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AmberFin Simplifies Captioning Workflows

BASINGSTROKE, U.K.— AmberFin says enhancements to its iCR software help meet the new FCC requirement that all video content broadcast on TV now requires captions when it is distributed over Internet Protocol.

AmberFin has teamed up with caption solution specialist Softel to demonstrate how placing captions in the heart of a file-based ingest and transcode workflow can improve captioning and subtitling workflow efficiency and reliability. The integration of Softel’s Swift vTX with AmberFin’s iCR supports transcoding to a wide array of media formats whilst delivering the correctly formatted subtitle, caption and ancillary data, with a rich feature set that fits easily into any broadcast workflow.

“Recent FCC regulations indicate a worldwide trend towards regarding captions as a critical element of the OTTdiscussion,” said Bruce Devlin, AmberFin chief technology officer and co-author of the MXF format. “However, captions rarely increase the revenues of broadcasters or content owners. They are an add-on service that is in many cases required by law. We are entering a world where multi-platform delivery to broadcast, VoD and web streaming channels now also require captions and subtitles by law. Unfortunately, the traditional captioning workflows that go around the outside of the main workflow are now too expensive and time consuming to justify when the number of platforms is growing and the number of viewers per platform is inevitably diminishing.”

As broadcasters transition to file-based workflows, savings can be achieved by processing video, audio and subtitles/captions on the same platform, while preserving the integrity of subtitle or closed caption data as video file formats are converted.

“We had a vision when we wrote the MXF ST 436 specification that we could build caption and subtitle workflows that were independent of compression codecs — it’s great to see that dream finally becoming a reality,” he said.

AmberFin has written two white papers to help broadcasters and content owners navigate the complexities of captioning: “An Introduction To Captions In File-Based Workflows” and “How to simplify the complexity of multilingual multi-format, multi-channel captioning workflows with AmberFin iCR.”