Captioning is interwoven into our television, and increasingly, streaming culture. Viewers expect it, and the deaf and hard of hearing depend upon it. In this blog, we’ll look at how government mandates have impacted broadcasting, both over-the-air (OTA) and over the top (OTT).
While captioning is regarded as essential today, we can thank government mandates as well as social activism for pushing to make A/V media content more accessible to all. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the leading authority governing the use of captioning across television. These mandates apply to:
- All TV networks, stations, and cable networks
- Local and community media outlets
- Live or pre-recorded shows
- Shows running on secondary DTV channels or networks
- Manned or automated stations
- Broadcast shows that subsequently stream online
As we reported last year, even NPR member station, WAMU-88.5 FM, is now making live captions and transcripts part of its local news, talk shows, and nationally syndicated “1A” radio show available on its website for listeners to follow.
Since failure to comply could result in fines, broadcasters actively seek out ways to comply with broadcast captions, including the FCC’s new quality rules stipulating that all captions be accurate, complete throughout the show, placed properly on-screen, with the on-screen captions synchronized with the spoken word.
In our next blog, we’ll consider all the non-traditional video applications—such as worship services, online college courses, corporate videos, social media, and even video conference calls—that now commonly incorporate captioning. And, regardless of how or where open and/or closed captioning is required, ENCO’s software-driven enCaption can automate the conversion of speech to text in near-real-time with impressive accuracy, even in the most demanding live media environments.