FCC advisory committee recommends adoption of SMPTE Timed Text captioning for online video
September 13, 2011
A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Advisory Committee has recommended adoption by the agency of a standard for the closed-captioning of online video content developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), as it implements the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).
The Act is designed to ensure the accessibility, usability and affordability of broadband, wireless and Internet technologies for people with disabilities. The standard, known as SMPTE Timed Text, was recommended in a report by the FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC). The FCC is reviewing the report with stakeholders as it writes the CVAA regulations.
In making its recommendation, the VPAAC noted that the SMPTE Timed Text standard is already used in production environments to repurpose television content for Internet use; is specified as the caption and subtitle format for the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem’s UltraViolet format for commercial movie and television content; is specified in draft standards for Internet television delivery in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and other European countries; and is currently being used by several video services and Internet video players.
To accelerate the adoption of the closed-captioning standard, SMPTE announced in May that it was making SMPTE Timed Text available free for download. The overview document ST 2052-0-2010, the Standard ST 2052-1-2010 and an FAQ about the standard are available online.