FCCDid you know that 1 out of every 10 Americans has some form of hearing loss? That’s quite a large number of people! With this in mind, it’s easy to see why closed captioning for television and web videos is a vital resource for so many. However, did you realize that the hearing impaired aren’t the only people who rely on closed captioning?

Just take a good look around the next time you’re in a bar, restaurant, airport, gym or any other place where it might be too loud to hear a TV. What do you notice on the screens around you? That’s right: closed captioning. It’s everywhere these days, and we all rely on it in one way or another. So who are the people responsible for these wonderful captions that you see running across your TV screen or your computer monitor?

As it stands right now, television stations and video programming distributors are solely responsible for FCC compliance when it comes to broadcast and web video closed captioning. However, last December 15th the FCC made an announcement: They said they’re considering expanding this responsibility of closed captioning compliance to video programming producers as well. The FCC believes that the creation and delivery of high quality captions is truly a coordinated effort between stations, distributors and producers.

So what does this mean for video programming producers, who now face an added responsibility on the job? Well, one result is that producers may have to register with the FCC. This way, any consumer complaints about captioning can be directed to their individual locations. It’s also been suggested that because video programming producers have the responsibility of ensuring that captions are included in programming, they should also be responsible for the new rules that were recently put in place about captioning quality.

Did someone say rules? You bet. Closed captioning has a whole set of rules that must be followed in order to be compliant with the FCC. Here’s a breakdown of the dos and don’ts when it comes to closed captioning quality:

  1. Captions must be as accurate as possible. Not only should words in the dialog be captioned, but music and other background noises must be accounted for as well.
  2. Captions must be displayed at speeds that can be easily read by viewers.
  3. Captions must be used from the very beginning of the program to the very end of the program.
  4. Important content on the screen cannot be blocked by captions. Captions cannot overlap each other and they can’t run off the edge of the screen.

Need help with FCC compliant closed captions?

We bet you never thought captioning was so complex! You don’t have to know the ins and outs, though. All you have to do is leave it to the experts. Here at Metro Audio & Video, you never have to worry about non-compliant captioning when it comes to your projects. We meet FCC compliancy every single time. Our captions are always accurate, synchronous, complete and properly placed. In fact, our realtime captioners are the most reputable in the industry, with a 99.9% accuracy rate and up to 250 words per minute. Want more information about our outstanding services? Contact us today!

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