Captioning and Subtitling Services

Posts tagged ‘close caption’

You’re Not Dreaming. It’s Quality Captioning.

by Kim von Keller, CompuScripts’ Caption Editor

Many people have not only favorite movies, but favorite movie scenes. If you’re a fan of science fiction, you remember the big reveal in “Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” when Darth Vader stuns Luke Skywalker — and the audience — by saying, “I am your father.” Maybe you enjoy a courtroom procedural. In that case, you likely recall the heated exchange in “A Few Good Men” in which Colonel Jessup yells at Lieutenant Kaffee, “You can’t handle the truth!” But if you’re a fan of the family sports film, you can repeat Described and Captioned Media Program Captions Iconverbatim the last lines from “Field of Dreams.”

In this story, Ray Kinsella is given the opportunity to meet a much younger version of his deceased father, John, from whom he was estranged in life. As the two men stand on a baseball diamond, John tells Ray that there is a heaven. “It’s the place dreams come true,” he says. As John turns to leave, Ray calls out to him. “Hey, Dad… you wanna have a catch?”

Thanks to closed captioning, the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities are able to view and understand televised movies like “Field of Dreams,” plus a full complement of series, news programming, and sporting events. But the quality of the viewing experience may depend on the quality of the captions. The National Association of the Deaf refers to the act of closed captioning as “Making sounds visible.”

In addressing the quality of closed captioning, the NAD states that captions are not limited to the display of the spoken word. Captions also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description. These captions should be displayed as close as possible to the “corresponding visual information.” In other words, captioned speech is placed onscreen near the speaker. Captioned sound effects are placed near the source of the sound. In addition, captions should be synchronized to the audio. (http://www.nad.org/issues/technology/captioning) The complete description of sound plus the accurate placement and timing of pop-on captions attempt to match the experience of the hearing viewer by enriching the experience of the deaf or hard of hearing viewer.

It is the continuing goal of CompuScripts Captioning to provide a complete viewing experience to those who rely on closed captioning. CompuScripts is proud to be endorsed by the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is administered by the NAD and funded by the U. S. Department of Education. Achieving DCMP “Approved Captioning Service Vendor” status is a prestigious honor in the captioning industry. Of those who participate in the rigorous evaluation process to acquire approved vendor status, only half actually earn the distinction

Now let’s imagine that moving final scene from “Field of Dreams,” this time with sound description. It is twilight, and birds twitter from an Iowa cornfield. Orchestral music plays softly in the background as the two men discuss heaven. Footfalls are heard as they walk upon the packed dirt of the baseline. John drops his catcher’s mask, and it slaps the chest protector that he’s left on the ground by home plate. As the conversation pauses, the music swells. Ray looks toward his home, and his daughter giggles loudly as she sits on a porch swing with her mother. John begins to walk away, but Ray calls to him, his voice breaking, “Hey, Dad… you wanna have a catch?” John and Ray toss the ball gingerly at first, and then the ball whacks the leather mitts. A heavy switch clicks as Ray’s wife turns on the outfield lights, and father and son continue their long-overdue game. Makes you cry just reading it.

To view a clip from “Field of Dreams” that does not include captions, click here.

CompuScripts Captioning has been providing NAD quality captions and sound effects since 1997.  We’d be honored to add quality captions and sound effects to your production’s media!

Do I Need to Closed Caption My Program?

Although much attention is being paid to new Federal Communications Commission regulations concerning the closed captioning of Internet video, it is also important to understand the legislation that first mandated the captioning of television video, the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The provisions of Section 713 of the Act are intended to “ensure that video programming is closed captioned and accessible to persons with hearing disabilities.” (FCC Report and Order, August 22, 1997)  That accessibility goal notwithstanding, the Commission did provide exemptions to the captioning requirement. 

Some exemptions are self-implementing, meaning that a programming provider does not need to seek Commission approval through petition.  Programming that is exempt from captioning requirements includes, but is not limited to, that which is in a language other than English or Spanish, that which consists mainly of non-vocal music, and that which is shown between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. local time.

There are also two exemptions based on the annual revenue of the programming provider.  FCC rules exempt all programming providers with annual gross revenues of less than $3 million per year from the captioning requirement. This is based on the conclusion that it would be economically burdensome for these providers to offer captioning. If their revenues exceed $3 million per year, programming providers are permitted to limit their spending on captioning to 2% of their annual gross revenues.

If the programming provider does not meet any of the standards of self-implementing exemption, the provider may petition the FCC on grounds that closed captioning is economically burdensome.  The factors that will be considered upon examination of the petition include the nature and cost of the closed captions for the programming, the impact on the operation of the provider or program owner, the financial resources of the provider or program owner, and the type of operations of the provider or program owner.

For a full list of television programming exemptions, please go to http://transition.fcc.gov/cib/dro/ccfactsh.html.

Look Who Stopped by NRB Booth 659

NRB Expo

Look Who Stopped By

CVAA of 2010

Captioning for Internet Videos

The Federal Communications Commission released final rules for implementation of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) on January 13, 2012.  These new rules require video programming owners to send required caption files for IP-delivered video programming to video programming distributors and providers along with program files and set January 13, 2012, as the date to which compliance deadlines are linked.

The FCC defines a video programming owner as “any person or entity that either (i) licenses the video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that makes the video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses Internet protocol; or (ii) acts as the video programming distributor or provider, and also possesses the right to license the video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that makes the video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses Internet protocol.”

In issuing final rules, the FCC set the schedule for compliance with the CVAA:

“All prerecorded programming that is not edited for Internet distribution and is subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date six months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register;”

“All live and near-live programming subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date 12 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register;”

“All prerecorded programming that is edited for Internet distribution and is subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date 18 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register.”

The FCC also defines the video programming distributor or provider.  For purposes of the CVAA, the VPD or VPP is considered to be “any person or entity that makes video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses IP.”  Of special interest to the VPD or VPP is the regulation regarding archival programming:

“Archival content must be captioned according to the following deadlines:  Beginning two years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, all programming that is subject to the new requirements and is already in the video program distributor’s library before it is shown on television with captions must be captioned within 45 days after it is shown on television with captions.  Beginning three years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 30 days after it is shown on television with captions.  Beginning four years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 15 days after it is shown on television with captions.”

Visit www.fcc.gov for more information.

Visit Us at NRB Expo

Don’t miss out on connecting with us at NRB February 19 through 21.  Debbie, Bruce and Angela will be in Nashville, TN, for the National Religious Broadcasters’ Annual Convention and Exposition, Booth 659.  We have been busy this past year upgrading our captioning facility to better serve the expanding needs of our clients in the offerings of SD and HD captions/subtitles for broadcasts, webcasts, and DVDs.  Hope to see you soon!

Hello, SCBA!

Bruce Balmer, VP and Operations, as well as Kim von Keller, Caption Editor, will be hosting CompuScripts Captioning’s booth this Thursday at the South Carolina Broadcasters Association’s Expo here in Columbia, SC, at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  They look forward to speaking with you and sharing the many upgrades we have made to our offerings to better serve you!