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closed captioning

Do you remember when it was almost impossible to get someone to watch a foreign movie with subtitles? Nobody wanted to work that hard and assumed reading would be distracting. But if you’ve ever watched a subtitled film, you understand that the reading part is quickly forgotten and doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of a movie. Today, with the proliferation of text used in online videos, nobody thinks twice about reading while they watch. These days, there are so many advantages to using closed captioning.

What is Captioning?

closed captioning for access
An example of open captions

When we say “captioning”, we should be more specific. There are closed captions (CC), which can be enabled by the viewer. Then there are open captions, which are always on the screen and in view. Subtitles may also be referred to as “captions”, but this type of on-screen text shows the translation of words spoken in a different language. With captioning, spoken dialogue and sound effects are translated into text and superimposed over video in real time.

How Does CC Work?

Closed Captioning is embedded in the television signal. Programs with CC are generally identified with the CC symbol, seen as the featured image for this blog. Since the early 1990s, television sets over 13 inches have been manufactured with built-in CC decoders by law. This decoder can read the CC and display the embedded information on your tv screen. It’s up to you to figure out the setting that will turn this feature on—good luck!

Reasons to Caption Video

Closed Captioning Reaches Beyond the Hearing Impaired
CC isn’t just for the hearing impaired

First and foremost, captions ensure accessibility to all. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or non-English speaking benefit from closed captioning. These days, most online content is viewed without sound, so including captions means you reach an audience that would otherwise miss your message. As a bonus, captioning acts as cognitive reinforcement—studies have shown that people retain information better when they read. Furthermore, captioning boosts SEO; and the necessary transcription is the first step to translation when making a video available in other languages.

Government Regulation & Compliance

Some of our clients a government mandate to include CC on all video. In Canada, the CRTC requires broadcasters to closed caption all programs airing during the day and also provide the service for overnight programs when available. Further, any advertising, sponsorship messages and promotional content needs to have CC. In 2015, The CRTC expressed the expectation that these rules would include online materials.

Closed Captioning and More

Many of our projects include closed captioning. Others include subtitles. We can do one or both and even translate your videos. When it comes to audience reach, we’ve got you covered. Call us today for a free quote.

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