Today, there are two standards for displaying T.V. broadcast closed captions. One is 608 closed captions, and the other is 708 closed captions.
608 standard is the conventional closed captioning standard for analog television, while 708 standard is the new standard for modern digital television.
Analog television was officially replaced by digital television when the US passed the DTV Delay Act in 2009. This is when 708 captions started replacing the 608 captions. However, digital television continued to support 608 captions to ensure that the transition process remains smooth.
However, professional captioning services are well equipped to cater both kinds of captions.
What Are 608 Closed Captions?
In terms of appearance, you can differentiate 608 closed captions from the 708, because of its stereotype display. And, this is a black box background having all uppercase white text.
The 608 closed captions are coded in the Line-21 area of analog television and can only be viewable with a decoder. Line 21 allows two language fields — source language and target language. The 608 closed captions can be coded for languages: Dutch, English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Only these many languages are supported due to lack of special characters
The position of the 608 closed captions is fixed on the screen and is transmitted on Line 21.
What Are 708 Closed Captions?
Since the 708 standards were introduced for digital television, they follow advanced standards. Thus, offering greater user control over the appearance of the closed captions.
You can choose any out of 8 font options, 64 text colors, 3 text sizes, and 64 background colors. The standard also has advanced features such as background opacity and drop shadow. These days, most closed captioning services companies are well-versed with 708 standards. The customization flexibility makes 708 closed captions more accessible to people with unique requirements and preferences.
The captions of 708 are funneled through the picture user data of modern television.
The 708 standards for digital television are upgraded to include special characters & symbols, therefore supporting any language. In a nutshell, the multilingual capability of 708 closed captions is way more than the previous 608 standards.
Coming to position, 708 closed captions follow the FCC’s rule that it must not block any important on-screen information. This aspect will be taken care by the captioning services.
CEA-608 Vs. CEA-708 Captions
The 608 standard is meant for the old analog television, while 708 is for digital television.
608 closed captions can be transmitted on both analog and digital television, whereas 708 is transmitted through digital television.
608 supports two languages at a time, and 708 has multilingual caption support.
Let’s Wrap Up
Whether you are considering 608 or 708 closed captions, you are required to hire a trustworthy agency offering closed captioning services. They should have a panel of competent captioning expertise with specialization in both the standards. Do not hire any agency based on your gut feeling, check their profile to have a fair idea. Do they have relevant experience to align with the complexity of your project or not?