Help! I need to get Close Captioning to work!

We saw your cry for help when you flashed that big Discovery Education logo in the sky, and faster than a streaming (not buffering) video here we are to save the day!  Please excuse the Batman, Superman, and Mighty Mouse references – this author had previously succumbed to boyhood nostalgia).

OK we’re back and ready to provide you with Close Captioning information – More specifically; how to find the CC videos, what to do with them, and how to get them to play full screen.

Finding CC videos

Whenever you search for videos within unitedstreaming a CC file may appear as one of the video/video segments that match your search criteria.  The catch is that you may have to scroll down and/or page through your search results to find the CC file(s).

However, there is a short cut to yielding only CC files in your search results.  How you ask? The answer, my friend, is the Advanced Search feature.  Click on the Advanced Search feature, type in a key word, scroll down, and place a check in the box next to the phrase, "Include only Closed Captioned Titles."Close_caption_image

Now that you’ve found your CC files what can you do with them?  Here are a few recommendations:

How do we play the CC files full-screen?  And, even better, how do we download the CC videos? Great questions – here are the answers:

First a few notes

  1. You must have a Windows Media Player (WMP) to play CC files
  2. To play the CC files full screen you must have Windows XP and WMP 10 or higher.
  3. If you have a Mac you can play (stream) CC files with a Windows Media Player. However, downloaded CC files do not operate on a Mac.

Next you’ll need to make a few adjustments within your WMP.  The adjustments and CC download instructions are listed below or, if you want to print them out, can be downloaded by clicking on this link: Download closed_caption_full_screen_viewing_steps.doc

  1. Right-click on the blue download icon next to the CC video or video clip of your choice and select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer). Navigate to your desired location.  Save the file including extension “.asf” (Tip:  For quick access, save file to desktop.)
  2. Return to the unitedstreaming video/video clip page and right-click on the "CC" icon next to the video or video clip that you previously saved.  Select "Save Target As" (Internet Explorer).  Navigate to the same location as the video/video clip.  Save the file including extension “.smi”  (note make sure that you save the .smi CC file with the same title as the video example – Dogs_Playing.asf and Dogs_Playing.smi)
  3. When viewing the video, go to your location of the saved files and double-click on the Windows Media Player video file. 
  4. Once Windows Media Player has opened, select “Play” on the tool bar at the top of the player.  (Note: You may have to hover your mouse directly above the player to make the menu File, View, Play, Tools, and Help appear.)
  5. Scroll down to “Caption and Subtitles” and make sure that “On if Available” has been selected. 
  6. Click on the word Tools in your Windows Media Player tool bar
  7. Scroll down and click on the word "Options"
  8. Click on the "Security" tab
  9. Place a check mark next to "Run script commands when present"
  10. Place a check mark next to "Run script commands and rich media streams when the Player is in a Web page" (WMP 11)
  11. Place a check mark next to "Show local captions when present"
  12. Close Windows Media Player and re-open again by click on the Windows Media Player video file.  Your video should play and captions should play across the bottom. 
  13. You may resize the Windows Media Player window by clicking and dragging the corner of the player.

I hope that this posting has provided you with some creative ideas. 

Stay tuned for our next episode when our blogeteers tackle the infamous…(The author apologizes once again for using the Super Hero reference)

Talk to you soon,
Matt Monjan
Discover Education, unitedstreaming


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  1. Hall Davidson said:

    Thanks so much for that detailed description. After helping people all day with captioning in the booth at TCEA, I could not get the captioning to work on my own machine. In front of a group, I discovered this, of course… Now I can link to this great explanation. I had done everything except the most obvious–the command under Play (#4 above). Somehow when I upgraded from WMP 9 to 10 –or in some other way when I manipulated video with other programs–that command defaulted to off. THANKS! And, of course, there are great links to the power of captioning in my old EdTechConnect seminar, which you can find on the DiscoverySchool site. Great strategy for both native speakers, ELL, elementary, and secondary students.

  2. Stevie Kline said:

    Matt, Thanks once again for sharing such useful information with us. You are always so helpful when I call or email you with a problem. YOU and others like you are what make Discovery Education the DEN so special.

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