consider replacing your receiver
- Turn the digital receiver off using the remote control, wait for at least 10 seconds, then turn it on again.
- Technical problems sometimes prevent us transmitting subtitles. Such faults are very rare and we will always work to rectify them as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Did this answer your question?