Closed Captions – Why Time Matters
The whole subtitle and closed captions world revolves around accuracy, perfection and time. Video makers are increasingly turning to subtitling and closed captioning companies that use automation software to automatically sync timings. All too often, these captions are substandard and potentially spoil the viewing experience for deaf and hard of hearing viewers who rely on them. In most cases, the results of cheap, automatically generated captions are both distracting and confusing. At Capital Captions, we know that when it comes to closed captioning services, timing and speed and accuracy are absolutely crucial, and for a number of reasons…
Closed Caption Reading Speeds Relative to Audience
Reading speeds in closed captioning services are indicated by words per minute or characters per second, and can be set to specific audiences. Typically, the standard reading speed is set to a maximum of 250 words per minute for adult audiences, which equates to around 20 characters per second. In practical terms, for a typical subtitle line of maximum 42 characters, this means the duration of any one closed caption line’s screen time should be no less than two seconds. Getting the reading speed right will ensure there is sufficient time for an adult viewer to read the subtitle.
For children’s programmes, the aim is typically to reduce these figures to a maximum of 200 words per minute, or 17 characters per second. These estimates mean each closed caption line should display onscreen for a minimum of roughly 2.5 seconds for a typical subtitle line of 42 characters on a children’s programme, .
Professional closed captioning services use highly technical software to input these specifications in order to quality check closed captions for readability, accuracy and suitability for target audiences.
Captions and Subtitles – Show Times
Closed caption show time is the moment in which onscreen text first appears. For viewing audiences, it’s important that the subtitle line appears exactly in line with the beginning of speech when reading closed captions. Getting the timings incorrect on show times can be distracting and spoil the viewing experience for caption users. The impact of out-of-time closed captions for deaf and hard of hearing viewers is on a par with audio which is out of sync with the video picture. Show times in closed captioning services should be accurate to 100th of a second for the best results.
Captions and Subtitles – Hide Times
Closed caption hide time is the moment in which the onscreen text disappears from view, ready for the next caption to take its place. Hide times need to be impeccably timed to match the end of spoken dialogue. They must be well considered and balanced to allow enough time for the closed caption line to be read, whilst not impinging on the show time of the next caption line. Using professional closed captioning services can ensure that your hide times are optimised and made accurate to 100th of a second.
Urgent Closed Captioning Services
As we’re on the topic of time, speed and timings aren’t only important when it comes to the technicalities of creating closed captions but also when it comes to speed of service. When it comes to offline closed captioning, production companies work to tight schedules. Broadcasters, television channels, video on demand service providers and online videomakers frequently use urgent closed caption services to prepare captions for video distribution, . Subtitling and closed captioning is a time consuming process for amateurs and even transcription professionals without knowledge and experience in the subtitling industry. A reputable and reliable professional closed captioning company can get everything ready in a fraction of the time and for a reasonable price.