Why have subtitles become more popular?

passwordistaco

Posts: 412   +951
FWIW, verify the efficiency between the center channel and the front pair.
I had that issue running a JBL Stadium "voice" in the Center, and 2 2x 8" Klipsch "Icon" towers. I had to leave the TV speakers on to hear the center. I got fed up, and bought a Klipsch RP-250 C center, and the problem went away. Klipsch is claiming about 98 DB @1 watt on the towers and 96 DB on the center. The JBL center was something on the order of 89 DB. So, more than double the volume from the Klipsch center.

Other than that, I usually kick on the stereo when late night TV hosts a live musical act. I think the sound engineers might be mixing the front person toward the back on purpose, since half of them can't sing. Not to mention the lyrics are mostly worthless, repetitive crap anyway.
Excellent observation on speaker efficiency.

I'm AV geeky enough that I have several 5.1 setups throughout the house, and boost the center even when it's an exact match as part of a 5.1 package. The only exception is on my main PC where I dropped the center level, but the speaker is on the desk right in front of me and I don't really watch movies/TV on it.
 

maxxcool7421

Posts: 184   +341
When the audio mixing for the TV show or movie is crappy....which is found in almost every movie or show in the past 10 years or more.

Sound effects blow your eardrums out, but speech is so quiet you have to turn the volume up and then you're meet with super fantastic sound effects that wreck your hearing and so you turn the volume down and then they start talking again and you have to turn the volume up......

Seriously, how fricking hard is it for them to do it in a proper manner where you don't have to wear ear plugs so the explosions in action sequences don't rupture your eardrums and you can also hear the talking without having to crank up the volume?

I find it easier to turn the volume down so the sound effects aren't rattling my brain and since I can't hear the people talking at a lower volume I just read the subtitles....I've been doing this for years and I find it hard not to watch a show/movie without subtitles going.

I know my hearing isn't bad, I have it tested yearly at my work and I wear hearing protection at work when in the noisy areas. The issue isn't me because I know other people that tell me the same thing when they're watching a show or movie, how irritating it is when the voice audio is so low they have to turn the volume up high and then the loud sound effects hurt their ears and they have to turn down the volume.....then they can't hear people talking again so the cycle just repeats ad nauseum.

As for voice dubbing: Dub over is usually really bad, in my opinion. If you want an example, find the Hercules movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger did many years ago and find the copy that did the voice over.....it's hilarious to listen to. Also, after watching the Ip Man movies with subs, when I went to watch Ip Man 4 and Netflix decided I wanted dubs, the different voices from the actual actors made it hard to listen to. I had to screw around with settings and stopping/starting Netflix multiple times to revert the setting so it was subs and not dubs. I'd rather read subtitles over listening to bad dubbed voices.


^^^ this all of this ... And autovolume on my Onkyo doesnt keep up and clips effects
 

Farkinell

Posts: 218   +368
I see a lot of people complaining about the accents and lingo. If you can't understand shows that are not set in present day LA and that do not spoonfeed you the plotlines, with recaps every 15 minutes, then maybe shows made outside of the US are not for you.

I could barely understand The Wire at first but stuck with it and now it's my favourite show of all time.

That being said, much of the issue is mumbling. A lot of modern actors have really poor enunciation (even with a regional accents) which makes clearly hearing dialogue difficult, and this goes for shows made in any country.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
Audio mixing has definitely gone to hell. I've had to permanently boost the volume on my center channel to hear dialog, but music from the left and right channels is ear splitting. This is inexcusable for a "professional" production.
I have to agree. One minute, I've got good vocals, then the next I have massive loud ambient sounds (explosions, car chases etc). It really seems like bad mixing to me.
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
FWIW, verify the efficiency between the center channel and the front pair.
I had that issue running a JBL Stadium "voice" in the Center, and 2 2x 8" Klipsch "Icon" towers. I had to leave the TV speakers on to hear the center. I got fed up, and bought a Klipsch RP-250 C center, and the problem went away. Klipsch is claiming about 98 DB @1 watt on the towers and 96 DB on the center. The JBL center was something on the order of 89 DB. So, more than double the volume from the Klipsch center.

Other than that, I usually kick on the stereo when late night TV hosts a live musical act. I think the sound engineers might be mixing the front person toward the back on purpose, since half of them can't sing. Not to mention the lyrics are mostly worthless, repetitive crap anyway.
Klipsch have always been known for their efficiency. I took an audio engineering class back in the day and our professor, an audio engineer, was very proud of his listening room that he built. It was all Klipsch La Scallas and such and he even had a stereo center channel set up. You could walk around his room and the sound was perfect no matter where you were in the room.
 

MaestroIT

Posts: 107   +105
Me, on the other hand, I don't like to watch TV series/movies where I "Must" read subtitles to understand the plot, those include english shows with some scenes of people speaking strange languages (including klingon in Star Trek Discovery), when a complete serie is in a different language, I prefer the dubbed version.

I am good enough at reading quickly to follow a show if I want to read subtitles, but I don't like being forced to do it !!!
 

axiomatic13

Posts: 418   +487
54-year-old ex-punk rock musician here. Subtitles were always popular with me as I've lost 60% of my hearing. Are we sure this is a generational thing?
 

lna2000

Posts: 17   +9
Any D. Wolf TV show is terrible at over-blasting music background over dialog. (Chicago series)
And all of the Live Sports on FOX. You can't hear the announcers over the crowd noise.
The crowd noise on TV games is louder than whats at the stadium.
Who are the a>>holes that think this is cute?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 19,172   +8,322
It's definitely modern mixing. Playing OT Star Wars, Little House on the Prairie, or older Harry Potter movies, as recent examples I just watched, I have no issues picking out the dialogue. Anything 2010 onwards it seems is COMPLETELY unintelligible and I need subtitles.

Also, I'm really irritated with the "volume dance" they expect you to do where you have to turn it wayyyyy down during loud scenes and way up during quiet ones. Older shows like Little House on the Prairie of all things have solved this very well where you can just have it on one volume and never worry about it.
I think you've missed the point completely. First, I'm unsure if "Little House" was even mixed in stereo. It did, after all, wrap up in 1983, long before digital TV reared its "ugly" head.

Once upon a time, (particularly pop music), was mixed to sound good on the crap equipment teenagers had for its playback. So, you had all the energy centered in the vocal range, and not much anywhere else. In fact, you could but the latest Beatles album in mono, or stereo, for a dollar more

Enter Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, and what have you. These systems are designed to reproduce the full dynamic range of the source. Thus, explosions are very loud, and people speaking in a normal voice are quiet. (The way they're supposed to be).

Anyway,, if we're dealing with.Blu-ray, most players have what they call a "night setting". All this is is an audio compressor, which clamps down the loud parts, and boosts the soft.

Plan B: (of which there are several).

An equalizer in the audio path to boost the vocal frequencies.

A more efficient center channel speaker
.

It may may also be possible to splice a pair of guitar stomp box compressors into the "pre-out / power amp in" of the receiver (only some better receivers have this function.

And like I said earlier, use the "night" function from a Blu-ray source.


And last but not least, a trip to your local audiologist to get a graph of your hearing curves to determine where you might be missing a few frequencies here or there..

As far as southern (American), British, and Aussie accents are concerned, I can understand them just fine, EXCEPT when they get into indigenous slang, then I'm lost.

As a example, the 1st "Genesis" album was so loaded with British slang, I listened to it once, and put it away..
 
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Zinixo

Posts: 67   +45
When I want to read I will pick up a book .I dont mind foreign movies as long as its in English, dubbed is fine but reading a movie is not for me.
 

wiak

Posts: 90   +35
I use subtitles when I want to send someone a funny picture of a scene in a show/movie, I also use subtitles on anime, because the horrible english dubs, am also not native english speaker soo it helps to have subtitles, meybe some people have figure out the dubs of native engoish movies/shows are horrible?
 

mbk34

Posts: 389   +289
Sometimes I need subtitles in real life. I was down the pub with friends last month when a pair drunk Irish lads began talking with us. I could tell it was English they speaking but hadn't a clue what they were actually saying.
 

FaTaL

Posts: 126   +228
Subtitles are for id1ots. half the time the AI translator gets them WRONG, conveying the wrong message and making people even more stup1d than they already are.
 

Bp968

Posts: 267   +193
That's Brit "Cockney" (don't know if that's spelled right) accent and if your not Brit you can never understand more than half of it.

EDIt:
And as @Lew Zealand stated the audio on new TV's is "S**T". My speakers are 3/4 inch metal speakers and have no bass/treble controls. Therefore I have to use a "Sound Bar" just to even hear the TV. (I am 80 years old though)

Its not just that. I have a 6 speaker setup with a large center speaker. I still have issues hearing voices on many newer tv shows and movies. The mixing sucks now. Go back to the beginning of the DVD era when surround sound and dolby digital was new and mixing was *sooo* much better. Just off the top of my head: air force one, the matrix, face off and speed all had great mixing and were fairly early releases on DVD. We used to use airforce one and the matrix to show off our hi fi system and surround sound.

Contrast that with modern tv/movies who have mixxing so poor I just removed my rear speakers to make more space in my living room. They just didn't add much anymore, which is quite sad imo.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,104   +3,993
TechSpot Elite
That's Brit "Cockney" (don't know if that's spelled right) accent and if your not Brit you can never understand more than half of it.

EDIt:
And as @Lew Zealand stated the audio on new TV's is "S**T". My speakers are 3/4 inch metal speakers and have no bass/treble controls. Therefore I have to use a "Sound Bar" just to even hear the TV. (I am 80 years old though)
Yeah, Cockney is a tough one (and you did spell it right). That's one of the accents that I was able to decipher just because half of my family is Irish. Even then, if they speak at top speed, I might not even get all of it.

You should try understanding people from the Caribbean region. Words fly out of their mouths faster than bullets out of a Vulcan Gun! :laughing:
 

erickmendes

Posts: 704   +333
I'm not a native english speaker, I'm brazillian, so I've always watched movies with subtitles. BTW that's pretty much how the rest of the world watch for movies...

So, be welcome to our midia consumption reality...