Different types of closed captioning

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Different types of closed captioning

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Closed captioning, otherwise abbreviated (CC), is a process of displaying the audio part of a video on a screen as text. It also provides links to news and entertainment individuals for people who have hearing problems.

The term closed in closed captioning means that the captions are not there unless the user activates them. The other difference between other types of captioning and closed captions is that closed captions include background noises and sound changes to accommodate people with hearing disabilities.

Other types of captioning

Live captioning

Live captioning is used for live coverage that is aired on television as it happens. They are also used for corporate and educational event screening. Live captions are created as the screening goes on.

For live captions to succeed, trained captioners listen to the live audio and repeat what they hear in detail which is then converted to screen text.

Open caption

Open captions are permanent on video, and there's no option to remove them. They are mainly used for public events, YouTube videos, and foreign dialect films.


Subtitles are mainly used by users who do not understand the language used in the audio. They only include words but emit the background sounds and other sounds that may be essential.  This usually is not helpful to people with hearing impairment.

Types of closed caption file types

Below are some standard files used to create closed captions for videos.

Distribution format exchange profile.

It's, otherwise abbreviated as (DFXP) or also called timed text, is an XML markup language designed for marking up timed texts. Video players mostly use it. This video players support closed captions

Synchronized multimedia integration language.

SMIL is also a WC quality and an XML additional language made to allow the excellent presentation of many media tools such as video, text, audio, and images.

Various closed captioning companies support SMIL to deliver quality closed captions.

Synchronized accessible media's interchange

SAMI files include captions, unlike SMIL, which references captions that are usually stored in another file.

SAMI is supported by a Media player whereby to play closed captions, the video and caption files should both go through the media player.

SubViewer and SubRip

Also abbreviated as (.sub) and (.srt). The difference between the two types is that they are of different content formats. On the other hand, both are supported by the same closed captioning companies.

Closed captioning methods

Closed captions are highly preferred over other types of captioning because of their quality. Even the slightest mistakes when captioning can reduce the eligibility of the caption.

Skilled transcribers

Skilled transcribers are the most sort after and accurate out of all available captioning methods.

Sometimes the voice used has heavy accents that may be hard to translate, but these professionals can interpret up to ninety-nine percent of the audio.

However, human transcription takes longer than using other transcription tools. But in the long run, it's worth it because errors are minimal.

Audio recognition

Due to technological advancements, people nowadays send and read text messages using audio recognition on their phones. The only limitation is that there's no perfect algorithm to understand all accents and dialects.

Errors with speech recognition range from five percent depending on various variables. The computer only uses the words provided by the programmed dictionary. If words outside the dictionary are used, the computer uses the term close to the voice.

The only advantage of using speech recognition software is that, over time, the electronic device gets to learn new words by learning over time. It's therefore hard to accurately use the software when it is unique, but after use, it keeps getting better and adapting to different dialects and accents.

Determining caption quality

There are several elements that qualify a caption as a quality one

  1. the text should be readable
  2.  The Content should not be obstructive to the video
  3. text should also consist of speaker labels and the background noises, if any.
  4. Must be at least ninety-nine percent accurate
  5. Have the best quality in the market


As explained in the text above, closed captioning is better than other forms of captioning that may not accommodate people with hearing impairment. They are also better in terms of accuracy and quality therefore helping a CEO stay organized in managing their daily activities in the business.

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies.