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IRS Captioning Case Study

How does the IRS use online video?

The IRS has a training branch that maintains a streaming media page where self-serve training videos and archives of previously recorded training programs are housed as streaming media files. The site is SharePoint-based.

What is the motivation for video captioning and transcription?

Closed captioning and transcription of recorded training programs is required in order to meet Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Transcripts are also helpful for students reviewing lecture content.

What is the process and workflow for captioning?

  1. Videos are separated into 15-minute segments for streaming purposes. The segmenting of files serves as chaptering of the content.
  2. The videos are then uploaded to 3Play Media for processing over a secure HTTPS connection.
  3. Once processing is complete, both the captions and transcript files are downloaded securely over SFTP.
  4. The captions are uploaded onto a SharePoint site and the shortcut for each captions file is added to the HTML code using Notepad.
  5. The video is uploaded onto the Streaming Media SharePoint page devoted to archived training. Closed captions are available for viewers to toggle on and off at will.

Why did the IRS select 3Play Media?

The IRS needed a simple, reliable, and secure way to submit and download video files for captioning. They needed a reasonably fast turnaround time and a high quality conversion with few errors or distortions. 3Play Media met all of these requirements and submitted the winning bid during a competitive bidding process.


The IRS has been able to implement a cost-effective, streamlined workflow to comply with Section 508 accessibility requirements. Users have communicated that the closed captions and transcripts have met their needs very satisfactorily. Even students without disabilities appreciate the video transcripts as a tool to review lecture content.

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel selected the right partner in 3Play Media. They’ve exceeded our expectations in terms of the quality of our captioned and transcribed files, turnaround time, ease of account management and customer service.

Eric Granum
Internal Revenue Service
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