Interesting Things to Know About Closed Captioning

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Making valuable content available to all users is possible with the help of captions or closed captioning. Captions can be open captions that are always visible or closed captions that you can turn on and off.

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interesting things to know about closed captioning
Interesting Things to Know About Closed Captioning

Modern providers of captions offer closed captioning with API integration, which allows the program to be integrated into a company’s LMS or learning management system.

Interesting Things to Know About Closed Captioning

Examples include a video hosting platform or web conferencing tool integrated with video recording programs that offer screencasting, video streaming, and video content management. So here are interesting facts about the development of closed captions, indicated by the symbol CC, that are worth knowing. 

Four decades plus

It took 44 years from when television was invented before developing and applying closed captioning. It was only in the 1970s that the idea to make TV programs accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing became a reality.

First captioning agency

The first captioning agency was the Caption Center, established in 1972 at Boston’s WGBH, a public TV station. WGBH introduced open television captioning to rebroadcast Julia Child’s program, The French Chef. It likewise started the captioning of ABC News programs for their rebroadcasts. In that year, ABC and the National Bureau of Standards presented the captioning technology at Gallaudet University.

caption center
caption center

While the captions were beneficial to the hearing impaired, the open captions distracted other viewers. As a result, the Caption Center and its partners developed a new technology that made the captions visible only to those users who have a decoding device.

Closed captioning system

The system for closed captioning emerges in 1974. On TV sets without a decoder, the closed captions were not visible.

closed captioning system
closed captioning system

Funding to refine the technology came from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1979, the National Captioning Institute (NCI) by the Federal Communications Commission came up to promote and provide access to closed captioning. 

First captioned programs

  1. On March 16, 1980, the first programs with closed captions were broadcast by PBS, NBC, and ABC. Sears developed and sold the Telecaption adapter connected to standard TV sets. 
  2. The first programs with closed captioning were Masterpiece Theater from PBS, Semi-Tough (original release – 1973), and the Son of Flubber (initially released in 1963) from Disney.
    cc programs
    cc programs
  3. PBS broadcast 3-2-1 Contact, the first children’s show with closed captions, from March 1980 to 1988. The second show with closed captions was Sesame Street, the longest-running children’s program. 
  4. The National Bureau of Standards and broadcast station ABC introduced embedded closed captioning (off-line captioning) with the February 15, 1972 broadcast of Mod Squad. 
  5. The Sugar Bowl, shown on January 1, 1981, was the first live sports event with closed captions. On the other hand, the Super Bowl, aired on January 20, 1985, was the first live sports show with commentary in captions. In addition, real-time captioning of commentary, for the first time on the broadcast was of Monday Night Football in September 1985. 

Conclusion

These are the exciting facts about closed captioning. Still, the first captioning work on a film made by Emerson Romero in 1947 may be the most memorable. He was a deaf actor who manually put captions between picture frames.

We hope by the end of the article, you could come across some interesting facts about closed captioning. Now go ahead and show off your knowledge! 

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