Reasons for subtitles and CC on DVD and streaming movies and TV.

I have been researching the need for subtitles and CC on DVD and streaming movies and TV. I have come up with the following needs: (1) hearing impaired, (2) courtesy and deference to others like roommates and persons living or sleeping nearby, (3)inability to understand the language or dialect, (4) students studying languages especially ESL students, (5) leveling out the sound level such as when the music is too loud and the dialogue to quiet.

What other reasons can you suggest?

I don’t know if this falls under your #3, but if I’m watching something where I want to catch every word, I’ll turn on the CC even though I’m not hearing impaired. It’s amazing what you can miss (I miss a lot of mumbled dialog) and on the TV captioning, it often turns up a couple phrases that were edited out of the final cut.

Plus, now I know that the Breaking Bad captioner edits all swear words, including words that aren’t. I saw “p—” for “poop” on an episode, I shit you not.

Interestingly, I think it’s quite possible to be hearing impaired without knowing it. I’ve had tinnitus since I was 11 (for no reason; I never even listened to my music loud!), but in general I really believed my hearing was fine otherwise. A couple years ago (I’m 28), I finally NOTICED that my “hearing” gets drastically worse when I’m not wearing my glasses. It was like a lightbulb, realizing that I actually have just adapted by supplementing what I hear with lipreading.

Sorry for the tangent, OP. I think your list is pretty good!

Because I prefer it.

There’s a thesis in that.

Bars/gyms/restaurants. Anywhere where X could be playing in the background without volume.

Also, I remember watching Lost and every syllable uttered was scrutinized and the CC helped.

(6) you live with someone who will not shut. the. fuck. up.

My mom figured out how to find the CC menu using the remote control as soon as dad started taking the Vicodin.

All your reasons are nice, but really only #1 is the correct answer (i.e. why it’s required by the FCC - the other non-hearing impaired groups who occasionally benefit are just getting a bonus).

For argumentative friends to confirm what the person actually said, as long as the subtitles were done well.

Subtitles for the heard of hearing should include noteworthy sound effects as well as dialogue. This can also help with argumentative friends who aren’t sure if they heard, say, a gunshot or not.

Because it’s hard to hear everything they say. Because I’m a better reader than I am a listener and I get more out of movies when I don’t miss words here and there. Because I can’t ask the actors “Say that again?” and it sucks to be playing with the rewind button, missing the scene by a few seconds, fast forwarding it again and missing it by another second, etc.

It does mess with the suspense somewhat, but movies these days are generally trite, predictable crap anyway.

This includes someone watching at night with the volume off to avoid bothering those who are trying to sleep.

Another case: mixed-language movies/shows where subtitles are an integral part of language accesibility. Examples: “Érase una vez en México/Once upon a time in Mexico”, where dialogue switches back and forth between Spanish and English constantly and the subtitles are the translation to the other language, and Spanish TV show “Vaya semanita”, which was created by Spanish-language Basque regional TV (sorry, we have complicated politics), later got syndicated to be shown in other regions, but because the characters are all in the Basque region they mix Basque words in their speech all the time: the syndicated version is always shown with a special kind of subtitles, where for example if a character says “have you spoken with Aitona Patxi?” the subtitles say “aitona = grandpa” - this is only shown the first time a word is used in a given sketch (full subtitles have a mixed language version, and an all-in-Spanish version).

I think the “specially ESL students” part of reason (4) is not true except inasmuch as there are a lot more students of English as a second language than of Dutch or Finnish. People studying a second language do use subtitles as an aid a lot, in general.

If I’m watching a DVD with commentary, I’ll turn on the subtitles since the sound of the program dialog is usually muted while the commentary track is running and I still want to be able to follow what’s going on.

I never even thought of doing that.

I used to know a guy that worked as a security guard. He always rented foreign movies so he could watch them silently while he worked. Sort of like reason #2 but sort of not.

Which is why I turn on the CC when watching TV with Mom - she talks through things and then asks what they said!

You watch TV somewhere where there’s a lot of background noise, and you’d rather not turn up the TV to hear the voices over the noise. Mr. Neville and I started doing that because he lived in an apartment building with thin walls. There was a lot of traffic noise from outside, but we didn’t want to crank the volume and bother the neighbors. Now, he’s moved out of that building, but I much prefer watching with the captions to without. I like that the captions stay there for a few seconds, so if my attention wanders momentarily, I don’t miss anything.

Another one, though I’m not sure if this is what you’re thinking of, is temporary subtitles for a very short section of the film where it’s important for the viewers to understand what’s being said, but not some of the characters. For example, just now I was watching ‘Toy Soldiers’ and a boy claimed not to speak Spanish. The villain then said ‘put a bullet in him’ in Spanish, subtitled in English, and the boy said ‘no, wait!’ showing that he did speak Spanish after all.

You also often see it used for comic effect, when either what the character’s actually saying in the foreign language is different to what the translator’s claiming, or us being able to understand the foreign-language speaker more than some of the characters puts a completely new spin on things.
One example of this is in Arrested Development, where the little Korean boy says ‘An nyoung’ subtitled as ‘hello,’ but everyone around him thinks he’s repeatedly saying his own name.

This is somewhat different to what you were asking, since these subtitles are usually embedded rather than available on a subtitle track. And man, that was a long, rambling post - apologies. :smiley:

Because everyone else in the house gets all the other TVs, I take the small one in the kitchen. I don’t ask much: House on Mondays, Glee on Tuesdays, Grey’s on Thursdays.

These are apparently the times that my parents, my brother and my kids want to congregate, wash every dish, talk to me, dance around and do the “look at me look at me look at me” dance, and generally descend upon me as though I have not spoken to them in weeks.

I gave up. I just turn on the CC and ignore as much as possible, then people want to try to turn them off because of all the words on the screen. “Why do you watch like that? How can you stand that?” Aaahhhhh! But the moment I move to another television - “I was waaaaaatching thaaaaat!!!”

Sigh. I do love them.

A moose once bit my sister…

If you’re eating chips or popcorn or something else with a lout crunch during a dialog heavy scene. Especially if its rapid fire snappy dialog like something by Aaron Sorkin.

Sometimes closed captioning is amusing. On certain types of shows, typos are rampant. You’d think that this would happen more on live show rather than those that were taped months before airing, but that’s simply not so. Try watching a judge show with cc some time. Be prepared to laugh your ass off.