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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 9

Written by:
4/9/2008 1:38 PM  RssIcon

New Internet-Based Service Provides Fast, Cost-Effective Means of Embedding Closed Captioning Into Productions


COLUMBIA, Md. -- April 2, 2008 -- XOrbit, a leading manufacturer of caption automation, management, and distribution solutions, today announced CaptionSmart™ -- a new, secure online service that enables broadcasters to embed closed captioning data directly into SD, HD, video-on-demand (VOD), program, and transport stream MPEG files. Designed to work with today‘s digital broadcast and post production facilities, CaptionSmart eliminates the costly and time-consuming edit suite processes involved in laying captions into productions.


Powered by XOrbit‘s Xilex™ technology, the CaptionSmart service allows organizations to take advantage of MPEG2 file encoding on a periodic basis and operates completely over the Internet.

Customers install the CaptionSmart application on their desktop computers, which securely connects to XOrbit‘s high-bandwidth data center. Users simply point the application to an SD, HD, or VOD MPEG2 file and up to two closed caption files. The application automatically handles uploading, file conversion from numerous vendors, MPEG processing, and downloading, showing the progress of each task. Most programming can be turned around in less than four hours.


Using traditional closed captioning processes, applying captions to a typical 30-minute program costs about $200 and takes three days. Using CaptionSmart, the same program costs about $70 and takes less than four hours, meaning content gets to air faster.


“CaptionSmart‘s value proposition is significant,” said David Brack, vice president of sales and marketing for XOrbit. “Traditional caption encoding methods require a minimum of two days with an overnight courier, plus the time to re-encode the videotape once it arrives. CaptionSmart is 95 percent automated, saving two days and about 65 percent of the costs.


“We specifically designed CaptionSmart to fill the needs of VOD distributors and those that don‘t produce hundreds of hours of new content each year,” Brack said. “We see this as a perfect opportunity for post production and captioning agencies to offer new services to their customers while reducing their own operational expenses.”


The CaptionSmart technology also provides a simple method to insert breaks into captioning so commercials can be embedded into the content.


“In the past, the caption file would have to be completely reworked, adding yet another expense to the process,” said Steve Blumenschein, XOrbit‘s president. “Supporting commercial break insertion monetizes VOD assets for broadcasters and eliminates the extra expense.”


XOrbit will demonstrate the new CaptionSmart service in booth #SL6226 at the 2008 NAB Show with an official launch date set for May 1, 2008. XOrbit will be offering launch discounts for customers that enroll in CaptionSmart while at NAB.


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About XOrbit® Inc.

XOrbit® specializes in the design and development of advanced, broadly compatible caption automation, monitoring, management, and distribution solutions for the television and broadcast industries. With a family of tools that are feature-rich, extremely scalable, and highly reliable, XOrbit is committed to helping build its customers' business by improving operational efficiency and reducing operational costs. XOrbit products include the first commercially successful closed caption server, an FCC compliance system, type-on-video caption creation tools, and the ProofPositive™ watermark-free delivery verification network. XOrbit, Inc. is a privately held corporation based in Columbia, Md. More information on XOrbit is available at www.xorbit.com.

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