Closed captioning’s role becomes more complex in multiscreen world

Pity the misunderstood, overlooked caption: the text that displays underneath television pictures, white letters framed in black. Pity the subtitles of foreign movies, oft-maligned for their inaccuracy. Getting these captioning functions right is an expensive, time-consuming proposition. At least, that’s what broadcasters want consumers to think.

In the wake of FCC rules, passed in 2012, that require television programs and movies to have closed captions even in the online video space–and an added rule this year regarding short clips–broadcasters and online video providers are scrambling to make sure their online catalogs are captioned.

But some, broadcasters in particular, complain that the rules are onerous and will place tremendous expense on them.



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