Here at Transcription City, we offer professional subtitling services for broadcast television, satellite and cable. Subtitling differs from closed captioning services and open captioning services (which we also provide). This is because subtitling services only include the dialogue of the programme or film as opposed to any other description of sound on or offscreen.
What are the Most Common Subtitle Formats for Television and Film?
The most common subtitle formats for television and film are SCC files. SMPTE-TT (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineering timed text). Then there are newer formats such as WebVTT and EBU-TT.
How long Should Subtitles Stay Onscreen?
Subtitles must perfectly sync with the spoken dialogue and display onscreen long enough for viewers to read them easily. This is a minimum duration of 1.5 seconds, which is suitable for very short dialogue or single word answers. Subtitles should be around two lines long and at the bottom of the screen to ensure that they don’t obstruct the video picture.
What is the Standard Font for Subtitles?
Subtitles should be typed in a condensed sans serif font at 36 pt. They should have a drop shadow for ease of reading onscreen. This applies to any form of subtitling, including film and television subtitles.
Subtitling Services for Broadcast Television and Film
Subtitles can be produced in same language with text only. However, this is a more common practice for closed captioning for the deaf or hard of hearing. Standard subtitles do not contain information vital for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing to fully enjoy and understand the content of a video – unless they are subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. Subtitles are often translated to allow viewers who do not speak the source language to enjoy the content of a video. This also applies to television program or feature film. The video is then suitable for worldwide distribution.
If you would like more information about any of our foreign language subtitling services, closed captioning services, transcription services or translation services, why not get in touch today and we can provide a video transcription package to suit your needs and requirements. We are available seven days a week and are always happy to help.
For more information on subtitling and closed captioning services for accessibility, feel free to visit this BBC page which discusses the media standards and guidelines for subtitling and closed captioning for broadcast media programmes. We also subtitle medical videos and technical videos if required.