The Birth of Closed Caption/Subtitles on TV

The Birth of Closed Caption/Subtitles on TV

In December of 1979, as a project at the University of Maryland, Karen Brickett interviewed Dr. Malcolm (Mac) J. Norwood, the Father of Closed Captioning. Dr. Norwood relates how 10% of the general population would not accept captions on their TV screens, which necessitated the development of a closed-captioning system. He discusses the postponement of decoder sales until March of 1980, estimates of the number of potential viewers of closed-captioned TV, predicts 22 to 22½ hours of captioned programs will be available by the end of 1980, discusses the development of two captioning centers on the East Coast and West Coast, and addresses other exciting developments. This 25-minute production is the only known video of Dr. Norwood. Thanks to Karen Brickett Russell for sharing this record of captioning history.