by Herbert J. Kellner
Telestream, the leading provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, announced that the latest release of its closed captioning software products, MacCaption (for Mac) and CaptionMaker (for Windows), are ready to meet the new FCC rules requiring the captioning of video clips that are posted online.
The FCC recently ruled that existing closed captioning requirements for IP delivered video content will be extended to include individual video clips or segments extracted from shows. The new rules apply to broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors that air programming on television and then post clips of that programming on their own website or via their own mobile app.
“Repurposing TV closed caption data files for Internet distribution is more challenging than simply converting one file format to another. Just as audio and video quality is imperative for creating effective content, quality closed captioning must now also be a priority for Internet delivery, both for complying with government requirements and for providing an excellent user experience for viewers who rely on accessible technology,” explains Paul Turner, VP of enterprise product management at Telestream.
With a new and modernized user interface and new features that are designed to automate much of the cumbersome captioning workflow process, the latest release of MacCaption and CaptionMaker captioning software help bring the “dark art” of closed captioning within reach of TV broadcast engineers. When used together with the Vantage family of video transcoding and workflow automation solutions, Telestream’s captioning products provide a solution to transcode, convert, troubleshoot, modify, and deploy caption data alongside video – regardless of the delivery platform.
In this new version, additional import formats have been added, including SCTE-20, Seachange VANC, and DVD closed captions. This further expands the ability for broadcasters to extract and convert the captions from all types of video archives to newer formats, including Internet captions.
“The FCC’s requirement to have captions on the individual segments or trailers from otherwise completed shows presents significant challenges. While the show master may be captioned in its entirety, it would be especially labor intensive to correctly extract selective segments without damaging the caption metadata. Re-packaging blindly could cause problems like the wrong captions being displayed or captions bleeding over into the next segment. To make this an automated process, Telestream has developed intelligent algorithms to detect caption start/stop metadata when extracting clips or segments so as to remove the human interaction that other systems require. This unique feature ensures that the new FCC mandate does not negatively impact our customers’ existing workflows and efficiencies,” adds Turner.
Streamline the closed captioning process in any digital workflow
Telestream’s award-winning closed captioning software products allow you to easily author, edit, encode and repurpose video captions for television, web and mobile delivery. Utilizing exclusive e-Captioning™ technology, MacCaption (for Mac) and CaptionMaker (for Windows) simplify the process of complying with FCC regulatory requirements, enabling greater access to broadcast content for television, online and mobile viewers.
This revolutionary technology integrates with digital production systems to prepare and encode both standard and high definition video with FCC-compliant video captions.
- Encode closed captions to any file or tape format
- Export captions from NLEs or DVD authoring systems
- Embed captions into Web and mobile content
- Extract captions from tapes, files, or live broadcasts
- Email captions to your clients
- Edit closed captions in a non-linear interface with batch conversion and automated workflows
- Enhance your closed captions with true CEA-708 features supported by ATSC DTV
Closed captioning for any workflow
Closed captioning for file based workflows, web and mobile, NLEs, assembly and media management, live broadcast and webcast, DVD and Blu-Ray.
Telestream products can embed closed captioning directly into files, including: MPEG-2 Program and Transport Streams, MXF, QuickTime, MCC, and more. File-based video servers and Manzanita multiplexers for CableLabs VOD are also supported.
Closed Captions for Web and Mobile
Telestream software provides the flexibility to create closed captions for all the popular web and mobile formats, including: HTML5, YouTube, Flash, QuickTime, iTunes, and Windows Media. It also converts existing closed captions into web formats.
HD captioning for leading NLEs
MacCaption and CaptionMaker are the only software products that enable the HD closed captioning functions of Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer & Symphony, and Final Cut Pro. You can edit and output HD and SD closed captions to tape, file, disc, mobile devices, and the web. Output caption support is also provided from most other NLE timelines directly to SD tape.
Harness the power of your video systems
Most popular NLE systems and capture cards accept Telestream encoded caption files and map the data to the proper location in the HD or SD video signal. MacCaption and CaptionMaker also support popular play-out servers.
Caption Assembly and Media Management
Extract closed captions from previously captioned video and re-export them to a variety of formats. Captions can automatically be conformed to match an edit decision list (EDL), or you can manually edit existing closed captions in an easy-to-use interface. Software even supports batch conversion and CLI scripting for automated workflows.
Live Broadcast and Live Webcast
Use the software with a hardware encoder to caption a live broadcast or to live text stream to a web site. Or, use it to caption live Windows Media webcasts. Captions can be input via speech recognition software or stenograph.
DVD and Blu-Ray
MacCaption and CaptionMaker work with all professional authoring programs, allowing you to create closed captions and subtitles for DVD and subtitles for Blu-ray.
Auto Time Stamp
To caption a video, you need a transcript. Then you need to synchronize, or time stamp, the transcript so that each phrase is displayed at the right time. In the past, synchronizing captions was a labor-intensive, time consuming process. Your options were limited to doing the time stamping yourself, or paying a service on a recurring basis to do it for you. Telestream offers an Auto Time Stamp (ATS) feature for its post production closed captioning software. This feature is a huge time saver for organizations who need to caption a large volume of videos for which transcripts are available. Automatic time stamping won’t always be as accurate as a human being, but since it identifies potential problem areas in the file, you can achieve the accuracy of a human being without the tedium of manually timing the entire video. This can also help you quickly identify any discrepancies in the transcript. ATS works very well for videos such as (but not limited to): speeches, lectures, presentations, meetings, training videos, etc. which have clean audio. It does not work as well if the audio has already been mixed with music or sound effects, so it isn’t recommended for captioning dramatic content, music videos, videos with lots of background noise or low fidelity audio, such as telephone or VoIP recordings.
- An accurate transcript.
- A video with a high quality audio track (i.e. good signal-to-noise ratio).
- CaptionMaker or MacCaption software
- Automatically synchronizes each caption; no need to manually time stamp captions. (This labor-saving option takes MacCaption’s and CaptionMaker’s existing feature of automatically breaking unformatted text into captions to the next level of automation).
- The process is much faster than real-time (15 times to 30 times faster, depending on the speed of your computer).
- The software automatically detects captions with poor synchronization and highlights them in red, so you can spot check and manually correct these captions if you so choose.
We tested MacCaption during the production of a management training program that will be released soon on DVD. Creating the subtitles in Spanish was very easy. It only took us an hour to figure out how the program works. MacCaption is not only a powerful and time-saving tool for training departments, it is also a money maker for production companies. The workflow is straightforward. Previously, we used Final Cut Pro X to subtitle videos. The same amount of sub-titling in MacCaption takes a fraction of the time that is required in Final Cut Pro X. In our next test we will add captions to a segment of a TV show we produced.
Version 6.1 of MacCaption and CaptionMaker products is now available for purchase online at www.telestream.net/captioning or through Telestream’s direct sales channels.
For more information about Telestream and its captioning products plus helpful resources including white papers and articles, visit: www.telestream.net
Telestream provides world-class live and on-demand digital video tools and workflow solutions that allow consumers and businesses to transform video on the desktop and across the enterprise. Many of the world’s most demanding media and entertainment companies as well as a growing number of users in a broad range of business environments, rely on Telestream products to streamline operations, reach broader audiences and generate more revenue from their media. Telestream products span the entire digital media lifecycle, including video capture and ingest; live and on-demand encoding and transcoding; captioning; playback and inspection, delivery, and live streaming; as well as automation and orchestration of the entire workflow. Telestream corporate headquarters are located in Nevada City, California. The company is privately held.