Exploring the Differences between SDH and Closed Captioning

As digital media continues to evolve, the importance of inclusive content becomes more apparent. In the context of accessibility, subtitles and closed captions play a crucial role. For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, non-native speakers, or simply in a noisy environment, these text alternatives provide necessary access to multimedia content.

Two phrases you might have heard bouncing around are SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing) and closed captioning. They’re often used interchangeably, but they’re actually not quite the same thing. This article is going to break down what sets them apart and how IncrediScribe can help you to include SDH and closed captioning in your videos.

What are SDH and Closed Captioning

Before delving into their differences, it is important to understand what SDH and closed captioning are.

1. SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing)

SDH is an enhanced subtitle format that not only provides dialogue transcription, but also includes essential non-speech elements. This can be sound effects, musical cues, speaker identification, and other significant auditory elements, ideal for those who might not be able to hear the audio. SDH is particularly important for cinematic video content.

2. Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is a written version of what you hear in a video. It shows on the screen all the words that are spoken, but it also tells you about other sounds that are happening, like a door slamming or a song starting to play. It’s something you can turn on or off when you’re watching a video. Not only that, but it’s really helpful for people who can’t hear well, but it’s also useful if you’re in a loud place or if you’re trying to understand a language better.

One thing to note is that closed captions can usually be turned on and off by the viewer. So, they’re there when you need them, and gone when you don’t.