- In TV programming, the providing of text, and symbols such as !GRAPHICS!, which are intended to accurately transcribe the dialogue and describe the sounds of the viewed program. A decoder is necessary to show close captioning, the displayed text is superimposed on the viewed image, and such text may be encoded in any desired language. Useful, for instance, for those with reduced hearing. The term may also apply to other video programming so enabled. This contrasts with subtitles, which do not need a decoder to be displayed. Its abbreviation is cc.