On February 20, 2014, the FCC unanimously approved new, more comprehensive rules for TV closed captioning that will go into effect this coming Monday, March 16. These rules ensure that deaf and hard of hearing viewers have full access and will apply to all television programming with captions. This is great news for consumers, but we know our clients may be concerned about how to stay compliant with these emerging regulations. CaptionMax helped draft the captioning vendor best practices and can guarantee to our clients that we are in compliance. Below is a summary of these best practices. To view the complete Report and Order on Closed Captioning Quality, visit the FCC’s webpage.
This FCC order adopts new standards of quality for accuracy, synchronicity (timing), program completeness, and placement of closed captions, requiring:
• Accuracy: Captions must reflect the dialogue, sound effects, and music in the audio track to the greatest extent possible based on the type of the programming and must include speaker identification.
• Synchronicity: Captions must coincide with their corresponding dialogue, sound effects, and lyrics to the greatest extent possible based on the type of the programming, as well as appearing at a speed that is readable by viewers.
• Program Completeness: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program, to the greatest extent possible, based on the type of the programming.
• Placement: Captions may not cover up other important on-screen information, such as featured text, graphics, or other information critical to the comprehension of the program’s content.
To learn more about requirements for Video Programmers and Captioning Vendors, click here.