Many people are not aware that closed captioning is now mandatory in Canada. This may be because the CRTC only recently implemented this ruling, on September 1, 2017. The reason why is that closed captioning ensures that people who are deaf or have hearing loss can still enjoy television programming. In this article, we will discuss what closed captioning is, why it’s important, and how the CRTC’s ruling affects Canadian television viewers.
What is Closed Captioning?
Closed captioning is a text version of the dialogue and other sounds that are happening in a television program or movie. It appears on the bottom of the screen and can be turned on or off at the viewer’s discretion.
How Can You Add Close Captions?
If you’re watching a show on regular TV, you can usually find the closed captioning option by pressing the ‘CC’ button on your remote control. This will open up a menu where you can choose to turn the captions on or off, and sometimes even change the font size or color. These options are sometimes based on 3rd party closed captioning company that uses different methods to create the captions, when the best among them are helped by technologies like artificial intelligence or machine learning.
If you’re watching a show or movie on Netflix, you can turn on closed captions by going into the ‘audio and subtitles’ menu, which can be accessed by pressing ‘up’ on your remote control while the show is playing. From there, you can select ‘closed captions’ and choose your preferences.
Why is Closed Captioning Important?
Closed captioning is important because it ensures that people who are deaf or have hearing loss can still enjoy television programming. This is especially important for live programming, such as news and sports, where viewers may not be able to follow along without the captions. Closed captions are also useful for usability & web accessibility reasons, such as when viewers are in a noisy environment or watching a show in a language that they are not fluent in.
How Does the CRTC’s Ruling Affect Canadian Television Viewers?
In Canada, the CRTC’s ruling requires that all English- and French-language broadcasters provide closed captioning for all of their programs. This includes live and pre-recorded programming, as well as programming that is shown on demand. The ruling also applies to all cable and satellite companies that offer English- and French-language channels.
The good news for Canadian television viewers is that this ruling will ensure that they have better access to television programming. The bad news is that some broadcasters may not be in compliance with the ruling, and there is no enforcement mechanism in place to ensure that they are. This means that it is up to viewers to demand closed captioning from their favorite broadcasters.
NER: Measuring the Accuracy of Closed Captions
measured by the NER model, which is described in can be found in the Canadian NER Evaluation Guidelines. The NER Rating system is used across Europe, and the United States to measure rates of accuracy.
In the U.S., all closed captioning errors – including spelling, punctuation, grammar, speaker identifications, word substitutions, omissions, and more – are factored in to obtain a percentage that measures average accuracy.
However, the NER model grades each caption error based on its severity or how easy it is to understand. Errors are split into six types, and each type has a corresponding deduction value of 0.0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 (which is a full point). So basically, the Canadian NER model works more like a score than a percentage – Caption accuracy starts at 100 points, and then gets marked down according to the number of errors and their assigned score deductions.
According to Canadian guidelines, broadcasters must target 100% accuracy for pre-recorded programs. For live programming, the requirements are more forgiving – French-language content should target 85% accuracy and English-language content 98% accuracy.
In general, live captioning accuracy rates are lower than those of pre-recorded content. The primary difference in standards for French and English audiences in Canada is largely due to the different captioning techniques used by each market.
Closed captioning is important because it ensures that people who are deaf or have hearing loss can still enjoy television programming. Although the Canadian CRTC’s ruling requires that all English- and French-language broadcasters provide closed captioning for all of their programs, some broadcasters may not be in compliance with the ruling and we hope it’ll be changed in the future.