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Captioning Industry Matures (2002 – 2007)

(2002) Digital television sets now display the next generation of closed captioning under EIA 708-B standards. NCI opens new facility in Dallas, Texas to handle Spanish captioning. Real-time voice-to-text captioning and CART using automatic speech recognition comes to the market place. Walt Disney World offers breakthrough technology of mobile captioning through handheld receivers on certain attractions. Microvision offers new “helmet” type display for captioning in movies or live theater. Father of deaf child launches third class action lawsuit for movie captioning in Houston, Texas but the case was dismissed. CMC conducted Theater Watch on Memorial Day weekend – 30 states with no captioned movies. CMP provides more than 400 educational open-captioned videos on its website. Insight Cinema formed to carry on the mission of Tripod Captioned Films. About 40 Rear Window® systems were installed nationwide. NHK tries live revoicing during a musical variety show during the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

(2003) More than 20 captioning and video description providers form industry trade association, Accessible Media Industry Coalition, or AMIC. America Online debuts regular online captioning of its help tutorials, animation series and CNN’s thrice-daily QuickCast news briefs. Regular Spanish captioning on CC2 channel begins on 60 Minutes I & II and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. National Court Reporters Association develops new certifications for CART and Captioning. The Speech-to-Text Services Network (STSN) is formed as an information system resource and to promote quality relating to court reporter verbatim stenography systems, nonverbatim meaning-based systems, and automatic speech recognition systems. BBC develops K-Live, a network of both steno and voice captioners who revoice the dialogue on the program to help them fulfill their captioning obligations. DTS on-screen cinema captioning systems now appearing in America after successful run in England. Judge in DC movie captioning lawsuit case decides ADA could require movie theaters to offer closed-captioned movies. Sign City Television, LLC is launched as a broadcast syndication company in Texas following the same mission as Silent Network with offices in Los Angeles and Carson City, Nevada.

(2004) BBC revoices the Olympic Games in Athens. Movie theaters in Washington, DC and New Jersey agree in separate settlements to increase their offerings of closed-captioned movies, including during popular movie-going days and hours. CMC supports federal legislation creating tax breaks for movie studios and theaters that create and show captioned movies – did not pass. Internet search engines, Google and Yahoo turn to captioning as a tool to find online video clips, using words stored within the text on Line 21. TDI and other organizations file petition to the FCC addressing technical and non-technical captioning quality issues. About 190 RW systems and 50 DTS projection systems installed.

(2005) TDI and Accessible Media Industry Coalition celebrate 25th Anniversary of closed captioning on television. TDI and other national organizations continue to oppose many petitions for captioning waivers. Like previously for New Jersey and Washington, D.C., the Attorney General for New York state reached agreement with movie theaters to provide captioning at selected theaters. Connecticut Association of the Deaf filed complaints with the Connecticut Human Rights Office against 33 movie theaters. About 270 RW systems and 150 DTS projection systems installed.

(2006) 100% captioning benchmark arrives for all new non-exempt television programming. Consumers complain about inaccessible or nonexistent captioning features on new digital television sets. Regal Theaters commit to open captioned movies and DTS-CSS projection systems. About 360 RW systems and 210 DTS projection systems installed. Arizona Attorney General files lawsuit against movie theater chains in the state. Sign City Television programming makes its first on-air debut on PBS in Reno, Nevada. TDI was named as a beneficiary in the Russ Boltz vs. Buena Vista Studios case. A deaf attorney filed a class action lawsuit against Buena Vista and four other studios alleging that DVD labels misled customers by implying that the entire DVD was cap­tioned when the studio only captioned the movie and not the bonus features. The studios settled with an agree­ment to caption all the bonus features of DVDs that they release in the next five years and contribute money to three organizations including TDI to promote equal access to captioning on DVDs. Captioning fails to keep pace with the growing diversification of media content on the Internet.

(2007) In May, all analog-only sets must be clearly labeled as having only an analog tuner. Digital television brings nightmares to many early adopters who rely on captioning. FCC begins educational campaign to promote a digital-to-analog converter box coupon program for viewers that receive programming from over the air through antenna. BBC says revoicing was used in 60% of their live programming. CMP joins other providers in adding video description to their services and becomes Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP).