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What Is Closed Captioning?
by: Dakota Caudilla

Closed captioning is sometimes called, for short, ‘CC’. Closed captioning is a type of method that embeds written text into videos to help those who are deaf or hard of hearing to enjoy a movie or video. Closed captioning is also widely used to help those who are first learning how to read in a language. Together with the audio/video they are watching, they are also learning how to read from the closed captioning they can see on the screen. This method has been proven to be a very effective way in teaching a language.

Sometimes, closed captioning is not verbatim, meaning word for word. The wordings for closed captioning may not be precise but the meaning is always the same. Some people don’t know how to make the difference between ‘subtitles’ and ‘closed captioning’. Subtitles are different because the text will merely tell you what is being said on the video/audio part. They won’t tell you who said it and what other things (auditory) are going on. Closed captioning will not only tell you what is being said on the screen, but it will also tell you who said it and what other sounds can be heard before and after that.

Example;

Subtitles : What are you doing here? I thought you’d gone to the movies?

Closed captioning: Sarah: (gasp) What are you doing here? (door slams in the background). I thought you’d gone to the movies?

Since closed captioning is beneficial to the less fortunate members of society, the Government (particularly the Department of Education) grants loans to those who interesting in closed captioning their videos, presentations and other audio/video materials. In fact, the Government encourages closed captioning to the extent that in 1998, it became a law that all television programs in the United States should be closed captioned. Close captioning all movies and shows on television will benefit a large part of the American society; this is the view of the US government.

There are, generally speaking, three different methods of displaying closed captioning on TV. The roll up closed captioning version will display one line at a time and when there’s no more space, the entire batch of text moves up, removing the first line and replacing the new line at the bottom. The pop-up close captioning display style is when the entire line of words comes up at the same time. When there’s new text to be displayed, the previous text is completely erased. The paint-on closed captioning style is a way of displaying text one word at a time, anywhere on the screen. There’s no need to erase or roll-up the line of words to make way for the next line.

About The Author

Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of http://www.captioning-and-more.com on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

This article was posted on November 03, 2005

 



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