There was a bill before HR 3101 and that is the H.R. 6320: Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2008. That bill never became law and died in Congress. Congress moves slowly in passing laws while technology moves even faster and is based on demands, marketing potential, improving technology in the computer chip and programming sector, and a greater understanding of the need for closed captioning by corporate and public entities. Since the introduction of H.R. 6320 technology on closed captioning, especially over the internet, technology moved ahead with its own self-propelling captioning initiatives along with people who are passionate about closed captioning in getting it pushed out into the public mainstream.
Google adds real time automatic closed captioning although not perfect it's a start and they recognize the need and marketing potential as well. Google sets the stage and worldwide example on the importance of investing in captioning of videos whether on television or internet. And that speech recognition technology has now gone mainstream, this will only continue to improve to the point where all videos will automatically transcribed and include closed captioning. This is fast becoming a reality. Law or no law.
Hulu adds captioning to their movies and television shows. The list continues to grow.
Blackberry phones are beginning to have Closed Captioning capability to view videos on your smart phones' screen which is definitely smaller than a 13-inch screen television screen. So does the iPhone.
Captioning is available on digital television as opposed to analog television where a 13-inch screen exempts it from any captioning requirement. A digital television is different set of technology that includes captioning where it continues to improve.
The Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 (“TDCA”) requires, generally, that television receivers contain circuitry to decode and display closed captioning. Specifically, the TDCA requires that “apparatus designed to receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be equipped with built-in decoder circuitry designed to display closed-captioned television transmissions when such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, and its television picture screen is 13 inches or greater in size.”Simultaneous closed captioning companies in finding a niche market that exploit closed captioning needs.
The Federal Communication Commission\'s Digital TV (DTV) proceeding incorporated an industry approved transmission standard for DTV into
its rules. The standard included a data stream reserved for closed captioning information. However, specific instructions for implementing closed captioning services for digital television were not included. The Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA), a trade organization representing the U.S. high technology community, has since adopted a standard, EIA-708 (High Definition Closed Captioning for purposes of this document), that provides guidelines for encoder and decoder manufacturers as well as caption providers to implement closed captioning services with DTV technology. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in its DTV proceeding, the FTC proposed to adopt a minimum set of technical standards for closed caption decoder circuitry for digital television receivers in accordance with Section 9 of the EIA-708 standard and to require the inclusion of such decoder circuitry in DTV receivers.
Closed captioning included in DVR via TiVo.
ETV is metadata that cable providers recently began integrating into their broadcasts, and the TiVo patent will allow the company to sync both this as well as closed caption information and display it in an interactive method. This includes closed captioning text, a menu or digital video and sound effects. TiVo also promises more advanced uses thanks to this type of technology, such as marking sections of a program they find particularly interesting and then sharing them with friends who also have a TiVo DVR.
Prior to the patent award on February 9th, TiVo already offered ways for customers to view closed caption data, and viewers can also subscribe to a show or order more product information when watching a commercial.
ABC takes the lead on internet captioning.
HTML5 captioning effort with demo videos of an earlier HTML5 version.
What I've listed so far is just an short example of things to come in the world of closed captioning (or subtitling). Let the market forces send a message to corporate and public entities on providing closed captioning on digital tv, smart phones, and online videos over the internet. The trend is clear and that technology is increasingly making it easier, such as YouTube's automatic captioning service, for companies and businesses to include captioning in their videos, whatever the format.
I have mixed feelings about getting the government involved to force companies to comply, especially when technology continues to leap frog ahead with the embedding of closed captioning as a standard practice. Let the market dictate this direction at this point in time. Consider where we were 2 to 4 years ago for online captioning opportunities. There were essentially none. Currently, the trend in captioning is clearly picking up. It's a matter of time till captioning is done as part of any video programming since advertising and marketing pressures will help ensure that. And that social awareness and consciousness will be another factor in pushing closed captioning to the top of their collective consciousness. Bottom line? It's coming and without the need for government intervention to make closed captioning mandatory for all online videos. Technology moves faster than the government could in trying to pass a bill. And that's encouraging.