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The 2022 Ultimate Guide to Grow Your Audience with Sdh Subtitles

the ultimate guide to using sdh subtitles

RevBlogSubtitlesThe 2022 Ultimate Guide to Grow Your Audience with Sdh Subtitles

You may have thought that hearing loss was a rare occurrence, but the data says otherwise. Around 15% of American adults have a hard time hearing. So, it’s essential not to ignore how subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community can be a game-changer. But that’s not the only reason to consider subtitles. In a recent survey, 80% of adults admitted using on-screen text to enjoy videos. This same group had no hearing loss!

Do you want to be more inclusive?

Do you realize that some people love to have subtitles as an option?

Here’s what you should know about SHD technology for your videos.

What are subtitles?

The text that appears at the bottom of a video is a subtitle. It matches what’s being said in that video is a subtitle. Subtitles are typically generated to help viewers understand the content of the video. They are a tool for hard-of-hearing viewers. They also help foreign language speakers. Subtitles can go a long way to increase engagement with video assets.

Maybe you’ve confused the term “captions” with “subtitles.” While they do similar things, subtitles are generally used for foreign languages. A film made entirely in Japanese with English words on the screen would be an example of subtitles.

On the other hand, captions match the language being spoken, most common in English for the U.S. market.

What does SDH subtitles mean?

As explained above, there are many reasons to want to use subtitles. If you aim to better serve the deaf or Hard-of-Hearing community, use SDH subtitles. SDH subtitles show a text transcript of the speech occurring in a video. They also share other audio cues. These include music, sound effects, or audible human expressions like “sighs” or “screams.” Their addition to a video creates a more inclusive viewing experience. Each text cue is shown at the exact time of an audio happening, so viewers can read along as they watch in real-time. Unlike traditional subtitles, they are also shown in the same language as what’s spoken on the screen – beneficial for people who don’t speak the language.

SDH subtitles differ in a few other ways from traditional subtitles, including where they appear on the screen. Generally, they lock on the middle-lower portion of the screen. (Traditional subtitles may be placed almost anywhere if the video settings allow.) Finally, SDH subtitles include speaker identification tags. “Jane” or “boy in the car” appears before the dialogue text. This doesn’t occur with traditional subtitles.

Closed Captions and SDH

When considering SDH subtitles vs. closed captions, there are fewer differences. Closed captions, for example, offer all of the audio clues of SDH subtitles. They explain music and background noise. They differ from a technical perspective, however. They are encoded differently and aren’t compatible with HDMI encoding. Closed captioning (CC) also show a second or two after the audio in the video. SDH happens at the same time.

Does adding subtitles increase views?

How people interact with videos has changed over the years. Without sound, how is it possible to know what’s going on? We have data that shows people often prefer to watch videos without sound, especially on social media. They rely on captions or subtitles. To capture this audience, subtitles are needed, even though many could hear the audio if they wanted to. So, in this example, not having subtitles would cause this group of people to skip your video entirely.

There’s another aspect to subtitles to consider, however. It involves regulation. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal to show promotional videos and commercials without captions in a public place. (Streaming services like Netflix are considered public places.) Education and entertainment content has since been included in laws that require captions.

Include subtitles or captions by default. Some film festivals and live events will make video distributors include captions or subtitles. This is becoming more and more common. You’ll be ready for any platform on which you place your video.

SDH technical details

A few other points to consider when using SDH include the encoding requirements. Since SDH started with DVDs and home movie products, it also has a different encoding process. It differs from some caption options you see on television or a streaming platform.

SDH typically appears as bitmap images or pixels on the video file. How it is encoded depends on the medium. DVDs and streaming movies have different technical specs. There are 20 possibilities for the exact technique used to encode this info. That’s why it’s essential to know just how the video will be used before you start the process of creating SDH files.

Why automation isn’t a good choice for SDH

Speech-to-text has come a long way. There are many options to get text on your videos, including the AI-based or “automated transcription” option. Generally, these vital services can get you up 80% accuracy (which is pretty good!) They are affordable, too, and make it fast to get a transcript of any video.

However, the problem with automation is that it doesn’t meet the standards required by SDH subtitles. Think of all the audio that goes on in the background. It includes music, the sounds of cars crashing, and the overlapping dialogue in a fight scene. SDH takes every bit of audio, sorts it, assigns it to a source, and places it clearly on the screen at just the right moment.

There is also the matter of dialogues and slang terms and voices that are too quiet to be captured quickly. This is something that only a human can get right.

Human-generated SDH subtitles are really what the industry requires these days.

How to create SDH subtitles

Ready to make your videos the most accessible in the industry? You may feel it’s a requirement for the platform you desire. You may want to be more inclusive. Either way, SDH subtitles are a great choice. The first step to getting it done includes editing your video and audio files to their final format.

Ensure that any edits or alternative cuts are settled before you set out to make those SDH files. That way, the subtitles generated from them will be just right. (Editing your video after the fact may mess up the SDH subtitles. They could be “off” by a few seconds and not match what’s happening on the screen. 

From there, you can work to order transcription from a reliable source like Rev. While they currently don’t offer a full SDH subtitle service, they can get you started with excellent subtitle options, including human transcription.

With 99% accuracy, it’s a reliable way to provide closed captioning and even foreign language transcription. These two services are essential for video producers. They give you more room in your schedule to get those SDH services finalized.


It’s settled. SDH subtitles are fast becoming the standard for video accessibility. Anyone who wants to be inclusive and offer their video to a broader audience should consider them.

Affordable, fast transcription. 100% Guaranteed.