JW Player has included support for captions with its online video player for years by using internal player components to handle both the rendering and parsing processes. As support for HTML5 video expanded and captions support was added natively to browsers, captions could now be rendered by the browser itself. This is great in theory but in actual implementation not every browser handles HTML5 captions the same way.
In addition to the progress made by browsers, new FCC mandates require broadcast content to include captions which can be styled based on user preference and positioned appropriately based on the video itself. For example, if a character is speaking offscreen on the left, text should be located on the left side of the screen. Because of the new FCC requirements and the progress made by native HTML5 video, it made sense to revisit our captions rendering model.
While captions assist those who may have issues with their hearing, screen readers are also a very important part of accessibility for the web for those who may have visual impairments by introducing ARIA support. Individual buttons can now be tabbed to, and screen readers can recognize and call out the particular button.