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Subtitles/captions drive me nuts

I like to watch TV with subtitles/captions on. It’s just easier, it saves me having to have the volume up too high for everyone else – particularly when the rest of my family have gone to bed, I can watch my favourite shows without waking them.

This would be great if the quality of subtitling wasn’t so hit-and-miss.

Some channels have no subtitles at all, which I can live with and doesn’t bother me that much. I just don’t ever watch that channel.

What does bother me though, and it bothers me a lot, is the channels that provide half-assed subtitles. The channels that miss out entire sentences. The channels that have text that freezes on-screen for a bit and then lags behind the audio for the rest of the show. The channels that don’t always manage to delete the text before displaying the next sentence and you end up with a mass jumble of words. The channels that have titles for some programmes but not others.

But the absolute worst thing, and I reserve some special level of bother for this, is when a programme will have perfect subtitles on one channel and then completely broken ones when it switches to a new channel. We watched series 1 of The Mentalist on Hallmark – a great series and it had perfect subtitling. Now series 2 has come to the UK and it’s on Five – the subtitles suck, they lag behind and the miss entire sentences out.

How can subtitles for a programme be broken on one channel and work fine on another?