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Captioning Best Practices and Industry Standards


There are more ways to view television series and movies now than ever before. From heading out to the movies to watching Netflix at home, the demand for entertainment is huge. However, companies providing entertainment have a lot of responsibility. In particular, they have to provide captioning for those that are deaf and hard of hearing. This is going to make sure that everybody can enjoy media together.

There have been a lot of legal updates regarding closed captioning. This means that it’s necessary to evaluate the best practices and to ensure that industry standards are met. This is going to mean that everybody can have a good experience with television and film.

The Aim is for Quality Captioning

There are industry standards in place in order to achieve quality captioning for people that are deaf and hard of hearing. This includes creating accurate captions for every production, which are free from errors. They should clearly follow the audio and be consistent throughout the medium.

The standards are high when it comes to maintaining quality captioning. For example, the correct spelling and grammar is always expected. In addition, non-speech sounds should be included, as stated by the FCC. These should appear in square brackets. Punctuation can help to provide clarity and verbatim should be written too. This is going to provide  readers with a better idea of what is going on.

Conversion for the Internet

Closed captions on a video is going to be different when it’s distributed over the internet. This is going to require the closed caption file to converted so that it can operate smoothly. Therefore, the CEA-608 (line 21) has to be transformed into CEA-708 protocol. In addition, the closed captions will have to be edited. Captioning software is going to make this job possible and help you to reformat the data.

Good Caption Presentation

Captions should always be presented in a clear and concise way. For example, this includes using a font that is easy to read and simple too follow. In addition, every caption frame should only have a few lines of text. This allows for the words to be followed. Caption frames must be timed so that they follow the follow of the story and are displayed on the screen for the correct amount of time.

Caption Certification

If you believe that your videos don’t require captioning, it’s necessary to have caption certification. This should state why closed captions where not required with this audio file. Therefore, normally they video programming distributor must have contact with the video owner to discuss captioning. They must be made aware of why this media doesn’t require captioning.

There are only certain circumstances when captioning won’t be required or isn’t necessary by law. For example, if the content wasn’t aired on television or it was shown but it only aired without captions. The content might not be part of the online programming category detailed by the FCC or it has been exempted.

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