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The SCC file format is the standard for closed-captioning in North American broadcast television.

The file contains positioning, style, color and timing information encoded using hexadecimal values. If you open the file in a text browser, the information will not be readily legible, but you can decode the information using this handy guide and in-depth explanation of SCC format encoding.

The SCC file is not very practical to edit and is used mostly as a delivery file.  Generally, SCC files are produced by companies specializing in closed-captioning.

For on-screen timing, there are 2 different methods: Pop-on and Scrolling.
Pop-on: refers to captions that appear and disappear on screen, much like traditional subtitles.
Scrolling: refers to captions that scroll up the screen, usually over 3 caption lines. This method of captioning is mostly used for live-broadcasts, notably newscasts and sportscasts.

The SCC file format contains precise screen positioning information. It is customary to avoid positioning the captions on screen-titles or any other on-screen text.  More advanced captioning techniques include positioning the text over a talking character when there is more than one person talking on-screen.

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.



To view the content of the SCC file during video file playback you can:

  • Use Adobe Premier Pro as a viewer and editor
  • Use Telestream’s Switch Plus player
  • Use can upload you video and associated SCC file to YouTube (and set to private if it’s for verification only)

or use captioning programs like:

  • MacCaption / CaptionMaker (by Telestream)
  • MovieCaptionner

A typical SCC file would look like this in a text editor:

Scenarist_SCC V1.0

00:00:34:07 9420 9420 94f4 94f4 97a1 97a1 a762 e5ec ec20 f2e9 6e67 e96e 6729 942c 942c 942f 942f

00:00:39:01 9420 9420 9452 9452 a8f4 f261 e97e 2062 f261 6be5 7320 73e3 f2e5 e5e3 68e9 6e67 2c80 9476 9476 73f4 ef70 70e9 6e67 2980 942c 942c 942f 942f

00:00:42:08 942c 942c



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