It’s been a long slog, but our usual deaf barriers for watching internet video are crumbling. Hulu.com today added a filter to its search engine to return only closed-captioned videos. I’ve been catching up on new episodes of The Simpsons for weeks now, and their captioning is wonderful.
If you have not been using Hulu, you are missing out, my friend. There are dozens of television series up there ready for you to just click’n’watch. It’s all high-quality and legal. The commercials are just 15 seconds each, and appear during the show’s natural commercial breaks for on-air television.
When you go to Hulu.com and click on either “Recently Added” or “Most Popular” in the top navigation bar, you can see a link for “Closed Captioning” at the very bottom of the list on the left side. Click on that and you’ll get only media that’s captioned. You can click on the other categories to narrow down your search to a specific category of closed-captioned video.
For example, I clicked on “Highest Rated,” “Science Fiction,” and “Closed Captioning” and boom, I learn that all episodes of Firefly are on Hulu, free and completely captioned. Oh boy!
Their selection of captioned media keeps growing, which is great news for all of those deaf and hard-of-hearing cubicle workers out there. It is also great for me because it gives my Netflix queue more breathing room (no more Simpsons or Firefly DVDs).
If things keep going in this direction, I won’t need to watch live TV anymore. I pretty much now limit my cable watching to just On-Demand HBO and AMC for True Blood and Mad Men respectively, and my Netflix DVDs are all about Battlestar Galactica. I catch up on Grey’s Anatomy via abc.com (which also provides closed captioning but not as well-implemented as Hulu’s). I have more than 30 full-length movies waiting on my computer that I’ve ripped from my friends’ DVDs, all open-captioned via HandBrake’s burn-in subtitle feature.
And heck, if I’m ever stuck watching live TV for any reason, at least there’s always an episode of Law & Order on some channel, so I’m all set.
Gee, it’s a good thing I’ve got graduate studies to prevent me from becoming a total desk chair potato.