Understanding Closed Captioning on TV: A Simple Guide

What Does “Closed Caption” Mean on TV? Everything You Need to Know!

As an aspiring content creator, you might have heard about closed captioning but do you know what it actually means? In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about closed captioning, including its definition, types, benefits, and how to add closed captions to your videos.

What is Closed Captioning?

Closed captioning refers to the textual representation of the audio part of a video. It displays the dialogue, sound effects, and other important audio elements of a video as text on the screen. The captions are added to the video in a way that they can be turned on or off by the viewer.

Types of Closed Captioning

There are mainly two types of closed captioning: open and closed.

Open captions are added directly to the video and can’t be turned off. They’re usually burnt into the video and become a part of it. On the other hand, closed captions are added as a separate file and can be turned on or off by the user.

Closed captions also have two different types: CEA-608 and CEA-708. CEA-608 is used mainly for analog TV while CEA-708 is used for digital broadcasting.

Benefits of Closed Captioning

Closed captioning has many benefits for content creators, viewers, and society as a whole. Here are some of the benefits mentioned below –

1. Accessibility: Closed captioning makes your videos accessible to people with disabilities such as hearing loss, deafness, and other auditory impairments. It allows them to enjoy the content and understand the audio elements of the video.

2. Reach: Closed captioning can increase the reach of your video content by making it accessible to a wider audience. When you add closed captioning to your videos, you can reach non-native speakers, people watching videos in a noisy environment, or those who prefer reading over listening.

3. SEO: Adding closed captions to your videos can also improve your video’s SEO. A video with closed captions has more text on its page, which can help it rank higher in search results.

4. Compliance: There are laws and regulations in place that require certain types of videos to be captioned. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public accommodations, including places of education, provide closed captioning for videos.

How to Add Closed Captions to Your Videos

There are several ways to add closed captions to your videos. Here are some of the popular methods –

1. Use YouTube: YouTube offers a free and easy way to add closed captions to your videos. You can either upload a transcript of your video or use their automatic captioning feature to generate captions.

2. Use Captioning Tools: There are several captioning tools available in the market that allow you to create and edit captions. Some popular captioning tools include Rev, Amara, and Kapwing.

3. Outsource Captioning: You can also outsource captioning to professional captioning services. These services can create accurate and high-quality captions for your videos.


Closed captioning is an important aspect of video content creation. It makes your videos accessible, improves your video’s reach and SEO, and ensures compliance with laws and regulations. Fortunately, there are many ways to add closed captions to your videos, such as using YouTube, captioning tools, or outsourcing to professional captioning services. By adding closed captions to your videos, you’ll be able to connect with a wider audience and create an inclusive and accessible content experience for all.

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