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Offline Captioning and Subtitling Services

VITAC’s Offline Captioning & Subtitling Services

We are the exclusive provider of offline captioning and subtitling for prerecorded programming on more than two dozen television networks. You might not know it, but you’ve seen our work on hit shows, documentaries, and Saturday morning cartoons, among other places.

Our offline captioners are not just good transcribers and spellers. They’re experts in their craft and masters of description, line breaks, timing, readability, sound effects, and common style rules that average viewers may not notice.

Offline captioning and subtitling are post-production processes of adding text to a program or video after it has been recorded.

Like our live captioning team, our offline captioning and subtitling departments are staffed 24/7, ensuring that you never have to sacrifice quality for quick turnaround. When you work with us, you’re supported by a team of schedulers and coordinators who receive and check all video before moving it into the production process. Our proprietary scheduling software tells us at any given minute where your program is in production, ensuring that we meet our monthly metric of 99.9% on-time delivery within the hour requested.

Why Use Captions & Subtitles?

Closed captioning and subtitling are essential and beneficial for many people. Not only is it the law, but you also expand your audience when you use captions and subtitles.

Did you know?

Hearing people use closed captioning and subtitles as well. Have you ever been in a loud room, a noisy gym, on the subway, or in an Uber and want to watch a video with the sound off so as to not disrupt your surrounding environment? Well us, too! In fact, studies have shown that 85% of online videos are viewed without sound.

How do you understand a video with the sound? Closed captioning and subtitles! Captions and subtitles are helpful to everyone, and not just those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Without sound or captions, 41% of videos are incomprehensible.

Don’t leave anyone out of your message. Contact us today to start providing more inclusive content!

Offline Captioning & Subtitling, What’s the Difference?

Subtitles” and “Captions” often are used synonymously, especially outside the United States and by online players. Though the distinction is fine, VITAC offers both.

Captions & Subtitles

Where captioning is generally a textual representation of all on-screen audio, subtitling is the process in which graphic files are encoded openly into the video.

In contrast, subtitles are a translation of a program’s audio for viewers who might not understand the language, such as in a film from another country or dialogue from a Klingon in an episode of “Star Trek.”

Captions generally refer to a textual representation of all on-screen audio:

Subtitles are a great addition to your video content. They can be used in:

As with captions, subtitles allow you to reach a larger, global, cross-cultural audience. Ultimately, including subtitles will help make your content accessible to anyone, anywhere.

Multi-Language Subtitling & Captioning Services

VITAC is a long-time industry leader in providing multi-language captioning and subtitling. We create English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French language captions and subtitles for clients in the TV/broadcasting, corporate, and education sectors, among others.

We offer same-language captions through our dedicated and experienced bilingual captioning team and in partnership with leading industry providers. VITAC produces hundreds of hours of live and prerecorded multi-language captions each year. We create captions for:

  • Media and Entertainment Companies
  • Broadcast Programs and Producers
  • Corporations and Organizations
  • Educational Institutions
  • Churches and Religious Broadcast Networks

Our multi-language services (MLS) team works with you to ensure that no one is excluded from the conversation. Whether it’s “hablando español” or “parler français,” we’ve got you covered.

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Subtitles for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing (SDH Files)

Subtitles for the deaf or hard of hearing (SDH) is a popular option on video platforms, and many people come to us wondering what it means. Essentially, “SDH” refers to subtitles that meet the additional needs of viewers who do not hear the full audio of a program.

The SDH Difference

SDH subtitles include indicators of every audible element:

Working With VITAC

No company has employees as experienced in the development of captioning systems and techniques than VITAC.

Our team has the largest captioner workforce in North America and that means you will never sacrifice quick turnaround for quality.

We’re the Most-Trusted Captioning Provider for a Reason

Our captioners are trained by us, tested by us, and warranted by us. Not only do we comply with the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) caption quality best practices, we helped write them.

Like most successful businesses, we use metrics to track success, including up-time, which is time on-air with captions vs. disconnects or missed captions, and for offline captioning, on-time delivery. Both are tracked to the minute and both are measures of our success.

When you choose VITAC, you can rely on us knowing that you’ll receive the highest quality product with unmatched customer service. Whether you need live or prerecorded captioning, translation, subtitling, audio description, or all of the above, you can count on us. We will do what it takes to connect your message to your entire audience.

Keeping Your Information Secure

At VITAC, we take your security and confidentiality needs seriously, and apply a high degree of importance to our management and protection of client information and data. We design our networks, workflows, and applications to meet high security standards, and continuously work to improve our systems and practices to provide the most secure environment.

We utilize in-house-developed applications following our standardized software development life cycle, secure and purpose-built systems and network environments, and technology practices that strive to meet the high-level standards of our clients and industry.

Learn About Data Security
Q: How far in advance should I schedule my programming?

A: Certainly the more lead-time, the better, but we routinely handle requests for quick project turnarounds and promise to deliver the captioned materials back to you within the timeframe that you need it.

Q: How are offline, or prerecorded, captions created?

A: Captions are created by highly trained captioners who listen to the program audio and transcribe words, sound effects, and music to give you a full sense of what is happening in the audio track of the program. Captions are timed to sync with the program audio, and placed to match the speakers on the screen. The program is then watched all the way through to ensure accuracy in the timing, transcription, and overall readability.

Q: Where have I seen VITAC’s captioning or subtitling work before?

A: As the country’s largest provider of media and entertainment captioning in the industry, we have over 85 exclusive contracts covering more than 100 networks. We caption more than 580,000 live hours and 75,000 prerecorded programs per year. Our clients include every major broadcasting company and most cable networks as well as program producers, corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Q: How do I ensure my information is secure?

A: We take client security and confidentiality needs seriously, and apply a high degree of importance to our management and protection of client information and data. We design our networks, workflows, and applications to meet high security standards, and continuously work to improve our systems and practices to provide the most secure environment.

Q: How do you decide what is important to caption?

A: The Federal Communications Commission established rules for TV closed captioning to ensure that viewers who are deaf and hard of hearing have full access to programming and to provide guidance to video programming distributors and programmers. The rules apply to all television programming with captions, and require that captions be:

Accurate – Captions must match the spoken words in the dialogue and convey background noises and other sounds to the fullest extent possible.

Synchronous – Captions must coincide with their corresponding spoken words and sounds to the greatest extent possible, and must be displayed on the screen at a speed that can be read by viewers.

Complete – Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program to the fullest extent possible.

Properly placed – Captions should not block other important visual content on the screen, overlap one another or run off the edge of the video screen.

Note that the rules distinguish between offline (prerecorded), live (realtime), and near-live programming and recognize the hurdles involved with captioning live and near-live programming.

Q: How do you ensure accuracy in prerecorded captioning?

A: Utilizing a classroom-type setting, with small group sizes, our offline captioning trainees receive in-depth, one-on-one instruction in offline captioning techniques. All VITAC offline captioners are trained to caption from our “Offline Captioning Style Guide” to ensure that no matter who is captioning a given program, the appearance of the captions is standardized to make it easier for the viewer to read and enjoy any program. In addition, treatment sheets are created for each and every program we caption, which list common character names, places, terms, etc., and are continually updated with new entries by staff. All of our prerecorded captioning is verbatim with the program audio and complies with all Caption Quality Best Practices as outlined by the Federal Communications Commission

Q: What file types do you provide?

VITAC delivers caption files, or timed text files, in hundreds of formats and variations of those formats. Our most common deliverables are .CAP, SRT and SCC files.

Web caption file deliverables include DFXP, QT, RT, Youtube SRT, Facebook SRT, SMI, SBV, WMP, WebVTT and VTT.

SMPTE-based caption formats are available in many “flavors” and include .CAP CSS, STL, ADBE, SCC, SMPTE-TT, Netflix SMPTE-TT, Amazon, SMPTE-TT, and iTunes SMPTE-TT.

Q: Can captions be created in different languages?

A: Closed captions can be created for any language that uses Roman characters, with some character limitations for accents such as the German umlaut. (The technology, however, always is evolving and some of the newer caption encoders are able to work with nontraditional characters.)

Captions most commonly are created in English, Spanish, French, Italian, or German.

Subtitles can be created in any language.

Q: What standards do you follow?

A: We certify that our captions comply with all Federal Communications Commission Caption Quality Best Practices for accuracy, synchronicity, completeness, and placement. Our service experts are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to handle your calls.

Q: Does VITAC have a library of caption/subtitle files?

A: We archive every offline caption and subtitle file that we produce. And since captioning can be disrupted if you attempt to edit a captioned video, we can reformat or edit your caption file at a highly discounted rate, and redeliver the file to you.

Post Right Guarantee™ – Making Your Life Easier

When it comes to post-production content, there are tons of things that need to come together. And they need to come together quickly and, ideally, flawlessly. That is a lot of responsibility. Fortunately, we got your back.

Our exclusive Post Right Guarantee™ is focused on making your life easier. We are the only closed captioning company with such a program. With the Post Right Guarantee, we provide you:

Our H-Factor

Captions are traditionally created by people − highly trained professionals who understand the nuances of language, and who bring human sensitivities and contextual awareness to the captioning table.

As an industry leader in captioning and accessible communications for more than three decades, VITAC strongly believes in the essential human element in creating captions. Our captioners are dedicated company employees who have been recruited, trained, tested, and reviewed to ensure round-the-clock, reliable, secure, and accurate customer service.

While some companies might tout their X factor, we rely on our H Factor – our Human Factor. We have real people creating our captions and real people available 24/7 to support you.

Interested in learning more about our accessibility solutions?

Fill out the form above, or call to speak with a captioning expert!
(800) 278-4822