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Frequently Asked Questions - Live Captioning FAQ

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FAQs - Live Captioning FAQ

Closed Captioning (sometimes called “captions”) are the textual  representation of a video’s audio content. They are critical for viewers who suffer from hearing loss, and they are also a great tool for improving the reading and listening skills of others  Captions include sound effects such as background noise, sirens, doors slamming, or phones ringing that give the viewer a greater appreciation of the content.

Captions also help viewers watching in an “audio off” mode to better understand your video.  Studies show that videos with captions are viewed longer than those that don’t.  Finally, since search engines can’t index video, adding captions to your videos will ensure that they are indexed by search engines more quickly and accurately, meaning your video will reach more people.

Captions afford viewers who may be deaf or hard of hearing improved access to your content.  There are currently over one million deaf people in the United States, and over 28 million people affected to some degree by hearing loss.

Captioning has been related to higher comprehension skills when compared to viewers watching the same media without captions.

Captions provide missing information for individuals who have difficulty processing speech and auditory components of the visual media (regardless of whether this difficulty is due to a hearing loss or a cognitive delay).

Students often need assistance in learning content-relevant vocabulary (in biology, history, literature, and other subjects), and with captions they see both the terminology (printed word) and the visual image.

Live captioning in Zoom is pretty straightforward.  We have an easy to use interface between our caption streaming platform and Zoom that allows us to use their third-party API to put captions directly into your Zoom session.  

For Zoom webinars, the captioner will need to be a panelist to provide captions.  The host will invite the captioner to the meeting directly.  When the captioner joins the Zoom session, about 10 minutes prior to the start, the host will assign them to type the captions.  Once they are assigned to type the captions, the captioner will set up and test the integration.  The process takes no more than a few minutes.

For Zoom meetings, the process is similar but easier.  Just provide the link to the Zoom session and when the captioner joins, assign them to type the captions.  

For more information on captioning in Zoom, visit our Caption Integrations section here.

We can provide live captioning in all of the major conferencing platforms.  Zoom, Teams, Adobe Connect and Webex all have built in integrations to support live captioning. 

Other platforms, such as GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans and other platforms do not have the ability to support live captioning within the meeting but we can provide access to our browser based caption streaming platform to allow attendees wanting captions to view them in a separate browser window.

Closed captioning information is encoded within the video signal, in line 21 of the vertical blanking interval (VBI). The text only becomes visible with the use of a decoder, which is built into your television set or available as a set-top box for older tube televisions. In general, an onscreen menu on newer televisions allows you to turn closed captioning on or off, and most newer TV remotes have a dedicated closed captioning button.

Most programs are captioned in advance of transmission, but the nature of some programs, such as live news broadcasts, requires real-time captioning, in which a skilled captioner listens to the broadcast and  types the show using a steno machine like a court reporter.  That signal is sent to the television station’s closed captioning encoder, where it becomes embedded in the video of the broadcast. That is why there is usually a bit of a delay in live broadcasts between the captions and the program.

Yes!  Our technology allows us to seamlessly integrate with your live stream on Facebook or YouTube and provide realtime captions.

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