Captioning and Subtitling Services

Quality Pop-On Captions

On February 20, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission set new rules addressing the quality of closed captions on broadcast television. These rules cite standards of accuracy, synchronicity, and placement, and they aim to ensure that the experience of deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers is in approximation with that of hearing viewers. So today, CompuScripts Captioning would like to introduce you to postproduction pop-on captioning, the choice that offers your viewers the highest-quality closed captions available.Described and Captioned Media Program Captions Icon

What sets apart postproduction pop-on captioning from quick-turnaround roll-up or realtime captioning is the amount of time that is spent on your video. For postproduction pop-on captioning, your video will be viewed by a CompuScripts captioner multiple times for transcription, captioning and editing, and quality control. During this process, postproduction pop-on captions are labeled with speaker identification and may be placed at any position onscreen so that your viewer always understands who’s speaking. Postproduction pop-on captions are time-coded with speaker synchronization to within 15 frames. And if you choose the U.S. Department of Education standards, the captions are further edited, according to the targeted viewers’ age range and the nature of the content, to accommodate retention and comprehension of the information being relayed in the video in compliance with the Described and Captioned Media Program.

Is your production heavy with specific vocabulary or terms of art? When choosing postproduction pop-on captions, we have the time to make sure that if a speaker references “the Cote d’Ivoire Baule blolo bla,” the phrase is properly spelled. While researching content, we’ve chatted with everyone from a renowned linguist in Australia to a famous country musician in Tennessee!

Speaking of music, if your video features instrumental songs, postproduction pop-on captions note the titles. If the song features vocals, postproduction pop-on captions display the lyrics. Postproduction pop-on captions also allow for important sound descriptions: Artillery “booms.” Schoolchildren “giggle.” Everyone knows that birds sing, but if a red-billed streamertail is calling onscreen, the postproduction pop-on caption will read, ting-ting-ting, tee-tee-tee.

Video programmers should know that no matter what captioning style they choose, CompuScripts Captioning will deliver a quality product. But for the best captioning available, contact us to learn more about postproduction pop-on captions.

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CompuScripts Captioning, an approved captioning service vendor of the Described and Captioned Media Program, would like to update our captioning clients on this year’s FCC compliance deadlines as stipulated in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. As a reminder, The CVAA addresses the closed captioning of Internet video programming.

These FCC compliance deadlines, which were first implemented in 2012, require that full-length Internet video programming feature closed captions if the program first appeared on television with captions. Movies and consumer-produced videos shown on the Internet are not required to feature captions unless they were first shown on television with captions.

Mar 2014 Deadline

Mar 2014 Deadline

As of September 30, 2013, the following categories of Internet video programming must feature closed captions: pre-recorded video that has not been edited for the Internet; pre-recorded video that has been edited for the Internet; and live or near-live video. The new FCC compliance deadlines address archival Internet video programming, mandating that within 45 days after the date it is shown on TV with captions, on or after March 30, 2014, and before March 30, 2015, video programming that a distributor already shows on the Internet must feature closed captions. In 2015, distributors will have 30 days in which to caption their Internet video programming. In 2016, distributors will have only 15 days in which to caption their Internet video programming.

Since 1999, CompuScripts Captioning has been offering closed captioning and subtitling services for broadcast, webcast, and DVD media. Our services are customized for your particular workflow and deliverables, as well as your budget. For assistance on how your Internet video programming might meet FCC compliance deadlines, or to request a quote, contact us at ddusseljee@compuscripts.com. You may also contact our Caption Coordinator, Stacey Wilson, at swilson@compuscripts.com or 1.888.849.9698

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Internet Captions

After CNN’s motion failed in 2012 to dismiss GLAAD claims under California’s anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute, CNN appealed to the Ninth Circuit.  The three federal judges who made up the panel stated, “Numerous recent cases have discussed the DPA’s applicability to virtual spaces like websites, but there is no conclusive California authority on point.”

So now the question is, Will the California Supreme Court weigh in on the GLAAD versus CNN appeal? 

The Internet is a dynamic place where the playing field can be leveled for those seeking and sharing information about any given topic.  It seems only reasonable folks with disabilities are attempting to gain full access to the ever-changing landscape of possibilities we call “the web.”

For a more complete story, be sure to check out this article.

In our June 2013 blog, we discussed the use of CART, or Communication Access Realtime Translation, by Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing students in college classrooms.  This month, we look at a group of students whose need for CART services might not be immediately apparent:  those with cochlear implants.

Many people incorrectly believe that once a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing student is fitted with a cochlear implant, hearing is restored, and the need for classroom accommodations disappears.  This belief may be due to a misunderstanding of the difference between hearing aids and cochlear implants.  Hearing aids, which attach to the outer ear, amplify sounds.  Cochlear implants, which are surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear, bypass damaged parts of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders explains how a cochlear implant works:

  1. A microphone picks up sound from the environment.
  2. A speech processor arranges sounds gathered from the microphone.
  3. A transmitter and a receiver/stimulator convert signals from the speech processor into electric impulses.
  4. An electrode relays these electric impulses to the auditory nerve.
Communication

Communication

From there, the impulses travel to the brain, which recognizes them as sound.  This new hearing, however, is different from biologic hearing and takes time to learn.  As the regulatory agency of medical products and procedures, the Food and Drug Administration reminds educators that students need time to adjust to their cochlear implants, and they do so at different rates.  On its website, the FDA states, “During the accommodation period, students need language input from all the sources they used before their implants.”  These may include sign language interpreters, note-takers, or speech-to-text services such as CART.

It is not necessary for the CART provider to be in the classroom with the student.  In this scenario, the classroom instructor wears a wireless microphone during the lecture, and the student’s laptop is connected to the microphone base station.  The student and the CART provider connect via SKYPE, and the highly skilled provider uses a stenomachine as well as special software to convert the instructor’s speech to text. This text is then streamed to an Internet browser-based application, giving the student instant access to the lecture content on his or her laptop.

And students are not the only users of cochlear implants who may benefit from CART services.  CART is frequently used in business meetings, religious services, and medical evaluations by people using cochlear implants.

If you are a student who uses a cochlear implant and are interested in CART accommodation in the classroom, have your college’s disability services office contact CompuScripts Captioning.  If you are a representative of a college disabilities services office and are in need of a CART provider for a student using a cochlear implant, contact CompuScripts Captioning’s president, Deborah Dusseljee, at ddusseljee@compuscripts.com, or call 1.888.849.9698.

Tackling Stadium Captions

2014 can’t come soon enough for college football fans in South Carolina.  USC will face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on January 1, and Clemson takes on Ohio State at the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3.  For the fan lucky enough to attend, certain elements of Game Day are requirements:
1. Body paint in team colors
2. Uncle (his name here)’s famous chicken wings
3. Photos with Cocky or the Tiger (or a Badger or Buckeye, if you must)

Example of Stadium Captions on a Ribbon Board

Example of Stadium Captions on a Ribbon Board

These are aspects of the stadium experience that are available to everyone.  Now, thanks to sports stadium and arena captioning, things like public address announcements or half-time ceremonies may also be enjoyed by the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community at sporting events across the country.

From the University of Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium to the Washington Redskins’ FedExField, more and more sports stadiums and arenas are offering captions to their fans.  In 2012, the University of South Carolina began captioning Gamecock football at Williams-Brice Stadium.  A ribbon board below the “Beast Board” positioned on the right-hand side displays captions of the pregame show, the halftime show, announcers’ play-by-play, sponsors’ ads, and officials’ calls.  CompuScripts Captioning is proud to be the captioning service provider for the Gamecocks.

“I am so excited about this addition to our football stadium,” said Dr. Karen Pettus, director of the office of student disability services at the University of South Carolina, in “Gamecocks Online.”  “The addition of the closed caption ribbon board will ensure that everyone who attends a home football game has the full South Carolina game day experience.  It is a pleasure to work with an athletics department that values the diversity of our university community.”

Sports stadiums and arenas that do not offer caption services are finding themselves under increased pressure to do so by advocacy groups such as the National Association of the Deaf.  In September, NAD lawyers filed suit against the University of Maryland and several of its officials, citing “…a failure to provide captioning of announcements and commentary made over the public address systems during athletic events at Byrd Stadium and the Comcast Center.”  The suit was filed on behalf of two Deaf fans who regularly attend University of Maryland sporting events.  In 2010, pressure from the NAD was instrumental in Ohio State University’s agreement to provide captioning at its football and basketball games.

CompuScripts Captioning is experienced in providing the most accurate sports stadium and arena captioning and text-streaming services.  If you are a representative of a sports stadium or arena and would like more information about our sports captioning services, please contact Deborah Dusseljee at 1.888.849.9698 or ddusseljee@compuscripts.com

Media Format(s)

Media Format(s)

CompuScripts Captioning believes in offering clients the quickest turnaround for every budget.  Before we can give you an accurate quote, we’d like you to do some homework.  Having the following information at hand will allow us to start your captioning project right away!

 

What to Know When Requesting a Quote for Your Postproduction Broadcast Project

  1. In what format do you need your captioned master video?  This is best answered by the broadcast station airing your program.  Does the broadcaster want a videotape or digital format?  (Most broadcasters have made the transitioned to digital formats.)  If a digital format is expected for delivery, what are the specifications?  These are highly nuanced.  Your station may want high definition or standard definition video.  They will require a specific finished file wrapper and particular audio and video codecs. If your sales contact at the station cannot answer these questions, ask to speak to the station engineer.  This information is essential in building a quote that will accurately reflect the ultimate invoice for your captioned project.
  2. What are you giving CompuScripts to work with?  First, it is important that the audio of your master video meets FCC requirements.  Second, your master video has to be ready to be ingested into the station’s broadcast server complete and finished, except for the captions, when we receive it.  If it is not, we must know the specifications of your station’s broadcast server in order to create a new master.  Again, speak with your station’s engineer, as stations may use different broadcast servers for different types of programming.  Delivering your program to us in a format that meets the station’s specifications will get you the quickest turnaround and save you money by eliminating the need to reformat your video.
    Fast, Cheap, Good - Pick Two

    Fast, Cheap, Good – Pick Two

  3. When does the station need delivery of your production?  This is not the same as your program’s air date.  Stations may need your program a week or more in advance, especially if they require a digital format.  For the quickest turnaround and the most budget-friendly quote, plan to deliver your program to us with sufficient time to meet your station’s deadline.
  4. Know your captioning options. Before contacting us for a quote, view our services menu at ccaptioning.com.  CompuScripts offers postproduction, broadcast realtime, and Internet captions, and there are options within each category for every budget.  CompuScripts will help you choose the right option for your intended audience and get you the quickest turnaround possible.

Having this information at hand when you call will allow us to build an accurate quote that suits your quality expectations and budget requirements.

Classroom ChalkboardAh, June.  High school exams are finished.  Graduation has been celebrated.  There’s nothing left for the college-bound student to do but choose a roommate and learn the school fight song.

Unless we’re talking about a deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH) student.

Then, there are meetings with disability services offices.  Accommodations to classroom lectures must be arranged before the start of the new semester.  In the past, the only options would have been the employment of a sign language interpreter or a note taker.  Thankfully, advances in technology have given the deaf or HOH student another option:  Communications Access Realtime Translation, or CART.

CART is best thought of as realtime captioning outside the broadcast realm.  It is often utilized in business meetings, conferences, religious services, or medical evaluations in which an HOH participant is present.  It also allows a student who is hearing challenged to immediately access a spoken classroom presentation.

While the CART provider may be in the classroom with the student, it is now possible for the provider to work from a remote location.  In this arrangement, the classroom instructor wears a wireless microphone during the lecture, and the student’s laptop is connected to the microphone base station.  The student and the CART provider connect via SKYPE, and the provider uses a stenomachine as well as special software to convert the instructor’s speech to text.  This text is then streamed to an Internet browser-based application, giving the student almost instant access to the lecture content.

If you are a deaf or hard-of-hearing student who is interested in CART accommodation in the classroom, have your college’s disability services office contact CompuScripts Captioning.  If you are a representative of a college disabilities services office and are in need of a CART provider, contact CompuScripts Captioning’s president, Deborah Dusseljee, at ddusselljee@compuscripts.com, or call 1.888.849.9698.