Canadian communications regulator calls for comments on proposed caption quality standards

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011 17:30pm

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has called for comments on proposed English-language and French-language Caption Quality Standards.

In 2007, the commission introduced a new policy which stated that broadcasters must caption 100% of programs apart from commercials and promos. It also instructed the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to establish caption working groups for the English language market and French-language market, which would include representatives from the broadcasters, distributors, consumer and advocacy groups, and caption providers.

The commission noted that there were some areas on which the English-language working group could not reach consensus. These included:

  • The establishment of a standard so that captions do not block onscreen information
  • The establishment of an appropriate lag time (i.e. between the dialogue and the corresponding caption appearing on scree).
  • The definition of an error, method of calculating errors and establishment of an acceptable error rate.

The commission also noted that the proposals of the French-language working group differed in some of these keys areas, including a definition of errors and an acceptable error rate.

The deadline for comments is 14 October 2011. Once the commission approves the guidelines, all television licensees will be required to adhere to them.

Further information is available on the CRTC website.

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