March 11, 2013 - 11:23am

 

As video content has expanded beyond traditional television and is streamed over the open internet to devices like Smart TVs, mobile phones, PCs, and tablets, it has become important to supplement online video with additional metadata based services normally provided with traditional live TV. The first step towards meeting the needs of hearing impaired viewers and recreating the familiar live TV experience online is to ensure the availability of closed caption subtitles on all viewing devices.
Today, the FCC mandates that most traditional TV broadcasts must carry closed captioning services. In October of 2010, President Obama signed the “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)” into law. This act encompasses a wide variety of topics, but important elements include requirements, guidelines and implementation deadlines for closed captions for live video streamed over the internet.
 
As of March 30, 2013 broadcasters will be required to carry closed captions on their live web streaming video. Basically this means that anything originally broadcast on television now needs to have captions when broadcast on the internet. This presents broadcasters with a number of challenges and possible solutions.
Challenges broadcasters may encounter include: the need to support multiple caption data standards for different online streaming protocols such as apple HLS, Adobe Flash/HDS, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, the need to be compatible with new standards like MPEG-DASH, the need to create online captions from existing caption sources like NTSC and DTVCC caption generators, and the need to minimize capital outlay to meet FCC and customer requirements.
 
The FCC only mandates carriage of captions, but does not define the technical details of how to implement caption services. Three possible solutions for online caption insertion include:
1) Burn the caption text overlays onto the video before transcoding to web format – this technically meets the FCC requirements but potentially lowers viewer satisfaction as caption text cannot be disabled by viewers who don’t want or need. 
2) Provide a separate caption stream that can be decoded and displayed separately from the video content – this also technically meets the FCC requirements but makes viewing the video and text simultaneously very difficult.
3) Inject the caption data into the video stream in a way that is compatible with caption protocols implemented in targeted client-side viewer applications and devices – this gives viewers the choice to view captions or not and makes for a viewing experience that most closely mimics familiar traditional television.
 
Most broadcasters recognize that creating the best overall viewing experience will ensure viewer loyalty and attract new viewers – both of which help support advertising revenue potential. Of course, an efficient implementation is desired that provides the optimal viewer experience with reasonable implementation and operating costs. The good news is that Sencore has an online captioning solution that creates the optimal viewing experience and provides future-proof software upgradeability to new standards being adopted (HEVC/H.265, MPEG DASH), all while not breaking the bank.
 
Many television broadcasters, streaming live content over the web, have simply transcoded their primary feed into an RTMP format to broadcast over the internet. Sencore’s TXS 8600 Live Transcoder will not only ensure compliance with the FCC mandate but also provides the highest quality video and user viewing experience. The TXS 8600 can provide all major OTT streaming formats including HDS, RTMP, HLS, and Microsoft Smooth. The TXS 8600’s RTMP closed caption implementation, paired with Adobe® Flash® Player, will provide your web viewers with the exceptional user experience they are used to. By simply clicking the “CC” button in their video player, they will be able to turn the captions on or off, in exactly the same way they would on their television.
 
Make sure you are ready for the March deadline by contacting your Sencore account manager today. info@sencore.com 
 
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Captions For Your Live Video Streams: Are You Compliant?

As video content has expanded beyond traditional television and is streamed over the open internet to devices like Smart TVs, mobile phones, PCs, and tablets, it has become important to supplement online video with additional metadata based services normally provided with traditional live TV. The first step towards meeting the needs of hearing impaired viewers and recreating the familiar live TV experience online is to ensure the availability of closed caption subtitles on all viewing devices.