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Softel announces automated caption/subtitle control

Softel has developed and will demonstrate at NAB (booth N2534) a new technology that uses proprietary heuristics and algorithms to determine the optimum point in a workflow at which to combine captions, subtitles and other ancillary data to content.

Called ScheduleSmart, it provides new flexibility in captioning and subtitling workflows by automatically assessing whether there is time to ingest data to media servers or on to the digital asset management (DAM) system. If the system determines that early or late binding is not possible, live systems are directed to perform the bind at time-of-air.

Although captions and subtitles can be bound to assets early in the workflow — close to airtime using faster than real-time encoding or during live broadcast — traditional tools restrict broadcasters, forcing them to choose one default binding method and deal with the many exceptions and special cases that arise in a typical mix of work. This leaves facilities exposed to losses of reliability and workflow efficiency and forces a reliance on costly manual intervention.

ScheduleSmart automates the selection of the correct encoding method using either Softel Swift vTX to add captions and subtitles directly to file-based media assets, or Softel Swift TX to handle live binding. If there is sufficient time, ScheduleSmart will initiate the ingest of the caption and/or subtitle file via Swift vTX. If there is not enough time — for example, if the event is live, or if the captioning/subtitling will take place in real time — then the Swift TX time-of-air system is directed to playout accordingly. All of this takes place with little or no user direction in a totally automated manner.