EIA-708 Turns 12

It’s been twelve years since the FCC ushered in a new era of closed captioning.

On July 2, 2002, the Federal Communications Commission mandated all Digital Televisions include an EIA-708 caption decoder, adding new features to viewers who want to change the captions’ font, color, and size according to preference—an advance in the captioning world comparable to the leap in Television from Monochrome to Technicolor tube sets.

In addition to altering the text, EIA-708 has eight windows with fewer constraints than EIA-608, the original (and primitive) standard for closed captioning that preceded digital during the analog era. These windows provide added freedom when positioning captions to a specific location, which helps when a viewer wants to move captions around graphics on screen.

For more information about the differences between 608 and 708 captions, check out: The Basics of 608 vs. 708 Captions.