Sunday, April 6, 2014

Captioning options for broadcasters

Major video producers are scrambling to meet FCC-mandated rules requiring captions for all video content--and those rules apply whether the video is created for TV or the Internet. Broadcasters meeting in Las Vegas this week for the National Association of Broadcasters convention are looking over new equipment that manufacturers say will make the process easier and more accurate.

One of the difficult areas for broadcasters to cover is news programming. The Commission is requiring broadcasters adopt technology that turns news teleprompter scripts into captions that viewers can read. Some news is uncaptioned because the material is typically ad-libbed--such as sports, weather and breaking news. Here are some of the companies offering equipment designed to deal with those issues and meet FCC requirements, which unofficially include a 90 percent accuracy mark:

Comprompter has come up with a voice-activated Caption Central platform that is, according to the company, about 95 percent accurate for a captioned-trained person. Comprompter's automated platform has an ad-lib setting that switches from the teleprompter script to a studio mic when reporters go "off script."There's more info in a PDF here.

Telestream offers MacCaption and CaptionMaker software focuses on compliance with the FCC requirements, with tools for dealing with such issues as caption placement. There's more information here.

Grass Valley has software (Softel Swift Create V8) that creates and manages captions. The company touts the software's ability to adapt to smartphones. There's a profanity tool designed to deal with questionable language. Read more about it here.

Swift TX is ready to deal with multiple languages and captioning in real time. Read about it here.

i-Yuno Media Group Americas has software called CaptionCast that is cloud based and has had success in Asia. Captioners are able to simply type what they hear. More here.