I have been watching what I can on npo.nl recently and find the subtitles are regularly complete garbage. I thought maybe this was just close captioning being poor with the Dutch language, however I'm sitting watching a dvd copy of the Disney film Inside Out in Dutch right now, and the captions on the dvd are equally rubbish.
What is up with this? I don't feel confident enough to keep up with the spoken Dutch in these programs word for word just yet, but I'm fairly confident I'm doing a better job than the shows own subtitles! :S
I don't know what's up with the npo subtitles, but I really can't believe they are garbage. Dutch language broadcasters hardly ever dub foreign language movies and shows, they are always subtitled. Most shows are American, and quite a lot of Dutch speakers know English, so bad subtitles would certainly not be accepted by the audience.
Now, subtitles don't give a word-for-word translation. They focus on meaning/content, while at the same time being as short and easily readable as possible.
Could it be that you were watching subtitles for the hearing impaired? You really shouldn't expect a literal or word for word transliteration.
The captions on the Disney film certainly cannot be rubbish. The Dutch subtitles however probably were made for the English language version of the film, which is a separate proces from the dubbing in Dutch.
Using Dutch subtitles on Dutch spoken films or shows isn't the best strategy, in my opinion. I think you'd be better of with subtitles in your own language. That way you get the general meaning of what is said from the subtitles, making it easier to understand the spoken language.
I'm not expecting it to be literal no, but both on npo and things like disney films I keep coming across sentences where one word just does not belong. Makes me wonder if they have a (very bad) machine doing the work for them.
edit: Perhaps garbage is a slight exaggeration, the odd sentence or word is completely out there and unrelated to what people seem to be saying. My only equivalent experience in English is the old (90s) teletext style subtitles you sometimes still seem to find in the cardio room at a gym, where every second or third sentence either has a nonsense word, or is completely nonsense.
I'm sure there are places that have good Dutch subtitles. I don't know where to get them, but I know during my stay in Amsterdam, most of the shows, at least on the channel we watched, were in English, with Dutch subtitles, and I'd be willing to bet the subtitles were decent, making it onto Dutch television. Sorry I wasn't of more help, but there ARE at least some well translated things out there. Good luck searching!