Benefits of the Lab
Here’s how we do it—any format in and any format out with captions. Start with your file or tape master, and we will caption and convert it to any file or tape you need. Download our common delivery formats.
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Why caption my broadcast program?
Closed captioning extends television viewing to the deaf, hearing impaired, and non-native English speakers. Providing quality closed captioning ensures a larger audience, namely the 40 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Nearly 100% of all English and Spanish broadcast programming in the United States must be closed captioned. Rules and guidelines for quality of closed captions have been established by and are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC has also provided a way for viewers to submit complaints for caption-related problems.
Research shows that closed captioning has academic value. Many classrooms are turning to captioned media for struggling readers to increase speed, comprehension, and vocabulary. Captioned media is also a powerful tool for people who are learning English as a second language (ESL) and for English speakers learning to read. Just like “word walls” that are so highly recommended in schools throughout our country, captioning continues that text-rich environment of the classroom, and carries it to each child’s TV time. Using captions mimics the techniques used in educational videos, but instead of learning just colors and numbers, a child can discover new vocabulary in anything that comes across your TV set — words that pertain to sports, economics, geography or far-away cultures.
Types of Closed Captions
Offline ROLL UP
Offline POP ON
Roll-up captions behave as the name implies—the text “rolls-up” the screen. Post production roll-up captions offer a high level of accuracy at an affordable price. Best used when one person is speaking at a time, roll-up captions are suited perfectly for sermons, education, infomercials and documentaries.
A specially trained captioner uses a steno machine to type in real-time at 250+ words per minute, much like a court reporter. The live captioner relies on experience, years of training, and an extensive dictionary to make accurate captions, while keeping pace with the live program content.
The text pops on and off the screen. Each caption can hold several lines of text. They are positioned to avoid covering graphics and faces, or moved around the screen to identify different speakers. Pop-on captions are useful when there are multiple speakers at one time or for commercial spots, dramas, films, game shows and interviews.
The most common caption file format is .scc. Other popular formats include .cap, .tds, .cin, .mcc, .onl and .asc. Sometimes broadcast stations may be able to accept these files, but usually they request captions to be embedded with the video when delivered via tape or file.
Converting broadcast captions to web formats can be straightforward or complex, depending on the web player. The use of SMPTE-TT captions makes the conversion easy. Conversions to other popular formats, such as SubRip (.srt), SAMI (.smi), WebVTT (.vtt), TTML/DFXP (.xml), are also possible with some formatting adjustments.
EIA/CEA-608 is the standard for legacy captions in Standard Definition, and is sometimes referred to as “Line 21.” The newer EIA/CEA-708 was created for digital broadcasts and adds new fonts, characters and symbols, text colors and styles, and more. Both EIA/CEA-608 and EIA/CEA-708 captions are required for ATSC digital broadcasts.