Slide toggle

How Can We Help?

Closed Captioning vs Subtitling

Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is required by law for North-America broadcasters (FCC and CRTC). The captions are meant to display the program audio content through text and symbols. Typically, television captions will consist of voice information (writing what is being said) and non-verbal audio cues important to the story like : “strong wind blowing”  or “door slams shut”.

Viewer have the option to activate or de-activate the closed caption display. The captioning information is either directly embedded into the video signal or provided to the broadcaster in a file (often called sidecar file).

Pop-on SCC Closed Captioning will typically only contain caption in-point information and no out-point timestamp. The duration of the title is mostly determined by the appearance of the next title. This can be a problem when converting SCC Captions to another format for subtitling, as it is customary to have 2-3 blank frames between subtitles.

Many video-streaming services have caption display option available. The file format and specifications change from company to company. For example, you can now upload captions in SRT format directly to YouTube.



Subtitles are burned directly into the video image and do not include non-verbal audio cues like “strong wind blowing”  or “door slams shut”.

As opposed to captions, subtitles usually have 2-3 blank frames between titles.

Subtitles are limited to 2 lines of text as opposed to captions which can have up to 3 or even 4.