In Broadcast - April 2012 - 24


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 7 - APRIL 2012

InFILE

Providing A Whole Different Dimension
The provision of an access service such as audio description (AD) or closed captioning can be controversial, as it brings no direct additional revenue for the broadcaster, and in tough economic times budgets are increasingly under scrutiny. In the UK, closed captioning is driven by regulation where lobby groups have been effective in putting pressure on the government through Ofcom to increase accessibility. Legislation requires that 95 per cent of ITV and Channel 4 programmes must be subtitled while the BBC has been committed to subtitling its entire output for some time and most channels are ahead of the targets set for them. ITV’s is running at about 97%, according to its supplier ITFC. This mature regulatory environment has also crossed into Europe where Spain, France and Germany in particular have a similarly high level, according to Red Bee Media, which performs access services from bases in those markets. In the US, the FCC CVAA recently mandated an ‘equivalent experience’ between TV and web video for both hearing and sight impaired accessibility. This will present some new challenges for broadcasters, especially for live programming, with all the major networks said to be upgrading their systems to meet this standard. “Bringing captioning on webdelivered video up to the standards viewers have come to expect on TV is a big and very important step as the experience of web-delivered video is reaching new levels of maturity and mass adoption,” says Philip McLaughlin, President of US-based close captioning solutions developer EEG. While the equivalent experience rule is thought unlikely to be legislated in Europe, the major UK broadcasters have taken it upon themselves to supply captions for their catch-up portals (iPlayer, ITVPlayer, 4oD and Demand Five). “Because the total amount of video online is growing and growing fast, lobby groups could argue that their access is decreasing rather than increasing as a proportion of the total,” notes David Padmore, Director of Red Bee’s Access and Editorial Services. Indeed in California a suit is being brought by a group of deaf people against CNN for not providing access to short news clips on CNN. com. Since the FCC (the US media regulator) excluded the captioning of video clips from its mandate this will be an interesting test case.

Adrian Pennington

With budgets under strain, Adrian Pennington examines what is next in line for enhanced access services such as subtitling, closed captioning and audio description…

24

“

Bringing captioning on web-delivered video up to the standards viewers have come to expect on TV is a big and very important step...
Philip McLaughlin, EEG

David Padmore, Red Bee

Subtitle Metadata
Aside from legislation, factors related to the rise of online video and connected platforms are also driving the industry. Subtitle metadata – essentially a timecoded transcript – has potential to be used to create richer and more accurate search and discovery of content online. “We are in talks with clients about subtitles as metadata,” says Adrian Byrne, Technical Operations Manager, Media Access Services at ITFC. “If you wanted to find a certain topic in a piece of content, rather than the 30 minute or so piece of content itself then subtitles can be used to find the exact section of video.” Red Bee is working with the BBC to create timed transcriptions of archive material. “We are looking at ways we can use an accessible archive to power search and applications related to second screen such as targeted advertising and doing that in a realtime way,” reveals Padmore. “There are a lot of interesting ideas around using realtime text on news and sports channels to drive some second screen services. For targeted ads and content search to be effective you need highly accurate and complete text – which subtitled

”

metadata is.” BBC R&D has separately launched Snippets, an internal project which matches subtitle metadata against all BBC programmes recorded over the last four years. An extension is to apply this resource to public search of BBC archives online. “A click on a text search will bring you to a series of time code matched clips for that search,” explains Paul Golds, Research Engineer. “The power of this is that when you are trying to put together a pitch or show a rough cut to an exec you no longer need to spend the time or expense to find and digitise tapes. You have visually rich material straight to the desktop.”

Audio Description
Attention is also turning toward how audio description (AD) metadata could enrich a searchable database. “AD provides a whole different dimension on a programme,” says Padmore. “If you think that subtitle files describe the soundtrack in detail, the AD describes the visuals such as a location or the people in a scene. There’s also the possibility of using AD for people (not just the disabled) who want to listen to TV programme audio track only - such as a podcast.” While the profile of AD is growing still only 10% of UK broadcast
CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

Device proliferation adds to access service complexity


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2012

In Broadcast - April 2012
Contents
Broadcast Networks Delivers for Arqiva
Swedish Hockey Safe in the Bank
Viewcast Launches Niagara 9100 Series
Cavena: Enhancing the Value of Content
Broadcast Pix Announces Video Control Center 3.0
Telecast’s Latest Innovations
Glidecam Introduces XR-Series Stabilisers
Qvest Media Live With Code One Streaming
Volicon Extends Observer Utility
Petrol Bags Add to Audio & DSLR Range
In Broadcast - April 2012 - In Broadcast - April 2012
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Broadcast Networks Delivers for Arqiva
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Swedish Hockey Safe in the Bank
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 8
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 9
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 10
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 21
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Viewcast Launches Niagara 9100 Series
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 24
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 25
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cavena: Enhancing the Value of Content
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - Broadcast Pix Announces Video Control Center 3.0
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - Telecast’s Latest Innovations
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Glidecam Introduces XR-Series Stabilisers
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 57
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Qvest Media Live With Code One Streaming
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Volicon Extends Observer Utility
In Broadcast - April 2012 - 67
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In Broadcast - April 2012 - 69
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Petrol Bags Add to Audio & DSLR Range
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cover3
In Broadcast - April 2012 - Cover4
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