AST's CaptionSync automated captioning service allows you to submit your media electronically and receive back a wide variety of caption files very quickly (in minutes, if you are able to provide a transcript). With AST’s DVD/MP4 Transfer service we can also deliver caption files for videotape or DVDs. Simply send in uncaptioned DVDs or VHS tapes (miniDV and Hi8 tapes also accepted) and we will digitize your material, obtaining the caption files, and authoring the result to a labeled DVD with captions and subtitles.
You can also receive a subtitled MP4 video created from your videotape or DVD. This puts your media in a modern web-viewable format, and eliminates the delay and expense of shipping. You can also choose to receive both the authored DVD and the MP4 video.
Learn how to use this feature in our DVD/MP4Transfer feature article.
- Cost: DVD/MP4 Transfer is a fraction of the cost of conventional captioning.
- Convenience: Manage the submission of tapes/DVDs for captioning through your CaptionSync account, and track the progress every step of the way.
- Modern Formats: DVDs preserve your video in a digital format that does not deteriorate with each play. VHS equipment has become increasingly difficult to obtain and service; converting to DVD solves this issue. Subtitled MP4 files preserve your video in a high quality digital format that is accessible on computers, tablets, and smartphones without the need for a DVD player. This is an excellent fit for institutions implementing online video platforms.
- Presentation: New DVDs will be labeled and returned in their own case. Each DVD will have a simple menu to turn the subtitling on or off. The DVDs will also contain a line 21 caption track if you prefer closed captions. Original tapes/DVDs will also be returned. Subtitled MP4 files will be ready for download minutes after your captions are complete. You can optionally choose to have the original tapes/DVDs returned.
- Additional Results: Choose other caption or transcript files (e.g. for web) at no extra cost.
- Simple to use: Log on to your CaptionSync account, indicate the number of tapes/ DVDs you want transferred, select DVD authoring or MP4 video (or both), print out a packing slip, and ship your DVDs/tapes to the address indicated on the packing slip.
Several formatting options are available. You can see the price sheet for DVD/MP4 Transfer in the help page, in your account. To the base price for each DVD/tape Transfer, variable fees are added based on the duration of the media (and possibly return shipping charges).
The main formatting options are:
- MP4 with subtitles: Send in your media and download a subtitled MP4 file. This is the quickest (and most modern) approach. Captioning, Transcription, and Video Encoding are required services. If you choose 1-Day Transcription, you can have your results in under a week. Optionally you can: choose to review the transcript before encoding; have your original media shipped back to you; and/or add Result Review (where AST reviews the results).
- DVD: Send in your media and get back a captioned and subtitled DVD. This is the classic way our DVD Transfer has worked. Captioning, Transcription, and Result Review are required services. You can choose 1-Day Transcription, however keep in mind that you need to review the transcript before authoring, AST needs to review the results (Result Review), and ground shipping all take time – so it is still going to be about 3 weeks.
- DVD and Subtitled MP4: You can merge these two choices together to get back a captioned and subtitled DVD plus the downloadable subtitled MP4 file. Captioning, Transcription, Video Encoding, and Result Review are required services. You will need to review the transcript before authoring. Original media plus the captioned and subtitled DVDs will be returned via ground shipping. 1-Day Transcription is optional.
If you have a Prepaid account, ensure you have enough minutes available before you submit the request. You can check your current balance under the Billing tab, in your CaptionSync account. There are several possible scenarios:
- If you choose to receive MP4s with subtitles only, you’ll need to have Video Encoding minutes available in addition to Captioning and Transcription.
- If you choose to receive DVDs only, you’ll need to have Result Review minutes available in addition to Captioning and Transcription.
- If you choose to receive DVDs and MP4s, you’ll need to have Result Review and Video Encoding minutes available in addition to Captioning and Transcription.
- If you choose any of the above but with 1-Day transcription, you'll need to have 1-Day transcription minutes available.
AST's DVD/MP4 Transfer is a great way to get your DVDs or VHS library captioned and made available in a modern media format. However, it may not be suitable for all of your content; please consider the following points before you submit content to this service:
- Turnaround time is normally 3 weeks from time of receipt of tapes/DVDs to time of return shipment (faster for MP4 output). You will be asked to approve the transcript before captioning proceeds; time taken for you to approve the transcript is not included in this estimate.
- The DVD/MP4 Transfer service is intended as a low-cost method of captioning VHS content and transferring it to DVD/MP4 in the process. To keep the costs low, a lot of automation is employed to extract your VHS content and author it to a DVD or MP4. So the conversion process will not recreate any custom menu structures (which is typically a fairly expensive process). One DVD/MP4 will be generated for each DVD/tape submitted: a multi-chapter DVD or tape will be combined into a single-chapter DVD/MP4.
- If you require copyright permission before you caption your DVDs/tapes, or convert them to an alternate format, you need to acquire those permissions before you send in your media. You don't need to send us the written copyright permission; you just need to check the box in the section highlighted in yellow (see picture above).
- Placement of all captions is always at the bottom of the screen (or always at the top of the screen, if you select it). The automated system that generates these files does not move the placement around to accommodate lower-thirds or other text on the video.
- CaptionSync may not be able to produce caption results for tapes/DVDs with poor quality audio. In such a case, you will receive an uncaptioned DVD back along with a transcript file (if possible), and will be charged only the applicable portion of the fees.
- If you choose to receive only a subtitled MP4 video, with 1-Day Transcription, you can have your results in under a week. But if you choose to receive a DVD, even with 1-Day Transcription, the turnaround time is still going to be about 3 weeks -- you'll need to review the transcript before authoring, AST needs to review the results (Result Review), and ground shipping all take time.