What is closed captioning and why is it so useful?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Closed captioning is a service that provides text to accompany video content. This text can be displayed as on-screen subtitles or as an overlay. Closed captioning is used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and it can also be useful for people who are learning English as a second language. 

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of closed captioning and explain why it is such an important tool for businesses and individuals alike.

What Is Closed Captioning?

Closed captioning is the process of displaying text on a screen to provide additional or interpretive information. It is most commonly used to provide subtitles for dialog in movies and television programs, though it can also be used to display lyrics for songs, sound effects, and other non-verbal cues. 

Closed captioning can be displayed in various ways, depending on the preference of the viewer. It can be shown as a scroll of text at the bottom of the screen, or it may be displayed as symbols that indicate different types of information, such as speaker changes or sound effects. 

Some closed captioning systems also allow viewers to control the timing and placement of the text on the screen. Closed captioning is typically used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it can also be beneficial for viewers who are watching a program in a noisy environment or for those who want to improve their understanding of a particular language. 

Closed captioning can be created using automatic speech recognition software, though it is more commonly created by human transcribers.

The Benefits of Closed Captioning

There are many benefits to Closed Captioning, including increased accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments, improved comprehension for viewers with English as a second language, and the ability to view content in noisy or quiet environments. 

Additionally, Closed Captioning can be used to transcribe dialogue for viewers who are lip-reading or to provide subtitles for viewers who are watching a foreign-language film. Closed Captioning also has the potential to improve search engine optimization (SEO) for video content. Ultimately, Closed Captioning provides a more inclusive viewing experience for all audiences.

Closed Captioning Types

There are three main types of closed captioning: live, recorded, and computer-generated. Live captions are created as the program is being aired, and they are typically only used for live news broadcasts. 

Recorded captions are created after the program has been filmed or recorded, and they can be used for both live and pre-recorded programs. Computer-generated captions are created using speech recognition software, and they tend to be less accurate than live or recorded captions. However, they can be used for any type of program.

Should You Consider Using Ai-closed Captioning?

As the production of videos has increased, so has the demand for captioning services. While human captioners can provide accurate and detailed captions, they are often expensive and have turnaround times that can delay a video's release. 

As a result, many businesses have begun to explore the use of AI-powered captioning services. These services use machine learning algorithms to automatically generate captions for videos. While they are not yet perfect, they are constantly improving and can provide an affordable and timely solution for businesses that need to caption their videos. 

When choosing a captioning service, businesses should weigh the costs and benefits of AI-powered versus human-powered options to find the best fit for their needs.

Do All Movies Have Closed Captioning?

As of 2010, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all new movie theater screens have closed captioning capabilities. However, this law does not require that movies shown on these screens actually have closed captioning. 

As a result, many theaters only show movies with closed captioning on a limited basis, typically during morning or afternoon showings. This can be frustrating for moviegoers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations working to change this situation. 

The National Association of the Deaf has advocated for legislation that would require all movies shown in theaters to have closed captioning, and the organization is also working with individual theaters to increase the availability of captioned showings. 

With more and more people clamoring for accessible movies, it is likely that theaters will eventually be required to provide closed captioning for all showings.


Closed captioning is a valuable tool that can improve accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments, English language learners, and those who are lip-reading or watching a foreign-language film. 

It can also be utilized to transcribe speech for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well, and also has the potential to improve search engine optimization (SEO) for video content. If you produce videos for your business, you should consider using a captioning service to make your content more accessible to a wider audience.

This article was written in cooperation with technicalustad.com