As live webcasting becomes increasingly popular, there is a growing demand to make webcasts accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.

One way to do that is through live captioning. That’s the process of turning the spoken word into captioned text. It’s done by a real live human being (called a captioner,) who can work on site or remotely. More often than not, live captioning is done remotely. An audio feed is sent to the captioner, who then types out the speech using a special keyboard gizmo. Professional captioners are typically at least 97% accurate.

Live captioning is supported on YouTube Live, Facebook Live and a growing number of video players that support the CEA-608 standard.

By the way, do you know the difference between open captions and closed captions? Open captions are always visible because they are “burned” into the video, whereas closed captions give the viewer the option to turn them on or off.

More trivia: Did you know that captions are not the same as subtitles? Captions are a transcription of dialogue, while subtitles are a translation for people who don’t speak the language of the medium.

Now  you know.

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a topic you’d like to see discussed? Let me know and I’ll try to get to it in a future post.

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