Link Electronics facebook Twitter YouTube Slide Toggle Close dealer closed caption software

Closed vs. Open Captions

Captioning your videos or streams can provide your organization with many benefits. Providing meaningful service to the 48 million deaf or hard of hearing in the U.S. and complying with ADA mandates may top your list, but the benefits do not end there. Recent studies have shown that videos with captions have increased viewership across the spectrum—approximately 80 percent of viewers of captioned videos have no hearing impairment. With such a wide range of viewers utilizing captions, adding captions can boost your content with longer viewing times, increased comprehension, stronger brand recall, and broader audiences since the information is more accessible to engage with.

Captions are on-screen text that displays synchronized written descriptions of relative audio elements. These can include features such as dialogue, sounds (laughter, music, etc.), and speaker identification found in a video product for the primary purpose of making the information accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Captions can be either OPEN or CLOSED, and the type you choose to utilize for your content depends on multiple factors.

Open Captions

Open captions are always in view and cannot be turned off.


  • Provides easy accessibility and comprehension, especially for deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals and users with limited technology skills.
  • Open captions do not require unique functionality for media players or streaming platforms to be displayed.
  • Captions are always in view, so users can easily engage with your content on devices amid loud venues or quiet areas—from a television playing across the room in a busy restaurant to watching a video while rocking a baby.
  • Caption styles (font, size, etc.) can be determined before embedding them in a video.


  • Distracting to some viewers, as the captions are always in view.
  • Archiving and indexing content is not available since open captions are an actual part of the video stream.
  • Potential loss of quality when the encoded video is compressed, or a stream is of low-quality, sometimes causing captions to be blurry and difficult to read.


The viewer can turn closed captions on and off. These are the most common and are used by major broadcasters and video streaming services.


  • Captions can be displayed or hidden at will.
  • All video displayed on television sets sold for use in the U.S. since 1993 have decoders built in to allow viewing of closed captions.
  • Most major media viewer software applications now support closed captions.
  • Closed captions exist as a separate text stream, so if captions are preserved as text, it allows users to archive, index, and search for specific video content.
  • Closed captions can be created in a range of file formats.
  • Allow for easy editing because they are separate files.
  • No loss of quality when the encoded video is compressed.


  • End-user needs to understand how to turn captions on via T.V. or media viewer.
  • Not always compatible with some media players and streaming platforms--only platforms that support closed caption files.
  • Some products support closed captions in their stand-alone client versions, but not always in browser-embedded or hand held versions of their products.

What Is Best For You?

Choosing to caption is an important decision, as it allows you to connect with your audience in the most far-reaching, convenient, and accessible manner.

There are advantages and obstacles to both open and closed captioning. Thus, the best selection for your specific content will be dependent upon many factors, some of which include:

  • Who is your audience (primarily deaf/hard of hearing, people in a large area where sound would be otherwise difficult to hear, tech or non-tech savvy individuals, etc.)?
  • What is your specific product/content (video that may require regular editing, content explicitly directed toward a particular people group, one-time events, advertisements, etc.)?
  • Where will it be used (large venue, noisy areas, quiet offices, home, etc.)?
  • What platform will you be using? If Facebook, YouTube, etc., closed captioning works best, but take note that some web hosting services do not support closed captioning.

Upon careful consideration, you can select the best type of captioning to achieve your goals.

How Can We Help?

At Link Electronics, we are eager to help you reach your goals related to captioning. We have been providing quality products at competitive prices, alongside excellent service, for over 30 years. Let us know how we can help.

Page {{ currentPage }} of {{ searchTotalPages }}


{{ error }}

No results found.