Canada's Accessible Media manages file transport with Signiant

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), a Canadian not-for-profit media company that provides broadcast content for disabled, impaired and second-language audiences, is using the latest digital file transfer technology from Signiant to streamline the delivery of media files among AMI's local broadcasting centers across Canada and its two main broadcasting facilities in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, to automate the production of described video and closed-captioned content.

Cyrus Hira, broadcast support specialist at AMI, said that one of the reasons they selected Signiant over other file transfer solutions is its ability to be easily customized to handle “all of the various production processes in our workflow, such as different networking and delivery requirements based on where our editors, videographers and graphics technicians are located.”

Mandated as must-carry content by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), AMI’s programs are designed for Canadians who are blind; deaf, vision-, hearing- or mobility-restricted; learning disabled; print-restricted; or learning English as a second language by making print, broadcast, and online media accessible.

The organization's VoicePrint service provides audio readings of local, national, and international news and information that are broadcast and also available from the AMI website. In addition, AMI produces The Accessible Channel also known as TACtv, the world's only television network to broadcast all programs with open described video and closed captioning. Available on the digital basic tier, TACtv broadcasts Hollywood movies and popular TV shows into more than five million Canadian homes.

With the launch of TACtv, AMI is using Signiant software technology to facilitate delivery of content from 10 local broadcast centers located in major cities throughout Canada, and to accelerate file transfers between its main headquarters facility in Toronto and its master control facility in Hamilton, Ontario. The local broadcast centers aggregate content including local news items and produce the described video and closed caption content for TACtv, as well as the volunteer-read audio files for VoicePrint. Signiant then provides error correction and file verification for transferring the content via FTP over AMI’s 10GB/s private network to the Toronto headquarters for editing.

Signiant technology installed in Toronto and in Hamilton provide seamless, point-to-point delivery of the edited content to master control in Hamilton, where it receives a final QC and is then uplinked to satellite for delivery to broadband and baseband providers.