This article is a guide to producing closed captions for web videos using Field59’s video capture box integration with the Blackbird editor.

There are a few different ways you can get video with captions into Field59. One is primarily for broadcasters using the Blackbird editor. For non-broadcasters, please see our articles discussing how to upload closed captions to the manager or how to create your own captions in the manager.

If you are a broadcaster using Blackbird, you have two methods to publish captions.

Publishing captions via SDI video capture

If you are using a Blackbird edge server, you can send closed captions to that box along with your SD-SDI or HD-SDI video source. The capture box has software that decodes the CEA-608 or CEA-708 captions and displays the data as an editable track in the online editor, which is powered by Blackbird.

In the editor, when a user opens a source file from the capture box and loads it in the left side window (blue accents), the closed captions appear on the source video. (Although captions appear overlaid on the video in the editor, this is not how they will appear on your site. Your site’s video player will handle the appearance of the captions).

Users can search on the caption data and jump to that point in the clip. To do this, click on the orange “Edit” button at lower right to change it to the blue “Log” view, which displays information about the source video in the blue window, including the captions. Enter your query into the Search box to pull up results from within the source video, and double click on the In or Out time to jump to that portion of the video. You can then set your mark-in and mark-out times.

After selecting your mark-in and mark-out times and moving the clip to the right-side editing window (orange accents), change the the blue “Log” view to orange “Edit” view. Captions display as a track on the timeline at the bottom. If necessary, captions can be edited prior to transcoding by double-clicking into the caption track. The portion of the captions the user is editing changes to pink and the user has cursor control to edit as needed.

If you do not want to include captions with the clip, simply click on the captions track icon at bottom left to deactivate the caption track. The button turns to gray, and the captions disappear from the orange editing window. This gives the user full control to decide whether to include captions with a given video.

Click and drag your clip to the Field59 button option near top left, and your clip is on its way. During transcoding, captions are embedded as timed text in .mp4 files as well as output as sidecar files.

Manually creating captions in Blackbird

You can also manually add captions to any uncaptioned source video. Load it in the blue / left window and ensure your selection below is set to “Log”.

Start your video playback in the left window. Click at bottom right under the “CC” column where it says “Start typing”. The In/Out times will automatically populate as you type your caption text.

When you are done with a given caption segment, you can either: Hit enter add the captions to the source at the indicated time, and then immediately continue with the next segment of captions (playback of the video continues); or, if you need a bit more time to complete a line of captions,  pause the playback. Then when complete, hit enter. Restart playback when you are ready to add more captions.

Repeat this process as needed every few seconds. Keep in mind that shorter caption segments are recommended so that there isn’t too much text at one timestamp for any video player to display on playback.

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