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Closed caption vs subtitles: How to make the right choice?

You may know that captions and subtitles are similar, but they aren’t the same. Some people combine closed captions and subtitles because they are just the text version of the audio of a video. There are, however, major differences between the two, and blending these services will lead to problems and confusion. For certain people, subtitles and closed captions can sound the same, but they make a huge difference. Indeed, while both modes can be interpreted better as audio formats with texts, they have somewhat different purposes. Therefore, preferring one over another will create a huge difference in the way your viewer sees and absorbs your video. Either, you select subtitles or closed captions based on your project and intent, particularly for companies to have a huge impact on brand positioning. Here you can find the main differences between the two, which include the goals of each company and the important details that differentiate them.

What is Transcription?
A transcription service is a business that provides clients with text documents made from interviews, speeches, meetings, and dictation. Transcription is the process of extracting the spoken parts of the audio or video file and converting them into a text format for easy accessibility. When you have a video or audio file and you want to turn it into a text-based file, you need to avail of transcription service.

What is subtitling?
Subtitling is the process by which subtitling artistes transcribe and simultaneously translate audio into texts from a video clip into a different language. It helps the foreign language viewers to comprehend the audio and video content. As the word indicates, subtitles are titles presented below the video. These are transcriptions of the words that the actors, journalists, or commentators on the screen speak on the screen, but in a different language. The subtitles are translations of the dialogues or narration into another language.

What is Captioning?
Captioning is a process that breakdown transcript text into pieces, known as “caption frames,” and time-coding each frame to synchronize with the audio of a video. The output of captioning is captions that are typically located at the bottom of a video. Closed captions should depict speech and sound effects, as well as identify various speakers. Captions must account for any sound that is not visually apparent, and assume that the viewer cannot hear the video at all. Usually deaf and people with hearing difficulties often rely on captions to decipher video media.

Why are closed captions useful?
There are several benefits to choosing closed captioning for a video over subtitles, depending on your needs. As they’re primarily designed for those who cannot fully hear the audio, they offer a truly accessible way for more viewers to engage with the content. What’s more, depending on where your video is published or shown, it may be a mandatory part of regulatory compliance to make closed captions available too, such as with terrestrial television. Closed captions usually take a considerable amount of turnaround to come up with the high-quality output. When it comes to closed captioning, it’s important to pay attention to every element in the audio and video and convert them into text for better comprehension of viewers. The video is analyzed almost down to the frame by frame detail which usually consumes more time, but it’s crucial to extract the audio elements which are required to be converted into text for better accessibility standards. People with hearing impairment can comprehend the video content completely.

Why are subtitles useful?
Subtitles have the benefit of being cheaper than closed captions as the time and effort involved in generating subtitles is way less than what is needed for closed captioning. Subtitles can help you make content more accessible to a global audience, meaning you can reach a wider audience of people. Subtitles are not always designed to be as accurate a record of the dialogue as they can be. In most cases, there are going to be differences between a direct translation and the kind of localization that goes into producing subtitles. Because the subtitles aren’t for native speakers, the text has to be adjusted to be more easily understood by any reader.

If you have a breadth of video content requiring subtitles or closed captions, Transcription Hub is the premier provider of quality subtitles and closed caption services at a reasonable rate. We have a dedicated highly experienced team to provide subtitles and closed caption services with utmost accuracy. Contact us today for more information.

The key difference between subtitles & closed captions:
Closed captions are sets of text within the video that is specifically of use to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Closed captions offer a verbatim transcription of not only dialogue that is being said in the video, but also annotations. These annotations convey non-verbal sounds, such as doors slamming and music playing. They may also indicate tone and intonation, such as showing when a character is shouting or saying something sarcastically.

Subtitles of a video are a text version of the dialogues spoken in a video that is intended to make the content decipherable by foreign-language speakers. Subtitles are not meant to be as verbatim as that of a closed caption transcription of the audio. Unlike closed captions, they are usually aimed at viewers who can hear the audio, but may not be able to understand the dialogue due to the language and dialect differences. As such, subtitles are often closely associated with, and part of, dialogue translation. They don’t contain annotations of non-verbal sounds.

The Key difference between Transcription vs. Captioning
Transcription is the process in which speech or audio is converted into a written text document. But in the process of captioning the transcript text is divided into time-coded chunks, known as caption frames. These frames will be in sync with the timestamp available in the Video. While transcription forms the basis for captioning, they each have different use cases. Captions have the advantage of making the media content more reachable and understandable to the audience both transcription and captioning helps to boost video and audio SEO.

Open captions vs closed captions
There are two kinds of captioning services available based on the output files. In closed captioning, the transcript text is not embedded directly into the video. As such, they can usually be turned off by the user with certain features on the player (an application that used to play the video file). Open captions, on the other hand, are embedded in the video so they cannot be turned off. Most of the time closed captioning is preferred over opens captioning because users have the option to enable/disable it.

Closed caption vs subtitles: How to make the right choice?
Closed captions are designed for those who cannot hear the audio of the video, and display all audio, dialogue, and otherwise, as text. Not only can it help you make your content more accessible and help it meet the regulatory demands of certain platforms, but many consider adding it to online videos simply due to the growing number of viewers who prefer to watch videos without sound. Subtitles are designed for viewers that can likely hear the audio but aren’t fluent in the language being used in the dialogue. They’re a good choice for those who want their content to reach global video platforms, and are usually developed before the release of the content. Again, they only show the text of the dialogue.
• Captions come in two forms, either open or closed. The user will toggle off the closed captioning (CC) by clicking on a tab, whereas open captions are inserted in the picture and cannot be shut off.
• Captions are particularly helpful for those who are deaf or difficult to understand, as they provide background noise, the distinction between speakers, and other important material transmitted from sound to text.
• Unlike closed captions, the subtitles presume that audiences can hear the audio and are usually utilized where audiences cannot know the video language. For example, films include subtitles in the language in which the movie is distributed across the globe.
• Subtitles have timed transcriptions of audio files that are normally created before a movie or television show is published.

Other useful Information about Subtitling and Closed Captioning
Subtitles in your video can add clarity to content involving technical language, industry jargon, or company’s/individual’s names. For viewers, abbreviations or certain names may be harder to decipher, especially if the viewer isn’t familiar with the native language. Subtitles can help a viewer retain information more easily; they support English as second-language speakers Captioning offers several advantages if the phrases are accurate. Video content should be made available to deaf and hearing disabled audiences with the help of captions in the video. Also, they facilitate the continuity of concentration by viewers with learning disabilities and attention deficits. The Transcription Hub offers professional captioning and subtitling services and we accept various input formats for your convenience and provide several output file formats based on your requirement.

Video File (Input) Types:
We accept several Audio & video file formats for your convenience.

Subtitling output File formats:
.SRT (Sub Rip)
SSA (Substation Alpha)
TTML (Timed Text Markup Language)
SBV (YouTube format)
DFXP (Distribution Format Exchange Profile)
VTT (Web Video Text Track)
TXT (untimed text transcript)

CC output File Formats:
.SRT (Sub Rip)
. SBV OR. SUB (Sub Viewer)
.mpsub (M Player subtitle)

The Transcription Hub offers professional captioning and subtitle services, pioneering in the transcription industry; we have a team of professionals with years of experience in captioning and subtitling services. We are dedicated to providing high – quality output files based on your custom requirements with impeccable accuracy by our team. Our unparalleled Highly Accurate & Cost-effective captioning and subtitling services are offered on the cloud enabling a convenient self – service model for Individuals and Companies to avail of our services.