Captions Requirements

Captions display audio content as text on the screen when consumers watch a video. They help the viewer understand the video when the sound is muted, unavailable, or inaudible. Captions also increase accessibility by allowing viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing to consume the video.

Filmhub supports 3 caption types:

  • SDH - Stands for ‘Subtitles for Deaf and Hard of Hearing,’ which, in addition to showing the dialogue, also includes non-verbal elements like sound effects and other atmospheric descriptors. SDH lines are distinguished from spoken dialogue lines with [brackets] or (parentheses). Captions with SDH contain every spoken word exactly as it’s said and appear precisely when heard.
  • Subtitles - Captions showing only spoken dialogue (no non-spoken dialogue shown, such as sound effects and other atmospheric descriptors). Subtitles are used to translate dialogue into foreign languages.
  • Forced - File that is eventually used to “burn” text into the video, making it a permanent part of the visual content. Forced text is generally used to force the consumer to understand dialogue not in the film's main language or make it easier to understand inaudible content, such as words spoken during an explosion.

Requirements

  • English SDH captions are required for all titles regardless main audio language

    • We prefer SubRip (.srt) format in plain UTF-8. We recommend using a text editor such as BBEdit to open and re-save your .srt files in UTF-8.
    • Scenarist Closed Caption (.scc) is also accepted. A frame rate must be selected for SCC files. Learn more about SCC.
      File Formats:
  • The caption file must not contain blank or empty lines
  • Maximum 43 characters per single line
  • Dialogue from a single speaker that is less than 43 characters should be entered in a single line
    • If it is longer than 43 characters, break it into two lines
  • Maximum of two lines per caption event
    • Dialogue from a single speaker that spans more than one event can be bridged with an ellipsis …
  • At least 66 milliseconds between different caption events
  • No more than 25 characters per second
  • Caption events must last for at least 600 milliseconds (0.6 seconds)
  • Caption events must last no longer than 8000 milliseconds (8 seconds)
  • Atmospherics should be enclosed in parentheses (). If they are enclosed in {} or <>, they will be deleted, which may result in an empty line
  • All captions must be complete and accurate and sync with the video
    • This includes lyrics in the opening and closing credits
  • Correct punctuation and spelling are required

Mixed Language Titles

  • We require a complete English SDH caption file (ALL dialogues + atmospherics) for all titles, even mixed language.
  • If English is the primary audio language, you can burn in English subtitles for all the non-English dialogue and provide a separate English SDH file that INCLUDES the lines that are burned in.
  • If English is a secondary audio language, you should provide the main video without burned-in subtitles and have a complete English closed caption file (ALL dialogues + atmospherics). In addition to that, it's recommended that you also upload two additional English captions:
    • English subtitles for all dialogue with no atmospherics
    • English SDH for ALL dialogue and atmospherics

Tips & Tricks before Submitting

  • For other file formats, you can use the below apps or web apps to convert to .srt.
  • Use the "Fix common errors" feature in Subtitle Edit to catch and fix any rule errors before submitting your title.
  • Playback your video in our system with the captions enabled and jump to a few random spots to ensure the captions are in sync before submitting.


FAQs

Why does Filmhub require English SDH captions for all titles?

  • Nearly all major Channels now mandate English SDH captions for reasons besides physiological hearing issues. Your audience will often watch films on a laptop in a noisy cafe, a tablet on a commuter train, a TV in a bar, or simply at home in the kitchen with the sound of cooking and kids.
  • With English SDH captions, we can easily translate your title as needed to non-English languages to expand the number of Channels and territories we can pitch your title to.

Can I provide additional captions for other languages besides the required English SDH Captions?

  • Other captions, such as Subtitles or Forced Text, can also be provided in addition to the English SDH caption file.
    • We encourage you to provide as many subtitle files in other languages as possible to increase the licensing potential of your title.

Why do I need Subtitles for Deaf or Hard-of-hearing (SDH) in the captions?

  • Nearly all major Channels now mandate English SDH captions for reasons besides physiological hearing issues. Your audience will often watch films on a laptop in a noisy cafe, a tablet on a commuter train, a TV in a bar, or simply at home in the kitchen with the sound of cooking and kids. Making your title more accessible to viewers should always be a top priority.
Why do I need English-language captions if my title is not in English?
  • Filmhub’s channel partners do business primarily in English-speaking markets. To meet baseline exposure, we require all titles to have English captions regardless of their main audio language. We recommend adding as many non-English subtitles as you have in addition to the English caption file, as this opens your title’s availability to more territories and licensing opportunities.

My title has multiple spoken languages with subtitles burned into the video during some dialogue. Should my captions also include the dialogue that’s burned in?

  • Yes, always include all spoken dialogue intended to be understood by the audience, even if the text in the caption file overlaps with the text burned in on screen. This allows channels more flexibility for localization.

The non-English segments of my movie are not intended to be understood by the audience. What should I put in the captions to depict this dialogue?

  • You can use [speaking in foreign language], or [mumbling], etc., to show that the dialogue was not intended to be understood by the audience.
How should I position the text on the screen?
  • There is no need to include positioning data. All captions are normalized to plain text during the QC review. This means all positioning data will be removed.

Can my captions include italics and other formatting?

  • No need to include formatting tags. All captions are normalized to plain text during the QC review. This means all formatting tags will be removed.

How many text tracks do I need?

  • We only require a single English SDH caption file in SRT or SCC format. We recommend adding as many non-English subtitles as you have in addition to the English SDH caption file, as this opens your title’s availability to more territories and licensing opportunities.

My captions failed for “Captions Quality”, what does this mean?

  • Captions must have text that matches exactly with the spoken dialogue and should be free of errors and typos.
My captions failed for “Rule Errors”, what does this mean?
  • Caption rules are technical standards that define the limits of what can be shown on screen. You can see the full list of rules in the caption requirements section under the Requirements section.
My captions failed for “Not In Sync”, what does this mean?
  • This means your captions did not consistently start and end within half a second of their associate dialogue events.

My captions failed for “English captions not provided or don’t include SDH”, what does this mean?

  • The English SDH caption file provided did not include non-dialogue elements.