What is Open Captioning?

Closed captions means that the captions are on a separate track that can be turned on or off, usually by pressing the “CC” button on the video player. With open captions, the captions are burned into the video, so that they are always showing.

What are open captions vs. closed captions?

Since open captions are part of the video itself, they provide the advantage of being supported by all video players and devices. Open captions eliminate rendering inconsistencies across different video players and allow publishers to control the exact size and style of the captions. Another advantage is that open captions make it easier to create DVDs and other physical media. Open captioned video files can be imported into any NLE or DVD authoring software. View the caption encoding demo.

Screenshot of menu when ordering caption encoding. Under Select Your Device the user has selected Source w/Open Captions, Open Captions as m4v, Standout Open Captions and Bottom Bar Open Captions.

How Does It Work?

You begin by uploading your video file for captioning and transcription processing. If you already have a transcript, you can use the automated transcript alignment service. Once your file has been captioned, you can order the open captioning service. Upon completion you will receive an email notification and be able to download a M4V video. Captions will be displayed as pop-on and placed center bottom-third. The video will work with any player or device that supports M4V videos. In addition to the open captioned video, you will have unlimited access to all the other caption formats that we produce, including the ability to encode closed captions or create an interactive transcript.

Input / Output Formats

The source video that you upload can be in almost any web format that doesn’t use a proprietary codec. The video encoding should be H.264 and audio encoding should be AAC. The open captions will be added to the source video and put in a M4V container.


The open captioning processing time depends on duration and other factors. Most requests are completed within 8 hours.


Open captioning incurs a fee for each video produced. The fee is in addition to the captioning/transcription fees. See the complete pricing details.

Boy running with his hands up

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