Different Types of Closed Captions (Video)

We know that it’s easy to get bogged down with closed captioning variations, customizations, and styles, so in this video, we explore the three closed captioning types and how they’re used in live and prerecorded programs. Press play to watch our pop-on, roll-up, and paint-on captions as they transform throughout this fun demo.

Read our full article about Different Types of Closed Captions for more details!

Looking for a described version of this video? Click here or scroll down!

Transcript:

– Hi, I’m Eric.

– And I’m Olivia.

– And today we’re going to learn about…

– And show you…

– The three closed captioning types and how they’re used in live and prerecorded programs.

– Let’s talk about pop-on captions. These are what you’re most used to seeing in prerecorded broadcast, streaming, and web content.

– These captions are exactly what they say they are. They pop on your screen and then disappear when the next caption appears.

– You can see them in action right now. Watch the bottom, center portion of your screen.

– These are pop-on captions.

– You’ll find pop-on captions in a variety of styles, but for optimal readability across platforms, we recommend…

– Sentence case captions at the bottom, center of the screen.

– Captions should move to the top of the screen when lower third graphics appear.

– You’ll also notice speaker dashes used each time someone new speaks. Hey, where’d you go?

– I’m right here, in your head. Or in your heart. Or in another room. This happens all the time on TV, okay? And when it does, this speech is in italics. And now my speech is unitalicized, because I’m here in person with you.

– Cool trick. I wanna try. Whoa, I’m doing it. I’m voicing over! Wait a sec. Why am I not italicized? Well, italics aren’t the only way to convey off-screen speech. Sometimes we use IDs and speaker-oriented placement. See how the captions move to the side of the screen I’m on?

– Seems like there’s lots of ways to format pop-on captions.

– There sure are. That’s why you should check out the full Caption Types article for details on our House Style and possible variations.

– Cool stuff. Hey, looks like it’s time to talk about roll-up captions.

– They’re on a roll, am I right, folks?

– Well, they are. These captions continuously roll up onto your screen, one right under the next, allowing for more time to load up and for the viewer to read them.

– That’s why they’re mostly used for live programming. Each word is sent to an encoder right away, and encoders have to wait for all the text information before the caption can be displayed. Roll-up style gives those live programs better time allowances and greater ability to synchronize in real time.

– And while there’s less variation in roll-up style than there is in pop-on, you’ll find most roll-up captions are uppercase.

– That’s right, Olivia. They’re also usually two lines either at the very top or very bottom.

– With chevrons are speaker IDs. Though hosts or narrators, for example, may be identified like so. Keep an eye on the captions.

– Now, we’ve established that pop-on captions are primarily used for prerecorded programming, and roll-up captions are used in live settings.

– But there are times when prerecorded programs may use roll-up.

– Such as…in soap operas.

– This is to assist the viewer in keeping track of multiple characters and storylines…

– And to fit the steady, dramatic…pace of storytelling.

– Platforms like Zoom or YouTube only display captions in pop-on style, so live meetings and events may be captioned as such. Eric, you’re on mute. You’re on mute. You’re on mute.

– Every single time. Anyway, what I was trying to say was that viewers on these platforms may experience a little delay as they wait for all that live content to display.

– Great point, Eric. We have one more caption type to talk about.

– Paint-on captions are the least commonly used caption type, so we won’t spend too much time here.

– That being said, there are some good uses for these captions.

– Right. Now, these captions are named as such because you see them essentially “painted” on screen, letter by letter, like so.

– Right. Some prerecorded programs, such as reality shows, utilize them at the top of new segments in order to avoid potential delays in captions appearing on screen.

– And paint-on captions are almost never used for a whole program, so it can be difficult to notice the nuance of the style, with each letter populating one by one.

– Well, Eric, I think we covered them all.

– Yep! Thanks for watching, folks. And remember…

– Live or prerecorded captions don’t necessarily dictate which style you can use.

– But they generally align with one style due to the nature and technical limitations that each type of programming presents.

– Our experienced teams in prerecorded and live captioning are always happy to help you figure out what style will work best for your media…

– And make it accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Described Video

Described Video Transcript:

Over a black background, the Captionmax logo depicts doubled chevrons in green, blue, and orange circles. Text appears: “different types of closed captions.” At the bottom of the screen, an italicized caption in brackets reads: “ambient electronic music.” The caption is replaced with a pair of music notes. Two coworkers stand side by side in an office, and their names appear on screen.

– Hi, I’m Eric.

– And I’m Olivia.

– And today we’re going to learn about…

– And show you…

– The three closed captioning types and how they’re used in live and prerecorded programs.

The music notes return as text appears over black. “Number one: pop-on captions.” Captions appear with text inside black boxes centered at the bottom of the screen.

– Let’s talk about pop-on captions. These are what you’re most used to seeing in prerecorded broadcast, streaming, and web content.

– These captions are exactly what they say they are. They pop on your screen and then disappear when the next caption appears.

– You can see them in action right now.

Olivia points above her as the captions move up to the top of the screen. A colorful banner slides up from the bottom of the screen, reading: “Hi there! I’m a lower third graphic. Captions move up for me.”

– Watch the bottom, center portion of your screen.

– These are pop-on captions.

Captions in brackets read: “pop-on captions intensify.”

– You’ll find pop-on captions in a variety of styles, but for optimal readability across platforms, we recommend…

– Sentence case captions at the bottom, center of the screen.

Olivia points above her as the captions move up to the top of the screen. A colorful banner slides up from the bottom of the screen, reading: “Hi there! I’m a lower third graphic. Captions move up for me.”

– Captions should move to the top of the screen when lower third graphics appear.

– You’ll also notice speaker dashes used each time someone new speaks.

Olivia vanishes, and Eric looks around.

– Hey, where’d you go?

– I’m right here, in your head. Or in your heart. Or in another room. This happens all the time on TV, okay? And when it does, this speech is in italics.

She reappears!

– And now my speech is unitalicized, because I’m here in person with you.

– Cool trick. I wanna try.

He disappears. His captions are unitalicized with his name in parentheses.

– Whoa, I’m doing it. I’m voicing over! Wait a sec. Why am I not italicized? Well, italics aren’t the only way to convey off-screen speech. Sometimes we use IDs and speaker-oriented placement. See how the captions move to the side of the screen I’m on?

She moves from right to left, then back again, and the captions follow her. Eric reappears beside her.

– Seems like there’s lots of ways to format pop-on captions.

– There sure are. That’s why you should check out the full Caption Types article for details on our House Style and possible variations.

Olivia points to a web address: www.captionmax.com. Text appears over black: “number two: roll-up captions.” Now the captions have doubled chevrons for each speaker. In two rows, the captions roll up to make room for the next line as it appears with their speech.

– Cool stuff. Hey, looks like it’s time to talk about roll-up captions.

– They’re on a roll, am I right, folks?

In brackets, her captions read: “laughs.”

– Well, they are. These captions continuously roll up onto your screen, one right under the next, allowing for more time to load up and for the viewer to read them.

– That’s why they’re mostly used for live programming. Each word is sent to an encoder right away, and encoders have to wait for all the text information before the caption can be displayed. Roll-up style gives those live programs better time allowances and greater ability to synchronize in real time.

Now Olivia’s roll-up captions are in uppercase.

– And while there’s less variation in roll-up style than there is in pop-on, you’ll find most roll-up captions are uppercase.

– That’s right, Olivia. They’re also usually two lines either at the very top or very bottom.

– With chevrons are speaker IDs. Though hosts or narrators, for example, may be identified like so. Keep an eye on the captions.

The roll-up captions return to mixed case with speaker IDs.

– Now, we’ve established that pop-on captions are primarily used for prerecorded programming, and roll-up captions are used in live settings.

– But there are times when prerecorded programs may use roll-up.

– Such as…in soap operas.

Inside brackets, the captions read: “dramatic music.” Eric and Olivia whip around to deliver intense, smoldering looks.

– This is to assist the viewer in keeping track of multiple characters and storylines…

– And to fit the steady, dramatic…pace of storytelling.

Now Olivia and Eric appear on a video conferencing call.

– Platforms like Zoom or YouTube only display captions in pop-on style, so live meetings and events may be captioned as such.

Eric talks with his microphone muted, and his bracketed captions read: “mouthing words.”

– Eric, you’re on mute. You’re on mute. You’re on mute.

– Every single time. Anyway, what I was trying to say was that viewers on these platforms may experience a little delay as they wait for all that live content to display.

– Great point, Eric.

The Captionmax logo appears with text: “number three: paint-on captions.” Italicized and in brackets, the captions read: “bright electronic music.” Eric and Olivia stand side by side in an office. Their captions are in pop-on style.

– We have one more caption type to talk about.

– Paint-on captions are the least commonly used caption type, so we won’t spend too much time here.

– That being said, there are some good uses for these captions.

– Right. Now, these captions are named as such because you see them essentially “painted” on screen, letter by letter, like so.

Now the captions appear from left to right, sliding in one letter at a time.

– Right. Some prerecorded programs, such as reality shows, utilize them at the top of new segments in order to avoid potential delays in captions appearing on screen.

– And paint-on captions are almost never used for a whole program, so it can be difficult to notice the nuance of the style, with each letter populating one by one.

The captions return to pop-on.

– Well, Eric, I think we covered them all.

– Yep! Thanks for watching, folks. And remember…

– Live or prerecorded captions don’t necessarily dictate which style you can use.

– But they generally align with one style due to the nature and technical limitations that each type of programming presents.

– Our experienced teams in prerecorded and live captioning are always happy to help you figure out what style will work best for your media…

– And make it accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Fade to black. A logo appears: Captionmax.

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