Archive for the ‘TV’ Category.

ADA Celebrates 25 Years!

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed into law 25 years ago in July of 1990. The result of decades of unceasing work by disability advocates, the ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life.adaquote

Crucial to those in the video and language industries, the ADA included the deaf and hearing impaired community.  In the 90s, the internet was in its infancy, and the state of video was America’s Funniest Home Video (also celebrating its 25th anniversary).  Facebook (2004) and YouTube (2005) were at least a decade away.  The ADA, of course, only dealt with the existing telecommunications.

Captions and closed captions had been experimented with in the 70s.  In fact, Washington’s public television station and current Dotsub customer, WETA, successfully tested the closed captioning system in 1973.  Network broadcasting of regular shows with televisions equipped with closed caption decoders began in the 80s.

The disability advocates have continued to work ceaselessly with the ADA and the FCC to expand accessibility to include new technology.  The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act expanded the scope of devices that must display captions to all video devices that display video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound, including those that can receive or display programming carried over the Internet.

Today, content service providers, such as broadcasters and cable companies, must provide closed captioning for 100% of all new, non-exempt, English language video programming.  The aim is to maintain the pace of accessibility with advances in technology.

The ADA is the model for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Treaty.  The Convention was adopted in December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. It was met with the highest number of signatories in history to a UN Convention on its opening day.  It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and was enacted in May 2008.  Ironically, the U.S. is not a signatory.

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Sources:

http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=15&pid=150
http://www.ada.gov/ada_intro.htm
http://fpif.org/the-americans-with-disabilities-act-is-a-model-for-the-world-literally/
http://nad.org/issues/technology/captioning/when-required
http://www.ncicap.org/about-us/history-of-closed-captioning/

Ofcom on the State of Captioning in the UK

The next report on the state of captioning from UK broadcasting watchdog Ofcom is due in April 2015. Reporting since 2013, Ofcom says that the industry has made great progress since then for the accuracy and timing for captioning of pre-recorded programs.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for live programming.

Pre-recorded programs leave an opportunity for captioners to correct and fine-tune their captions.  Live captioning, as seen mostly on the news, sporting events, weather and other programs requires an entirely different set up: a person with good ears, a clear speaking voice and specially ‘trained’ voice recognition software. These live captioners sit in a soundproofed room, watching the TV feed and re-speak the words from the program clearly and deliberately into a microphone. The computer, which over time has come to more accurately recognize the live captioner’s voice, then translates their spoken words into text on screen.

Some TV viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing are left baffled by captions. There are still serious recognition errors in the captioning software which led to mistakes such as the phrase “be given to our toddlers” translated as “be given to ayatollahs”, or “sources” becoming “sauces” and “they need a mum” mistakenly captioned as “they need a man”.  Former Manchester United player Patrice “Evra” was replaced by a “zebra”.  In situations when live information is extremely important, like weather events or football matches, these mistakes becoming very frustrating.

The BBC is working on new automated captioning technology – but for now, the method, while not infallible, is still the best method available.

Weather Report overlapping an ad.  Wales did not die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-31035232

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2931184/Ayatollahs-instead-toddlers-zebras-playing-football-informed-sauces-subtitling-software-baffles-deaf-TV-viewers.html

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Scenarist Closed Caption (SCC) file export

NTSCDotsub now supports export into Scenarist Closed Caption (SCC) subtitle files. This is an older NTSC based subtitle format used with broadcast TV.

Our SCC support is limited to the EIA-608 character set, which limits the number of languages we can display. We currently support English, Spanish, Spanish (Latin America), French, French (Canada), Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), German, Danish and Italian. We will be happy to expand this as needed for languages that can be rendered with the EIA-608 character set.

Most SCC encoders have limits on the subtitle display area which is a 16 x 32 grid (16 rows and 32 columns). We support files that comply with these rules as well as files that have lines that are too long. Why would we support line lengths that are too long you ask? It turns out one major video provider actually supports this. If you are planning to use SCC as an export format we recommend that you subtitle lines to 32 characters in length.

Our export interface:

Frame Rate: We support the two frame rates outlined in the specification: 29.97 FPS non-drop frame and 29.97 drop frame. To see the difference between the two, you can learn that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykjyNeuQROU

Control Code Format: Since SCC was intended as a streamed format without transmission control, control codes if repeated are ignored; some systems require control codes to always be doubled. This option enables or disables the doubling of control codes.

Caption Mode: We support two SCC caption modes. Pop on which is the default. This is what you normally see when watching pre-taped content. Captions are shown on the screen and removed. Roll Up which are the type of captions you see when watching ‘live’ programs. Each time a line of captioning is added all the previous lines ‘roll up’ to make room for the new line at the bottom.

SCC Channel: This defines what SCC channel the data is being written for. Valid settings are 1-4.

Subtitle Options:

First time code: This can be 00:00:00:00 or 01:00:00:00 this is for systems that start at the hour mark.

Subtitle Justification: The normal left, right or centered alignment for subtitles.

Max characters per line: Used for file validation, this can be 32 – 28 characters on a line.

Max lines per caption: Used for file validation, this can be 1-4 lines in a caption.

Advanced Options:

Text Wrapping: There are two options here.  The first is As Entered. This will take the subtitles as entered by the captioner. It uses their manually entered line breaks to create the SCC file. Dotsub added a second option called Override. This option was created to make it possible to wrap files where the line breaks are NOT at 32 characters, it works by attempting to re-wrap the captions. It is not 100% effective, but will help in a lot of cases.

Our export interface will walk you through the process and help you ensure your file meets the listed specifications.

If you have any questions please let us know at [email protected].заказать веб сайтузнать тиц яндекснакрутка вконтакте бесплатно

FCC Expands Closed Captioning Rules to Web Clips

FCClogo

On July 11, 2014 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again expanded the types of video that broadcasters, cable and satellite channels must caption for the deaf and hearing impaired.

The FCC already requires that full-length programming that appears with closed-captioning on TV also include captioning when the video is posted online. Building on the closed captioning rules adopted in 2012, these new rules extend captioning to clips of that TV content such as online promotions and live or near-live breaking news and sports topics.

Citing the need for further accessibility, the agency’s chairman Tom Wheeler says the hearing impaired community “have been told they have to wait until technology catches up to them.  ‘Waiting until they get around to it’ is no longer good enough.”

The broadcast industry had been pleading for more time citing technical challenges as well as rising costs and competition in the marketplace.

In a recent article by Samantha Bookman of FierceOnlineVideo, Dotsub Chief Revenue Officer Peter Crosby states that despite content providers’ concerns, putting captions into digital format has breathed new life into the market segment.

“(Captions are) at the mandate level, which has driven a lot of this. Netflix and Amazon Instant were under huge pressure to caption everything. What’s happened now is they have all made it to 100 percent and now found huge utility around captions,” relates Crosby.

See the full text of the article at: http://www.fierceonlinevideo.com/story/nab-ncta-want-more-time-caption-online-video-clips/2014-07-08

There are a series of deadlines between 2016 and 2017 for captioning the clips:

January 1, 2016 – for clips which contain a single excerpt of a captioned television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television

January 1, 2017 – for montages when a single file contains multiple straight lift clips

July 1, 2017 – for video clips of live and near-live television programming, such as news or sporting events.  Distributors have 12 hours after the live video programming was shown on television and 8 hours after the associated near-live video programming was shown on television before the clip must be captioned.

Also in this ruling, the agency issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asks for comment on related issues.

For the full text of the FCC rulings:

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0711/DOC-328173A1.pdf

 

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FCC’s New Caption Quality Standards Are Tough!

FCC defines four non-technical quality standards as the components necessary to ensure that closed captions provided by Video Programming Distributors (VPDs) — “defined as all entities who provide video programming directly to customers’ homes, regardless of distribution technology used” —  to fully and effectively convey the content of television programming to people who cannot hear to the same extent that the audio track conveys this content to people who are able to hear: 

 1. Accuracy: To be accurate, captions must reflect the dialogue and other sounds and music in the audio track to the fullest extent possible based on the type of the programming, and must identify the speakers. 

2. Synchronicity: In order to be synchronous, captions must coincide with their corresponding dialogue and other sounds to the fullest extent possible based on the type of the programming, and must appear at a speed that can be read by viewers. 

3. Program Completeness: For a program’s captions to be complete, they must run from the  beginning to the end of the program, to the fullest extent possible, based on the type of the programming.

4. Placement: For proper placement, captions may not cover up other important on-screen information, such as character faces, featured text, graphics, or other information essential to the understanding or accessing of a program’s content.

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Video, Film, TV & Streaming Media Schmoozing Around The Globe…

Dotsub will be in attendance at the following events.  Drop us a note if you would like to meetup!

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Trans-culturalism… Say What?

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The Multicultural Media Forum is a unique, research and strategy-driven event attended by executives and decision-makers from the media, advertising, technology, and financial industries – companies like ESPN, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.  multForum

This year’s theme is “Transcending Multiculturalism.” Today, the importance of America’s Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other non-white audiences is widely recognized; however, they are often thought of as distinct separate market segments rather than an integrated part of the general market.  The discussion now organically shifts toward a new paradigm of “transculturalism” that encompasses and weaves together America’s myriad cultures into a new vision of the mainstream.  Speakers and attendees are the thought leaders from every corner of the media industry who will be forming the future directives of the industry.

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Want to shout at the FCC? Here’s Your Chance…

FCC

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now inviting public comments on Closed Captioning of video clips delivered by Internet – before January 27, 2014 – since a coalition of consumer groups has filed a petition for reconsideration of this issue.

The FCC has already mandated that a great deal of video programming on the internet must be closed captioned per the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA)

If it’s determined that consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing are denied access to critical areas of programming, such as news, the FCC may add a requirement to provide closed captioning on all video clips.

Comments can be filed here on or before January 27, 2014.

The FCC is asking for information and comments on topics like these:

  • How have consumers been affected by the absence of closed captioning?
  • What are the costs-benefits of requiring closed captioning of IP-delivered video clips?
  • If the Commission imposes closed captioning obligations for IP-delivered video clips, should the requirements apply to all video clips, or only to a subset of such clips?
  • What is the extent to which the industry has voluntarily captioned video clips?

To read the FCC’s call for comments and to submit your comments click here.  You can also gain context via this excellent article about captions for video clips 

Remember, the FCC deadline for public comments is January 27, 2013. ​Reply comments may also be filed before February 26, 2014. ​

If you have questions about how FCC regulations may effect your videos, please contact us at [email protected]

And, if you want to shout at the FCC about “Net Neutrality” as well, you can see what they say here and provide feedback here.

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Back to the Future of TV… NATPE at 50!

Now a major international force in the digital content revolution, the National Associates of Television Program Executives (NATPE), annual convention is January 27-29 in Miami.

Who woulda thunk 50 years ago, at the first formal meeting of NATPE in May 1964 which drew 71 registrants in NYC, this would be so?

NATPE’s “Content First” tagline invites new media and digital technology speakers, exhibitors, and attendees in addition to traditional TV members, expanding it’s membership to include representatives from:

  •       64% U.S. & Canada
  •       17% Latin America & Mexico
  •       11% Europe
  •       5%   Asia
  •       2%   Africa
  •       1%   Middle  East

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FCC Deadline for Internet Video Captions…AGAIN?

CC image

But no need to worry about your kid’s cat surfing videos – even if they go viral!

Only programs shown on TV when re-shown on the Internet will need to be captioned, as mandated by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), and enforced by a schedule of FCC deadlines through 2016. We’ve been writing about them in our blog since March 2012.

But do take note – starting this September 30 – a new set of video programming is now required to be captioned when any distributor shows it for the first time on the Internet as follows:

Pre-recorded Video Programming that is substantially edited for the Internet must be captioned if it is shown on TV with captions on or after September 30, 2013.

Opportunities abound from adding captions to videos (of course, we’re biased), but new markets, measurable viewership, and search benefits are available such as:

  • 12% of the US population is hearing-impaired, about 40M people, so a substantial percentage of your site’s visitors will now find it more accessible.
  • 2 billion people who use English as a Second Language (ESL) welcome captions as well, especially in quiet viewing environments like offices, planes, and late-night studies.
  • 16% of American households are now bi-lingual Spanish-speakers.
  • 49% increase in completed video views – with captions vs. without captions – was measured by WETA, a PBS station in Washington, DC.

Searchable Interactive Transcripts can also easily be added to your website using our same caption technology that also boosts your site’s Search Engine Optimization.

Previous mandates, starting in 2012, for live and near-live video programming, as well as pre-recorded video programming that is not “edited for the Internet,” required captions on the Internet if the video is shown on TV with captions.

Come March 2014, archival Internet video programming that a distributor already shows on the Internet and is later shown on TV with captions will need to be captioned to comply with FCC “equivalency” standards for the hearing impaired.

So next month, we’ll have detailed information about FCC 508-compliant standards for closed captions, how to get them created at the highest quality, and make those benefits outweigh the affordable costs.

But don’t worry your beach time videos – even your 12-part video series on how-to build awesome sand castles – unless it’s been shown on TV with captions.

Hmmm… America’s Funniest Videos are you listening?

Meanwhile, here’s a list of resources for your team to research further and get ready…

FCC Releases IP Video Closed Captioning Rules:
http://www.wileyrein.com/publications.cfm?sp=articles&id=7755

FCC Adopts Closed Captioning Rules for Online Video Programming:
http://www.dwt.com/LearningCenter/Advisories?find=456109

FCC Closed Captioning Rules for Video Programming Delivered Via Internet Protocol: http://www.martindale.com/internet-e-commerce/article_Lerman-Senter-PLLC_1459200.htm

FCC 2013 Guide: Captioning of Internet Programming:                                           http://www.fcc.gov/guides/captioning-internet-video-programming

Latest FCC Report: Order on Reconsideration/Further Proposed Rulemaking (June, 14 2013): http://www.fcc.gov/document/ip-closed-captioning-order-reconsideration-and-fnprm

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