Closed captioning can get confusing.
Basically, there are two things you need to know about it.
First, what is it?
Closed captioning is text of the audio for those who are hearing impaired. It’s not subtitling, which is for foreign language viewers.
Closed captioning includes written out dialogue or narration of what’s going on audio-wise in the video, but it also includes text descriptions of sounds like laughter, banging, or thunder. It’s generally placed under the speaker as to identify who is speaking. When two speakers are speaking closely together, text can be split on screen.
Second, do you need it?
If you plan on showing your video on broadcast television or any streaming media services in the U.S., yes, you need it.
Closed captioning is required by law – the Telecommunications Act to be exact.
Quality Control with Closed Captioning
Unfortunately, recent years have seen the quality of closed captioning falling. Automatized processes and outsourcing to sub-par caption editors overseas has become prevalent. At the same time, the quality closed captioning standards for streaming services and TV networks are rising. These guys favor high-quality closed captioning, and that’s whom you really need to please.
At DKP, we provide this in a big way. All of our closed caption editors are humans and native English speakers. They have all gone through extensive training and we always stress quality over any cheap process.