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The Fcc Answers Your Toughest Questions About Closed Captioning Rules

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Recently, the FCC clarified its rules regarding the responsibility of video programmers and distributors to ensure quality closed captioning. We brought in FCC Deputy Head of Disability Rights Office Eliot Greenwald to provide an overview of the FCC's closed captioning rules for broadcasters in light of the new order. Following the presentation, webinar attendees posed their captioning questions to Eliot. Here's an edited excerpt from that question-and-answer session: FCC Brief: FCC Rules for Closed Captioning of Online VideoDownload the File:FCC Rules for Closed Captioning of Online Videos: Are You Compliant? What is the difference between video program distributors (VPDs) and video programmers? ELIOT GREENWALD: Video distributors would be TV channels, cable networks, satellite networks, FiOS, U-verse, etc. Broadcast programmers would be the people who produce the programming. So, for example, TV broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox are programmers.

Now these programmers have group owned stations, and they also have a lot of affiliates. But the programming they produce makes programmers. Likewise, many non-broadcast networks (cable and satellite channels) are also programmers. There are also independent programmers, such as religious programs that are broadcast on Croatia Phone Numbers List  broadcast stations. They would also be programmers. If a video programmer finds that the subtitles of their own programs are distorted by a VPD, what is the best process to correct this? ELIOT GREENWALD: They have to check that they have sent the content to the VPD with the captions intact and in good working order. Assuming that this check is complete and the problem is with the distributor, they should immediately contact the distributor and ask them to fix it immediately. This is the best process because with distributors you have technicians at broadcast stations or cable networks who should be able to troubleshoot and repair right away.

Do the requirements for accuracy, synchronicity, completeness and placement apply to live programming? Or is live programming just considered the best effort? How accurate should the live programming be? ELIOT GREENWALD: Basically the rules apply to live programming. But they are interpreted a little differently.“ It is understood that the live programming cannot be perfect because it is done on site by a human. And so there will be mistakes, and we recognize that. "It is understood that live programming cannot be perfect, as it is performed on site by a human. And so there will be mistakes, and we recognize that. We take that into account. The basic guidance on this is rule 79.1 (j). Essentially, the captions should reflect the words being spoken and someone should be able to follow the program. It must be understandable. So there is a little leeway, given the nature of the live programming. Can live captioning be done by automatic voice recognition? ELIOT GREENWALD:

The problem is, speech recognition as we know it today wouldn't meet the FCC's closed caption accuracy requirements. There are just too many mistakes in it.There is no ban on speech recognition because I think everyone is hoping that speech recognition will improve to the point that it can one day be used for live captioning. Hopefully people develop it and produce an ASR that can meet our standards for accuracy. We have seen demos from companies working there. So there is some promise, but at the moment the technology is not there yet. What are the implications if the captions do not meet FCC quality requirements? ELIOT GREENWALD: If we receive a complaint from a consumer, we report it to the distributor.

Whether it is the distributor or the programmer who is at fault, we wait in the distributor's response and if so, the programmer will investigate, determine the cause of the problem, and then take action to resolve it so that he wins that. will not happen again. If we start to receive a series of complaints about a particular Distributor or Programmer, we would expect them to provide a more formal response as to what they are doing to resolve the issue.“ Each incident is a separate violation, so confiscations can be expensive. "If that's not fixed, we'll take the next step, which is a six-month compliance program to bring them into compliance.And if that still doesn't work, we'll send them back to the Enforcement Office, in which case there could be fines and forfeiture. These could add up, especially if it is a persistent problem. Each incident is a separate violation, so confiscations can be expensive. But the first effort is to try to bring the programmer or the distributor into compliance

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