Closed captioning support for live and on demand multi-platform video is now available from Toronto-based QuickPlay Media.
Using its cloud-based OpenVideo platform, QuickPlay reports, it can ingest, extract and encode closed captioning data from a variety of video formats, so that broadcasters, content providers and mobile TV service providers can integrate closed captioning into their premium mobile video services.
Last September, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that all episodic content delivered over IP networks in the U.S. must have closed captioning, under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
The directive is intended to not only improve access to media content for the hearing challenged, but it’s also seen as a way to improve overall audience numbers and engagement factors.
In Canada, while new closed caption regulations for broadcast TV have been recently put in place by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which directs broadcasters here to achieve 95-per-cent accuracy in their captioning with a text lag behind speech of no more than six seconds, the CRTC only “encourages” closed captioning for broadcast programming that’s available online.
Implementing closed captioning into a multi-screen service is a challenge, as there are currently multiple standards for closed captioning formats as well as for mobile TV services. In many cases, QuickPlay describes, content providers either do not provide captioning data or supply variations that are unsupported on mobile TV devices.
The company says its OpenVideo platform simplifies the ingestion process by taking the closed captioning data, whether embedded or in a sidecar, and normalizing it in combination with player support to be compatible for viewing across iOS, Android and Windows devices. OpenVideo then runs the content through standard encoding and media transformation processes to add DRM, device profiles and packaging information. If content providers have failed to provide closed captioning data, the content is flagged as an exception and the service provider is notified of the non-compliance. QuickPlay says it has also introduced a user friendly toggle on the client application so that consumers can turn closed captioning on or off while viewing streams or downloads.
“Closed captions not only greatly enhance the mobile video viewing experience for people with hearing impairments, but they drive up overall viewership numbers,” said Kavi Maharajh, QuickPlay’s VP of Product and Research Development. “QuickPlay is dedicated to ensuring that our customers meet regulatory requirements.”
For more Mediacaster Magazine coverage related to this topic, please see:
Broadcasters Must Caption Live Streamed Internet Content in U.S
CRTC Calls for Input on Closed Captioning
QuickPlay Meets Growing Demand for HD Multi-screen Video Services