Deadline for compliance with new FCC regulations is fast approaching

Posted by Anna on March 12, 2015 at 5:59 pm. Captioning, FCC

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.

Keeping Up With What’s New In Video Description

Posted by Anna on March 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm. Video Description

2015 has already been a big year in video description, with huge strides being made in making this critical service accessible to those who need it most:

On February 1, The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) commenced a trial in partnership with MovieReading to test a new delivery method for description in the form of an app.  The Audio Description app is designed for blind and low-vision audiences who consume media through video on-demand services such as Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon Prime. The app ‘listens to’ the audio of the program through the smartphone or tablet’s microphone to pinpoint where it should sync the downloaded description track. The trial will run through the end of May.

Comcast has put together a charming campaign to promote the built-in accessibility features on their XFINITY X1 Entertainment Operating System, including a voice remote and the industry’s first talking guide.  Emily’s Oz materializes the vision of a young blind girl’s favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz. There are a number of features that explore the creative process of making Emily’s vision a reality. The XFINITY commercial, which was created with and without video description, aired during The Oscars ceremony on February 22.

Stevie Wonder, singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. Blind since infancy, Mr. Wonder has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits, won 25 Grammy Awards, and sold over 100 million albums and singles. Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – an All-Star Grammy Salute was the first time a musical performance program has been broadcast with video description.

The excitement in 2015 will no doubt continue for description enthusiasts, as beginning July 1, the requirement to provide video description is extended to local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC located in the top 60 television markets.

Employee Spotlight: Truck Morrison

Posted by Anna on at 4:13 pm. Employee Spotlight

At CaptionMax, we believe that our greatest strength is our employees. They’re clever, creative, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them a little better. Truck Morrison took over as our CEO in November of 2014:

What’s your favorite part of working at CaptionMax?
The people and their passion for the work we do.

What job did you want when you were 10 years old?
That was a million years ago, so I had to ask my parents. Apparently I had two hopes, a garbage man or a cowboy.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Seasons. I love (and hate) MN for the seasons. Each one brings freshness and change that renews my energy as we move from season to season. I could live without spring mud and ice season and just enjoy the ten good spring days we typically have in late May.

Do you have any hidden talents?
If I told you, they would no longer be hidden, now would they?

What’s your biggest hobby outside of work?
Trail running and mountain biking are my chosen ways to try to slow the aging process. But I have tried for 4 summers to get my vegetable garden in order, and, so far, this is clearly NOT my hidden talent.

If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?
John Adams. I think he is an underrated founding father.

What is your favorite TV show/movie?
I go into cycles for TV, many years of Cheers to many seasons of Northern Exposure, Alias, and currently Modern Family. The writing on Modern Family is impressively clever. Movies, I am a sucker for It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas Story during the holidays, but my one go-to movie franchise is James Bond – I hope the franchise never ends.



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