As we are all painfully aware, captions are not exactly a big cash cow in our industry. But because we now live in a world where multi-platform delivery to broadcast, VoD and web streaming channels require captions and subtitles by law, we either have to pay attention or risk being fined:
Don’t leave captions till the last minute
Since the creation of the first captioning services, technology and commercial constraints have limited most closed captions workflows to a completely independent side chain that gets “inserted at the last minute into the broadcast chain”. Unfortunately, the traditional captioning workflows that go around the outside of the main workflow are now too expensive and time consuming to justify, especially when the number of platforms is growing and the number of viewers per platform is diminishing.
Comply or be fined!
So if you want to comply with the law, without compromising your productivity or your profits you need to ensure that you have a full captioning/subtitling solution ready as you make the transition to file-based workflows. And we at AmberFin believe that significant savings can be achieved by processing video, audio and subtitles/captions together on the same platform. This way, the integrity of subtitle or closed caption data can be securely preserved as video files are converted from one format to another.
Seek codec liberation
By applying the lessons we learned manipulating high-quality video mezzanine files to captions, we have developed a new breed of easy to manage captioning and subtitling workflows. Whether you need an A/53 transport stream, SMPTE-TT, OP-47 or a simple .scc file, there is a captioning mezzanine workflow for you.
We had a vision when we wrote the MXF ST 436 specification that we could build caption and subtitle workflows that were independent of compression codecs –that dream finally becoming a reality.
Don’t sweat over it, that’s our job!
Our goal is to make a system where you don’t really care about the input and output formats to the ingest, playback, QC or transcode systems. All you know is that you had captions at the input and you want them at the output. The mind-boggling minutia of caption transformations and synchronization with an audio-visual cut and splice job should not be your problem. That’s for us to worry about.