Channel 4 says it is now able to provide subtitles on its main channels for viewers on Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview as well as on All 4 and Channel4.com.
This has been achieved by changing the way the channels are broadcast – linking up its emergency back-up to Arqiva’s equipment in Broadcast Centre.
However, the access service will continue to remain unavailable to the free-to-air satellite platform Freesat because of the way its channels are configured. Channel 4 is working to restore the service for Freesat viewers as soon as possible.
In a statement, Channel 4 said popular shows including the Great British Bake Off, The Last Leg and Gogglebox and Channel 4 News were the first shows to carry subtitles once more.
“Channel 4 has been able to restore subtitles for viewers with the collaboration and support of our partners, Red Bee Media, Arqiva, Freeview, ITV and the BBC, for which we are very grateful.
“Additionally, Channel 4 is grateful for the ongoing advice and support of RNID in speaking to our deaf audience during this time.”
Audio description and sign-language services will remain unavailable until Channel 4 moves to a new system that is being built and tested.
Channel 4 lost its ability to subtitle its shows in September when a fire suppression system was triggered at Red Bee Media’s broadcast centre, which transmits all of its services. A number of hard disks in a variety of systems were severely damaged. Broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 5 were also affected, but have been able to better restore their services.