FAQ

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Post Production FAQ

In post-production captioning, also known as offline captioning, captions are added to pre-produced programs.
Using the low resolution and final version of your video file (and script, if available), we transcribe the audio and break the resulting text into individual captions. We also add timing reference points to each caption so it appears on the screen at the correct time. For the final step, we perform a thorough quality check of the content.
For television, broadcast captions can be viewed when a television’s closed-caption decoder, usually located in the TV’s menu, is turned on.
For captioning web videos for Flash, Vimeo, Facebook, Windows Media, Quicktime, Real Player, or YouTube™, you can upload the caption files we provide to the web-based media player and then –depending on the player — you can toggle the captions on and off.

To get started, use our online quote page to tell us about your project. We’ll contact you with a link to our secure file share platform where you can upload your video — and we’ll start captioning right away. We’ll email you the web video-ready caption file, which you can add to your video.

Open captions are captions that are burned into the video, meaning they are always present and cannot be turned on or off. This is also known as “hardcoding.” Closed captions are just the opposite. They are embedded onto the video file and can be turned on or off using your television or media player menu.

This depends on the length of your production. Commercial spots, with advanced notice, can be turned around as quickly as 30 minutes. For longer programs, 3-5 business days is the average. However, we are familiar with production schedules and know that there may be times when you need a quicker turnaround than this. Call us as soon as possible and we’ll find a solution for you.

First you send us a copy of your video file with burned-in timecodes, if possible. Our professional captioners will transcribe and time any dialogue, narration, and sound effects according to national captioning standards. We will then thoroughly review the captioned program for readability and quality assurance before we produce the electronic caption file. Our team will email the caption file back to you. For more information about your specific needs, contact us through our Request a Quote page or call us at our toll free 800 number.  

Pop-up captions are captions that appear on the screen in 1-2 lines at a time as small blocks of text. This style is only used in post-production because it requires precise time coding, syncing, and placement on the screen. Pop-up captions do not block important on-screen text or visuals. Click here to see a demo of pop-up captions.

Roll-up captions are captions in which individual lines appear on the screen and roll up to make way for the next lines. Like pop-up, roll-up captions do not cover important on-screen text or visuals. This style is most common with live captioning because the lines appear on the screen as the captioner is transcribing the audio content in real-time. Click here to see a demo of roll-up captions.

Visit our Request a Quote page to tell us about your post-production project and we’ll get right on it!

We will simply need a low-resolution video reference file that we can use for transcription and timing purposes. We can accept the video reference file in any digital format – MOV, WMV, AVI, MP4, etc. If we are producing a hardcoded video for you, we will need your highest quality video master.

We can provide subtitles and translations in a variety of languages, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, and the list goes on. The subtitling process is similar to captioning in that we first transcribe and time the English video. Then we export the timed document as a subtitle template, which we send over to our translators. They then translate the text and produce the completed template. We then import that into our software so that the foreign language subtitles are already timed and ready to go.

Yes! LNS can caption your Flash, Vimeo, Windows Media, Quicktime, Real Player, or YouTube™ web videos so you can reach a wider audience. Visit our Web Video page to learn more about how we can help you! If you have additional questions about web video captioning, contact us through our Request a Quote page or call 800.366.6201.

If you have a source video that you need to distribute in a variety of formats – for training DVDs, websites, handheld devices, etc. – hardcoded (embedded) subtitles might be the best solution for you. We encode the subtitles directly onto your source video so that the subtitles are a permanent part of the video data. Hardcoded subtitles can never be turned off, but this style of encoding also eliminates the worry that subtitles won’t display correctly during a presentation or across multiple media players.

Live Captioning FAQ

Whether captions are provided over a television signal, into a live streaming web event, on a video screen at a sporting event, or on a computer next to a person who needs the captions, captioning provides access for participants who have a hearing disability to events, conventions, broadcast TV, conferences classes, public hearings, presentations and meetings. We can send our captions just about anywhere you need them.

 

The station needs to have a closed caption encoder that can receive the captions over the internet or a POTS phone line. Most newer encoders can receive captions either way. Our clients find significantly fewer connection issues when we send our captions over an IP address. Digital phone lines compress data, which can cause captions to be unreadable or the phone lines to drop the connection. If you must use a phone line to receive our captions, we will need a POTS line to send them. There are several caption encoders available that receive captions over an IP address, such as the Evertz 9084 and the EEG iCap.

We also need to receive high-quality audio for the program. The audio can be sent over a regular phone line or VoIP phone line, so long as the quality is very good. Depending on your system, you may need an audio coupler to allow audio from the broadcast to be sent via telephone line.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) Captioning is the instant translation of the spoken word into text via live captioning. CART captioning is captioning required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as opposed to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 requires all electronic communications generated by the U.S. government or government-funded programs to be accessible to all people with disabilities. CART captioning provides the accommodation for people with hearing disabilities.

We need five easy pieces of information in order to caption for a client:

  • Date and time of the event – this one is obvious
  • Method of displaying the captions – on TV, in a stadium, on a video projector, etc.
  • Billing information – we need to pay the bills
  • Prep information — anything you can give us ahead of time so we can spell names and acronyms correctly, and provide you with the best captions possible. Rough drafts of speeches and power point files are always welcome. We know people will go off text and say what they want to say.
  • The best captioner available assigned to the job. This one’s on us. We’ll make it happen.

For more information about your specific needs, contact us through our Request a Quote page or call us at our toll free 800 number.

Although there are no mandatory certifications for captioners, the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification is the gold standard in the live captioning field. This certification is offered by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). The certification includes a written knowledge test, attendance at a 1.5-day long workshop about captioning, and a skills exam. The skills exam consists of five minutes of literary dictation at 180 words per minute, and a 96% accuracy level is required to pass the exam. The test candidate writes the five minutes of content in real time and immediately closes the file and submits it for grading with no edits being made.

Due to the varied nature of live captioning services – which include anything from professional sports events to small business webinars—it is difficult to accurately assess the cost without specific details of your project. Visit our Request a Quote page to tell us about your event and to receive a price quote.

Visit our Request a Quote page to tell us about your live captioning project and see how we can help!

Yes! LNS can caption meetings and public events or classroom presentations either in-person or via webstream or internet phone line. Visit our Live Captioning and LNS Webstream pages for more information!

Yes! LNS can provide our LNS Webstream platform for you or we can connect to your own, including Adobe Connect Pro, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Granicus, and many more. Check out our Webinar page for more information and see how we can help you! We can also provide a web-based video file at the conclusion of the webinar. We support many file formats, including .XML, .SCC, .SRT and many more.

If you are looking for a career in this amazing field, visit DiscoverSteno.org to explore, consider, and learn more. Research NCRA-approved programs at NCRA.org/schools. In educational programs, court reporting and captioning students perfect skills such as fast and accurate stenography, how to use the required equipment, vocabulary, spelling and grammar rules, etc. Though many certifications are not required, it is beneficial to have certain credentials such as the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC). Visit our Credentials page to learn more about these tests and visit the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) career website to find a school or program near you.

Transcription FAQ

We offer two types of transcription: basic and time-coded. Our basic transcription is manually transcribed and includes speaker identifications. Our time-coded transcription is manually transcribed and includes speaker identifications as well as time-code stamps every 30 seconds.

Yes! We can use any templates you provide or format your transcripts to your liking.

We typically return transcripts in .DOCX format. However, if you need another format (.PDF, .TXT, etc.) we can easily deliver whatever file format you need for your project.

Consumer & Advocacy FAQ

PEOPLE WITH HEARING DISABILITIES

Did you know that approximately 36 million American adults report some amount of hearing disability, and 2 to 3 of every 1,000 American children are born deaf or hard of hearing?

Without captions, 17 percent of American adults and millions of children do not have the same accessibility to information as the rest of the population. Captioning translates the spoken word into text, allowing people with hearing loss to enjoy social media videos, television programs, entertainment DVDs, sporting events, and everything in-between.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act provide mandates for closed captioning requirements on various forms of visual media. 

Check out the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments website to learn more about how you can expand accessibility to your audience.

Additional information can be found at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

For more information on how you can help to make sure your favorite TV show or event is accessible to everyone, please contact one of these advocacy groups:

  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
  • Hearing Loss Association of America
  • Hearing Loss Association of Oregon (formerly SHHHOR)
  • Hearing Loss Law & Washington State Communications Access Project

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE learners

Approximately 10% of American pre-K through 12th grade students are English Language Learners (ELL). Did you know that ELL students are the fastest growing American population?

Captioned videos help significantly improve grammar, vocabulary, listening skills, word recognition, and reading comprehension of people who are learning English. Captions have quickly become an integral part of ELL classrooms. These benefits are helping to serve the growing community of English language learners.

  • Kindler, A.L., “Survey of the States’ Limited English Proficient Students and Available Educational Programs and Services, 2000-2001 Summary Report,” National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs, 2002.
  • United States Department of Education. (2006) Secretary Spellings Announces Partnership with States to Improve Accountability for Limited English Proficient Students.
  • Ellsworth, T. (1992), October. Integrating subtitled video into your teaching, “English Teaching Forum.”
  • Garza, T. (1991). Evaluating the use of captioned video materials in advanced foreign language learning. “Foreign Language Annals, 24(3), “ 239-58.
  • Rees, T. (1993). “Closed captions in the classroom.” Unpublished manuscript. Northampton, MA: International Language Institute of Massachusetts.

 

LITERACY IMPROVEMENT

Did you know that approximately 44 million American adults need significant improvement with their literacy skills and that one in five public schoolchildren has trouble reading?

Scientific studies consistently conclude that closed captioning helps to improve literacy skills of those learning to read. Viewers with below-average reading comprehension and schoolchildren who are learning to read have shown increases in word-recognition abilities after exposure to captioned videos in classrooms.

  • National Adult Literacy Survey (1992) NCED, U.S. Department of Education, www.ncld.org
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), http://nces.ed.gov. Rogner, B.M. (1987). Adult Literacy: Captioned Videotapes and Word Recognition. The Union Institute, The Graduate School. Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept 1992).
  • Rogner, B.M. (1987). Adult Literacy: Captioned Videotapes and Word Recognition. The Union Institute, The Graduate School. Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept 1992). Adler, R., (1985). Using Closed-Captioned Television in the Classroom. New Directions in Reading, Research & Practice, Yearbook of the State of Maryland International Reading Association 11-18.

 

Our live captioners access scripts to confirm correct proper name spelling and prepare in advance for broadcasts. We know our accuracy rate exceeds 98.5% because we check. Our Quality Control Process is in the hands of a retired English teacher. Our captioners submit all of the caption files from broadcasts and a random sample of their work is graded on spelling, punctuation, homophone choice, mistranslation, coherence, spacing, and any other factor which affects the readability and accuracy of the captions.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Different captioning requirements apply to new and pre-rule programming. Certain exemptions from the captioning requirements apply to both of these categories of programming.

New Programming: As of January 1, 2006, all new English language programming, defined as analog programming first published or exhibited on or after January 1, 1998, and digital programming first aired on or after July 1, 2002, must be captioned, with some exceptions.

Pre-rule Programming: Analog programming first shown before January 1, 1998, and digital programming first shown before July 1, 2002, are called “Pre-Rule Programming.” Pre-Rule Programming that is not exempt from the closed captioning rules must be captioned as follows: 

January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011: 30 percent of programming per channel per quarter.

January 1, 2008, and thereafter: 75 percent of programming per channel per quarter.

(Courtesy FCC website)

For more information visit the FCC’s website, or call the FCC toll-free at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), TTY 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322).

Americans Disabilities Act (ADA)

Visit the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments website to learn more about how you can expand accessibility to your audience.

“SEC. 711. CLOSED-CAPTIONING OF PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

As directed by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules requiring the closed captioning of most television programming. Any television public service announcement that is produced or funded in whole or in part by any agency or instrumentality of federal government shall include closed captioning of the verbal content of such announcement. A television broadcast station licensee–

(1) shall not be required to supply closed captioning for any such announcement that fails to include it; and

(2) shall not be liable for broadcasting any such announcement without transmitting a closed caption unless the licensee intentionally fails to transmit the closed caption that was included with the announcement.”

Section 508

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act with Section 508, requiring federal agencies to give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. The law applies to all federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology.

In accordance with Section 508, all training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency’s mission, that contain speech or other audio information necessary for the comprehension of the content, require open or closed captions and audio description.

(courtesy Section508.gov)

With live captioning, a certified captioner creates captions in real-time for live events and live videos. Whether present at the event in person or connected to the event via webstream or internet phone line, the captioner captions the audio portion of the event or video. The captions can be displayed on a public screen, a smart phone, a personal computer, or other web-accessible device. Live captioning events can include city council meetings, live sports events, webinars, and more.

Also known as offline captioning, post production captioning is used for programs that have already been created in a media format, such asYouTube videos, television series, commercials, DVDs, online videos, and feature length movies. It is the most accurate type of captioning available, reflecting production aesthetics and delivering the maximum level of precision. The captioner receives the video, transcribes the audio portion, and encodes the captions into the video with time codes, ensuring that the audio and text are accurately synced.

Captioning is the process of transcribing the audio portion of a recorded event, televised broadcast, pre-recorded program, web video, DVD, webinar, or other production and displaying the captions on a visual display system. In post-production captioning, a captioner transcribes and encodes captions into the video product after it has been completely produced.

The purpose of captioning is to extend accessibility of a live event or post production program to the people with a hearing disability as well as assist viewers new to learning the English language, viewers looking to improve their literacy skills, and viewers who simply have a hard time hearing the audio portion of the production.

Since 1993, built-in caption decoders are required in television sets with 13-inch or larger screens. There is most likely a button on your remote that can easily turn on the closed captions.

If captions have been uploaded to a video posted online, they will typically be accessible from the setting options at the bottom right of the player screen.

For Vimeo, there is a “CC” icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. If you click on this a menu bar of language options will appear. Click on your preferred language, and then captions or subtitles will begin to stream.

For YouTube, if you click on the wheel “Settings” icon at the bottom right hand of the screen, a menu bar will appear. Click on the “Subtitles/CC” option, and then choose your preferred language.

Captions can be inaccurate for a number of reasons, but oftentimes if they look entirely garbled or if large amounts of text are missing, there is a problem with the transmission system from the TV station to your TV. This could mean any part of the delivery system, starting with the equipment at the station, which then sends the captions to a cable provider or satellite distributor, and then it goes all the way to your TV.
Check out your TV and cable or satellite box as well as the connection at the wall. If you have more than one TV in your home, compare the captions on one TV to another. If all of your TVs show the same problem, contact the network via their website or your cable or satellite service for help. Your invoice should have contact information for troubleshooting technical problems. If the cable or satellite provider is not helpful, Let the FCC know.

Go to this website to file an informal complaint. The FCC is always looking for feedback on how the captioning system is working for consumers!

You should contact the network that is airing the program as well as the local affiliate station via their website or contact number. If you have a purchased DVD that you would like captioned, contact the distributor or the producer about your concern. Unfortunately, we cannot make modifications to the product because only the companies involved in the DVD’s release have the rights.

Yes! Most movie theaters have either open captions for certain viewings of movies or they have devices you can check out that allow you to see the captions. All new digital versions of movies have captioning data embedded in the movie. All you need is the device that works with the theater’s system. And most theaters now show the CC symbol in the movies listings.

To find videos with captions first, enter your search term in the YouTubeTM search bar and click Search. Then, to narrow your search to only videos with closed captions, select Filter (appears just above the video results) and select “Subtitles/CC (closed captioning)” in the far-right column. The website will then automatically filter out uncaptioned videos from your search.