The One Thing You Need to Guarantee Closed Captions Never Block Important Visuals
Updated: January 4, 2018
What’s not to like about closed captions?
One of the rare complaints about captions is that they might block text or other important visuals on screen.
While this is an occasional nuisance for live captions, this should never be the case for pre-recorded films or TV content.
As a video creator, you have the ability (and, in many cases, the obligation) to ensure your closed captions display correctly. FCC closed caption quality standards dictate that captions be positioned on the screen so as not to obscure text, characters’ faces, credits, sports scores, or other essential information. That means that for all American television shows, films, commercials, or clips, closed captions should never be in the way.
How do you make that happen?
Vertical Caption Placement
Closed captioning companies already use technology to do most of the work for you. Software analyzes the screen for text, and when text is detected in the area of the caption frame, it automatically moves that caption frame to the top of the screen. This is called ‘vertical caption placement;’ see image below for an example.
Automatic vertical caption placement works great for most video, but it has some limitations:
- If there is text on the top and bottom parts of the screen, it can’t decide which is more important.
- Automatic vertical caption placement does not detect faces or graphics in the caption frame.
- Caption placement technology is designed to err on the side of moving captions to the top, which results in fewer cases of bottom text obscurity. On rare occasions, the captions are moved to the top needlessly.
Manual Vertical Caption Placement
If you want to make 100% sure that your captions don’t block important visual elements, you can now order manual vertical caption placement. With this service, a skilled editor personally checks the placement of each caption file on screen. They can make judgement calls about the relative importance if the caption were to partially obstruct something in either the top or the bottom of the screen.
For pricing information about manual vertical caption placement, access our pricing page.
Introducing the Expiring Editing Link!
We are so excited to announce the Expiring Editing Link! Now you can give non-3Play users access to specific files, without having to give them your 3Play username and password. What is the Expiring Editing Link? The Expiring Editing Link (EEL) is…
Adding Videos with Captions and Transcripts to LMS Platforms
Accessibility Tools in LMS Learning management systems (LMS) usually don’t allow users to publish videos with captions, interactive transcripts, or audio description. This poses a challenge, especially in higher education and eLearning, as these features make content accessible and have many benefits…
[PRODUCT UPDATE] Audio Description Version Two Is Here!
It’s been several months since we first released audio description, and we have some exciting updates! We’ve released an extended audio description option and 3Play’s Recommendation feature. In addition, we’ve made updates to the editing interface, our audio description plugin, and API…