Closed Captioning Services

NWT provides closed captioning and video subtitle services for accessibility to all types of media.  It’s NW Transcription’s stance that even though not all video must be captioned by law, all media should be accessible to those who wish to consume it.  We aim to provide those services to as many entities as possible, regardless of the audience size.  Some final output examples include: broadcast television, educational videos on DVD, YouTube/Vimeo, website video players, embedded video, standalone captioning files, et cetera.

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Offline Closed Captioning Services

We focus on “offline captioning,” which are captions that are created for pre-recorded media, requiring the highest amount of accuracy.  Our captioners take the audio from the source material, create captions, and assign time codes to sync the captions to the appropriate location for video playback.  The captions then need to be reviewed in tandem with the video in order to ensure that the timing is accurate.  These captions can then be output to standalone captioning files that are useful for the broadcast, web video, and NLE editors like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro.  Captions can also be embedded directly into video that we encode, saving our clients even more time with our “turn-key” approach.  Whatever your needs, we can find a workflow that works for you.

Example of closed captioning for broadcast television.
Example of Closed Captioning for broadcast television.

Example of closed captioning for NLE video editing software like Premiere Pro.
Example of Closed Captioning for NLE Editors. 
Example of video captioning for YouTube.
Example of video captioning for YouTube.

Captions vs. Subtitles

These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different usage scenarios.  A shortened definition is that captions are the text in a video that include sound effects and audio cues, whereas subtitles are text that translate the dialogue (examples: dialogue is in a foreign language or difficult to hear).  In other words, the purpose of captions is to make the entire video accessible to those who cannot hear the audio for various reasons, whereas subtitles assume that the viewer is able to hear.

Captions are most commonly known from TV broadcasts, where they can be turned on and off.  The captions in a TV broadcast are closed (able to be turned on and off) and can be found within the video signal.  When closed captions are turned on by a user, the signal is then decoded by the cable/satellite box or the television itself, resulting in the image you see above.  That means that the font and text cannot be customized by the captioner because the decoder (cable/satellite box, television) determines how the text will be shown on the screen.

Subtitles usually have fewer specifications that have to be followed, such as color, fonts, et cetera, but a user generally doesn’t have control over when they display on the screen.

Workflow for Closed Captioning Services

It’s very common for new clients to have some confusion with closed captioning and subtitling needs, as there are many variables to consider for a final output.  NW Transcription aims to simplify that for our customers with the steps below.  A typical workflow with a client looks something like this:

  1. Client sends audio/video to NW Transcription through secure connection.
  2. NW Transcription verifies files that were sent and any specific formatting/output requests from the client.
  3. NW Transcription captions files.
  4. NW Transcription sends standalone files or encoded video back to client.
  5. Invoice is sent to vendor program or directly to client.

It’s literally that easy!  Contact us to get started with a price quote!