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8 TVBEurope August 2017

Opinion and Analysis

Three ways broadcasters can improve QC operations in the designated folders. For instance, let’s say

Closed captioning checks

a broadcaster receives files from hundreds of its

Closed captioning was developed primarily for

content providers via file transfers to a folder. All

the hearing-impaired, as well as those learning

files need to be scanned and sorted out based on

a non-native language. In Europe, the video


the parameters and then, depending on the type

programming distributors have standardised DVB

of the file, appropriate actions need to be taken.

subtitles. Governments have regulations that

By Penny Westlake, director, Europe, Interra Systems he broadcast industry is undergoing a radical transformation. OTT video consumption is

By utilising a QC solution with smart folders,

require video programming distributors to transmit

often fully integrated with a MAM system,

closed captions so that viewers who are deaf or

that revenues for online TV and video in Western

broadcasters can dramatically speed up this

hard of hearing have full access to programming.

Europe will more than double from $6.40 billion to

process. Smart folders offer rule-based, content-

Typically, in Europe, broadcasters and professional

$14.64 billion between 2015 and 2021. Moreover,

aware, automated QC for verifying files. With smart

producers of online content would adhere to

video is being viewed in higher resolutions. SNL

folders, the QC solution automatically recognises

the EBU-TT and EBU-TT-D specifications, although

Kagan expects more than 100 linear UHD channels

content by identifying the content structure and

often additions to the specifications are made, to

to be available by the end of 2017, and HDR-

various content characteristics, such as resolution,

increase the quality offered by a particular service.

enabled consumer devices are beginning to

frame rate, and aspect ratio. Once content is

become available on the market. Supplying a

recognised, the QC system verifies and executes

to ensure synchronous captions coincide with their

seemingly insatiable market with output to myriad

action on content as specified. This can be as

corresponding spoken words and sounds to the

devices in myriad formats inevitably means more

simple as recognising that a file is corrupt, and

greatest extent possible and are displayed on the

complex production and distribution workflows,

messaging an inbound transfer system to stop the

screen at a speed that can be read by viewers.

and these require QC solutions that can keep

transfer, or more sophisticated, such as defining

Furthermore, complete captions must run from the

pace with this fast-moving scenario.

workflow actions, perhaps identifying and sending

beginning to the end of the programme.

soaring, with Digital TV Research predicting

In today’s complex video streaming world, it’s

a file for auto-correction.

even more important for broadcasters to have

From a QC perspective, broadcasters will want

Broadcasters require a QC solution that checks closed captioning at multiple levels for presence

Guaranteed detection of embedded subtitles

of closed captions, presence of a specific type of

and provides pertinent information about what’s happening during video processing and delivery

Subtitles are a necessity in terms of enabling

of closed caption dropouts than the specified

workflow. If the quality of service suffers, consumers

viewers to watch programming in an unknown

threshold. Having a QC solution that can ignore

will look elsewhere for content.

language, as well as supporting viewers who are

music is advantageous so that false positives are

deaf or hard-of-hearing.

not reported when background music is present

an effective QC strategy – one that dives deep

Aside from choosing a QC solution that offers comprehensive checks and exceptional quality on

Within the broadcast industry, burnt-in subtitles

closed captions, and detection of a higher number

in the file for which the corresponding closed

a wide range of devices, there are several other

are embedded within the video frame and

often overlooked, yet essential, functionalities that

cannot be turned off by the viewer. Burnt-in text

broadcasters need.

may appear within the region of a video that

keep track of closed captioning compliance in

captions are absent. It’s also a good idea for broadcasters to

contains black bars. Oftentimes, they are detected

case there is a regulatory inquiry. Advanced QC

Smart folders

as “video dropouts,” causing false alarms to be

solutions will provide an option to write out the

Most QC solutions use watch folders. Users can

reported by the QC solution.

closed captions so they can be checked later for

designate any accessible folder as a watch folder,

The best way to resolve this issue is by choosing a

compliance purposes.

and the QC solution scans the folders for incoming

QC solution that automatically checks for burnt-in

new files. As soon as a new file is detected, it’s

subtitles while analysing video. Broadcasters can


picked up and scheduled against a test plan

define the area in which the subtitles are expected

Using an integrated QC solution that offers

for QC. Users can specify filters to pick up or

to appear in a video. If the restrictions get voided,

advanced features like smart folders, detection

ignore files based on file extensions, minimum

the QC solution reports an error specifying the

of embedded subtitles, and closed captioning

file size, etcetera. Watch folders can’t handle

erroneous area. It’s important to look for a QC

compliances, broadcasters can deliver flawless

complex workflows where multiple types of files

solution that supports a wide range of languages in

video on every device, in the most efficient and

(with different parameters) are being dropped

order to reach the most viewers possible.

cost-effective manner possible. n

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TVBE August 2017