The advanced guide to closed captioning video content
Before we dive in, this article contains a lot of useful information, so if you are in for the haul, feel free to start from the beginning, and if you are looking for a particular part, you will find the table of contents below with the links to that particular topic :) At the same time if you are looking to recruit professional captioning services, you can click on this link: Littext Captions
Table of content
Definitions of Video Captioning Terms:
A caption gives information about a video's dialogue, narration, and any sound effects that may be present.
Closed captions can't be seen until the viewer turns them on. This is usually done with the remote control or menu options.
Open captions, which can also be called "open," "burned in," "baked in," or just "hard" captions, are always visible because they are embedded into the video file.
Note on captioning and subtitling misconceptions:
Captions and subtitles may mean different things depending on where you are from. In the US and Canada, for example, closed captions are normally aimed at people who have hearing impairments, are deaf, or have trouble hearing, while subtitles are for people who don't speak English as their first language. The British and other English-speaking countries think that subtitles and captions are the same things, especially once in British colonies.
History of closed captioning: - Where it all started
In 1972, the American public broadcasting service cooking show "The French Chef" was the first to use open captioning. WGBH-TV, now called GBH or GBH 2, has started showing open captions for Zoom, an educational TV show made by kids, ABC World News Tonight, and Once Upon a Classic.
The first closed captioning demonstration in the United States was held in 1971 at the First National Conference on Television for the Hearing Impaired in Nashville, Tennessee. The National Bureau of Standards and ABC (The American Broadcasting Company) conducted a second closed captioning demonstration at Gallaudet College, now Gallaudet University, on February 15, 1972. As part of the demonstration, they showed how standard broadcasts of The Mod Squad could have closed captions.
First Captioned TV Program in 1972, The French Chef hosted by Julia Child. These were Open Captions and could not be turned of by the viewer.
Laws and Legislative development of Closed captioning in the US
Before the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 was passed, Sanyo Electric produced a set-top box that was sold by the National Captioning Institute (NCI). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to ensure disabled people have the same opportunities as others.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in public or commercial facilities. Title III of the ADA says that public places like hospitals, bars, shopping malls, and museums (but not movie theaters) must have TVs, movies, or slide shows that can be listened to. The Federal Communications Commission's rules require program providers to have captions in English or Spanish, even if the audio is in another language.
What is Video Captioning?
A caption is a text that appears on a TV screen, computer screen, mobile device, or movie theater screen to show what a person is saying in a video or program. Closed captioning (CC) and subtitling involve putting text on a TV, video screen, or other visual display to give more information or help people who have trouble hearing understand what is happening. Both closed and open captioning describe the audio part of the show as it happens, either word for word or with minor changes. In some cases, descriptions are also provided for non-speech segments.
Why is closed captioning beneficial to your business?
Over the years, video has played a significant role in business, entertainment, and education. In the form of computer-based multimedia, video is used more frequently for distance learning and other web-based educational or business presentations. Videos without captions, on the other hand, are inaccessible to deaf or hard-of-hearing people.
According to the WHO, approximately 2.5 billion people will suffer from hearing impairments by 2050. The use of video in business and everyday life is increasing, making it necessary to caption your video content so that as many people as possible can benefit from it. Adding captions to your videos will increase their accessibility, increase your ROI, and get more people to watch them.
What are the differences between closed and open captions?
There are two types of captions: open captions and closed captions. Open captions are burned into the video and are always visible. The user cannot turn them off. Closed captions are published as a sidecar file and can be turned on and off by the user, for example, by changing the settings on the TV remote.
Since July 1, 2002, people have been able to buy digital TVs with closed captioning, including high-definition TVs. Viewers can customize the caption display by selecting a font, text color, and background color.
Why would you consider Open captioning for your video content?
The use of open captions may be distracting to some viewers since they are not in control of turning it on and off. However, some media platforms, such as Twitter and Snapchat, do not support closed captioning. Facebook was not supporting closed captions until 2017 when it announced that closed captioning could now be added to videos. For these reasons, companies use open captioning to ensure that their users can always have access to their videos and understand the content regardless.
How and where to find open captioning services?
People often think that the technical equipment needed for captioning is the hardest part, while the skill level of the captioner is the easiest. It is crucial to know that this is not always the case.
Encoding captions into your video can be very challenging and time-consuming. It can take time to learn the "how-tos", as well as to implement the captions, and require expensive video software to do so. To begin with, we strongly recommend hiring an experienced caption service that encodes open captions for you. In addition to saving you time, this will improve your video caption quality. If you are interested in hiring professional captioning services, you can contact us here: Littext Captions
Closed Captions quality matters
Most video captions contain a direct transcription of the speaker's words. However, some videos provide additional information through descriptive captions that provide additional information. Descriptive captions usually refer to the background sounds, such as the device's clicking, the music's tone, etc.
The broadcast industry is the pioneer of using captions in multimedia and video content. It has demonstrated how accurate captions must be when combined with multimedia and video content. Although we should strive for 100% accuracy, the broadcast standard for captions is 98% accuracy. A transcriptionist typed captions during the 2020 Super Bowl broadcast, which were found to be 99.42% accurate. Most minor mistakes, such as typos and delays of more than seven seconds. Despite this, 1.77% of the errors were considered severe because the information given to the viewer was inaccurate.
According to Parton (2016), 525 errors were found in sixty-eight minutes of YouTube videos that were automatically captioned by YouTube's speech-to-text system, which averaged 7.7 per minute. Even though technology has improved since the study, there are still a lot of mistakes. The results of this study show that even though speech-to-text technology is getting better, it is still not good enough to rely on it alone for captioning videos for our audience.
Automatic Speech Recognition vs. Human captionist
Several industries, including the news media, prefer to use human-generated captions for their videos. ASR captions might work better for some businesses or industries, especially those with smaller budgets and less need for high quality. They are particularly suitable for jobs requiring fast turn-around and remarkable precision. Depending on whether you are captioning live streams, meetings, or recorded media, there will be different needs. Which method should you choose? This depends on your use case, industry, budget, turn-around time, and more. We will discuss more details in another post. But the main difference between captions made by people and those made by computers is their accuracy.
A human captioner is very proficient at understanding how people speak and accurately recording the words they hear. Littext's live captioning service, for example, has a 99.8% accuracy rate.
Even though many IT experts are working on automatic speech recognition (ASR) right now, computers still can't get the same level of accuracy as human captions. Most ASR-captioning services claim they can achieve 96% to 99% accuracy. It is imperative to pay attention to the definition of this accuracy and how long it takes to achieve this level of accuracy when selecting ASR captioning services.
Closed captioning standards to take note of
The placement mustn't interfere with existing visuals or graphics.
The captions must be aligned to the left.
There should be no more than two lines per caption.
Ensure that all captions are placed within the safe zone (or safe area).
When vital sound effects are used simultaneously as captioned dialogue, the captions that describe the sound effects should appear at the top of the screen.
Modifiers should not be separated from the words they modify.
Prepositional phrases should not be broken.
Names and titles should not be separated from their associated names.
A break should not follow a conjunction in the text.
Auxiliary verbs should not be separated from the words they modify.
A new sentence should not be written on the same line as the previous one.
There must be a font similar to Helvetica medium, easily readable, with uppercase and lowercase letters, descenders below the baseline, and a spacing technique that does not allow characters to overlap.
In most cases, it is preferable to use a translucent box.
Make sure that your spelling and capitalization are correct by using Merriam-Webster Online or other available spelling checkers.
The use of all capital letters should be avoided except when indicating a scream.
Spellings must be consistent throughout.
How to add closed captions to a video
Adding closed captions to videos differs significantly from video player to player since not all video players are the same. Many software programs make it easy to add captions to your video. The purpose of this post is to describe how to add captions using the Camtasia program. But there will be more information about other software, methods, and tricks for adding captions to videos in a post about this topic.
Adding closed captions in Camtasia video editing software
In Camtasia, captions can be added manually or automatically.
The manual process
Click "Audio Effects" and "Captions" in the Camtasia software sidebar or panel.
Next, click and hold the "Captions" option. This will automatically divide the video or audio into four-second segments. On each segment, add your text (transcript).
After that, click on each caption (four-second segments) that you wish to add to the video. The four-second segments can be adjusted.
A nice feature of the manual option is that, if you are not the fastest typer, you might want to follow what your speaker says, but it simply passes by too quickly. You can see the segment looping until you have finished typing by clicking the loop play button.
The second option, in which captions can be added inside Camtasia, is only available on the Windows platform.
Go to the sidebar of the Camtasia software, then click on "More" and "Captions".
This opens up a large window on the left where you can import your script or add captions.
Afterward, stretch it to the end of the timeline, and click on the text box.
Scripts can be pasted right into this window if you already have them.
If you want to modify the video's captions, click on "sync captions." By doing this, the video will play as you tell it which words are said in the video.
This is a very time-saving method if you have already written down your script.
There are many advantages to adding captions to your videos. In 2020, 244.4 million US residents watched digital videos. Also, it has been reported by Hubspot that 54% of consumers are interested in seeing videos from their favorite brands.
Video content is king in the modern world, so it's very important that it's easy to access. This means adding captions to improve the user experience for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Therefore, always remember to add captions to your videos; if you need a quality and affordable captioning service, you know where to Littext Captions .