VITAC Caption Customer Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about ordering captioning or another service from VITAC? We’ve compiled some of our most Frequently Asked Questions, from potential and current clients. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any further inquiries.

Q: How much does it cost to caption a video?

A: The price of captioning depends on many factors: length of the program, number of episodes / volume of work, turnaround time required, caption style, and encoded deliverable. Contact us!

Q: How are offline 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 the viewing audience 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, research, and overall readability.

Q: How are live captions created?

A: Live programming is captioned by specially trained realtime captioners who listen to a program as it is airing and “write” what they hear, sometimes at speeds of up to 300 words per minute. These words feed into customized software which transmits the captions to display them live on your television screen.

Q: What video formats can VITAC caption?

A: VITAC can caption and export just about any video format. For more details on specific file and video formats, see our offline captioning page, or contact us for more information.

Q: Will captions be lost if I edit my video?

A: Most video edits will corrupt caption data. A very careful editor who keeps the captions in mind and sight while making small edits may be successful.

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).  Captions are most commonly created in English, Spanish, French, Italian, or German.   Subtitles can be created in any language.

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

A: VITAC archives every offline caption and subtitle file that we produce.  Captioning can be disrupted if you attempt to edit a captioned video.  VITAC can “reformat,” or edit, your caption file at a highly discounted rate and redeliver the file to you.

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

A: Check out some of the rave reviews we’ve received from our customers.

Q: Who answers your realtime hotline?

A: Our realtime technical services coordinators are available by phone 24/7 to field each and every phone call, whether it’s to fix a technical issue, or to help schedule your breaking emergency news or weather cut-in. They’re all captioning experts, specially trained in our Standard Operating Procedures for quick troubleshooting.

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 VITAC’s “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 VITAC’s prerecorded captioning is verbatim with the program audio and complies with all FCC Caption Quality Best Practices.

Q:How do you ensure accuracy in live captioning?

A: VITAC has a highly specialized screening process that each new realtime captioner applicant must complete.   VITAC reviews a realtime captioner candidate’s written, unedited files of specific programs. We evaluate a candidate’s speed, accuracy, theory, and writing style.  After hire, all of our realtime captioners are trained by veteran captioners.  During the training program, all trainees must achieve designated benchmarks related to captioning quality, and successfully pass each benchmark with a minimum of 98.5% accuracy. The FCC recognizes that live captioning will never be 100% verbatim due to the nature of its creation, however, VITAC complies with all FCC Caption Quality Best Practices, including the creation of accurate, synchronous, complete, and placed captions.

Q: Does VITAC support realtime captioning for web streaming services such as WebEx™?

A: Yes, we have many solutions for web streaming services. Check out a full list of our caption integrations.