Video: The Case To Caption Everything

To paraphrase a cliché, “you are free to put black and silence to air, but if you do it without captions, you’ll go to prison.” Captions are useful to the deaf, the hard of hearing as well as those who aren’t. And in many places, to not caption videos is seen as so discriminatory, there is a mandatory quota. The saying at the beginning alludes to the US federal and local laws which lay down fines for lack of compliance – though whether it’s truly possible to go to prison, is not clear.

The case for captioning:
“13.3 Million Americans watch British drama”

In many parts of the world ‘subtitles’ means the same as ‘captions’ does in countries such as the US. In this article, I shall use the word captions to match the terms used in the video. As Bill Bennett from ENCO Systems explains, Closed Captions are sent as data along with the video meaning you ask your receiver to turn off, or turn on, display of the text. 

In this talk from the Midwest Broadcast Multimedia Technology Conference, we hear not only why you should caption, but get introduced to the techniques for both creating and transmitting them. Bill starts by introducing us to stenography, the technique of typing on special machines to do real-time transcripts. This is to help explain how resource-intensive creating captions is when using humans. It’s a highly specialist skill which, alone, makes it difficult for broadcasters to deliver captions en masse.

The alternative, naturally, is to have computers doing the task. Whilst they are cheaper, they have problems understanding audio over noise and with multiple people speaking at once. The compromise which is often used, for instance by BBC Sports, is to have someone re-speaking the audio into the computer. This harnesses the best aspects of the human brain with the speed of computing. The re-speaker can annunciate and emphasise to get around idiosyncrasies in recognition.

Bill re-visits the numerous motivations to caption content. He talks about the legal reasons, particularly within the US, but also mentions the usefulness of captions for situations where you don’t want audio from TVs, such as receptions and shop windows as well as in noisy environments. But he also makes the point that once you have this data, the broadcaster can take the opportunity to use that data for search, sentiment analysis and archive retrieval among other things.

Watch now!
Download the presentation
Speaker

Bill Bennett Bill Bennett
Media Solutions Account Manager
ENCO Systems

Video: ST 2110 Testing Fundamentals

When you’ve chosen to go IP in your facility using ST 2110, you’ll need to know how to verify it’s working correctly, how to diagnose problems and have the right tools available. Vendors participate in several interop tests a year, so we can learn from how they set up their tests and the best practices they develop.

In this talk, Jean Lapierre explains what to test for and the types of things that typically go wrong in ST 2110 systems with PTP. Jean starts by talking about the parts of 2110 which are tested and the network and timing infrastructure which forms the basis of the testing. He then starts to go through problems to look for in deployments.

Jean talks about testing that IGMPv3 multicasts can be joined and then looks at checking the validity of SDP files which can be done by visual inspection and also SDPoker. A visual inspection is still important because whilst SDPoker checks the syntax, there can be basic issues in the content. 2022-7 testing is next. The simplest test is to turn one path off and check for disturbances, but this should be followed up by using a network emulator to deliver a variety of different types of errors of varying magnitudes to ensure there are no edge cases.

ST 2110 uses PTP for timing so, naturally, the timing system also needs to be tested. PTP is a bi-directional system for providing time to all parts of the network instead of a simple waterfall distribution of a centrally created time signal like black and burst. Whilst this system needs monitoring during normal operation, it’s important to check for proper grandmaster failover of your equipment.

PTP is also important when doing 2110 PCAPs in order to have accurate timing and to enable analysis with the EBU’s LIST project. Jean gives some guidelines on using and installing LIST and finishes his talk outlining some of the difficulties he has faced, providing tips on what to look out for.

Watch now!
Speakers

Jean Lapierre Jean Lapierre
Senior Director of Engineering,
Matrox

Video: Demystifying Video Delivery Protocols

Let’s face it, there are a lot of streaming protocols out there both for contribution and distribution. Internet ingest in RTMP is being displaced by RIST and SRT, whilst low-latency players such as CMAF and LL-HLS are vying for position as they try to oust HLS and DASH in existing services streaming to the viewer.

This panel, hosted by Jason Thibeault from the Streaming Video Alliance, talks about all these protocols and attempts to put each in context, both in the broadcast chain and in terms of its features. Two of the main contribution technologies are RIST and SRT which are both UDP-based protocols which implement a method of recovering lost packets whereby packets which are lost are re-requested from the sender. This results in a very high resilience to packet loss – ideal for internet deployments.

First, we hear about SRT from Maxim Sharabayko. He lists some of the 350 members of the SRT Alliance, a group of companies who are delivering SRT in their products and collaborating to ensure interoperability. Maxim explains that, based on the UDT protocol, it’s able to do live streaming for contribution as well as optimised file transfer. He also explains that it’s free for commercial use and can be found on github. SRT has been featured a number of times on The Broadcast Knowledge. For a deeper dive into SRT, have a look at videos such as this one, or the ones under the SRT tag.

Next Kieran Kunhya explains that RIST was a response to an industry request to have a vendor-neutral protocol for reliable delivery over the internet or other dedicated links. Not only does vendor-neutrality help remove reticence for users or vendors to adopt the technology, but interoperability is also a key benefit. Kieran calls out hitless switching across multiple ISPs and cellular. bonding as important features of RIST. For a summary of all of RIST’s features, read this article. For videos with a deeper dive, have a look at the RIST tag here on The Broadcast Knowledge.

Demystifying Video Delivery Protocols from Streaming Video Alliance on Vimeo.

Barry Owen represents WebRTC in this webinar, though Wowza deal with many protocols in their products. WebRTC’s big advantage is sub-second delivery which is not possible with either CMAF or LL-HLS. Whilst it’s heavily used for video conferencing, for which it was invented, there are a number of companies in the streaming space using this for delivery to the user because of it’s almost instantaneous delivery speed. Whilst a perfect rendition of the video isn’t guaranteed, unlike CMAF and LL-HLS, for auctions, gambling and interactive services, latency is always king. For contribution, Barry explains, the flexibility of being able to contribute from a browser can be enough to make this a compelling technology although it does bring with it quality/profile/codec restrictions.

Josh Pressnell and Ali C Begen talk about the protocols which are for delivery to the user. Josh explains how smoothstreaming has excited to leave the ground to DASH, CMAF and HLS. They discuss the lack of a true CENC – Common Encryption – mechanism leading to duplication of assets. Similarly, the discussion moves to the fact that many streaming services have to have duplicate assets due to target device support.

Looking ahead, the panel is buoyed by the promise of QUIC. There is concern that QUIC, the Google-invented protocol for HTTP delivery over UDP, is both under standardisation proceedings in the IETF and is also being modified by Google separately and at the same time. But the prospect of a UDP-style mode and the higher efficiency seems to instil hope across all the participants of the panel.

Watch now to hear all the details!
Speakers

Ali C. Begen Ali C. Begen
Technical Consultant, Comcast
Kieran Kunhya Kieran Kunhya
Founder & CEO, Open Broadcast Systems
Director, RIST Forum
Barry Owen Barry Owen
VP, Solutions Engineering
Wowza Media Systems
Joshua Pressnell Josh Pressnell
CTO,
Penthera Technologies
Maxim Sharabayko Maxim Sharabayko
Senior Software Developer,
Haivision
Jason Thibeault Moderator: Jason Thibeault
Executive Director,
Streaming Video Alliance

Video: Remote editing, storage, cloud dynamics & reopening production

The rug was pulled from under the feet of the production industry due to the pandemic, both in film and television. The scramble to finish projects and to fill TV schedules has resulted in a lot of creative ideas and a surge in remote editing. This panel looks at the benefits of this work and considers whether this will continue to be done in the future when the restrictions are lifted.

In this video, we hear from Sony, Teradici, Lou Wirth Productions, EditShare and PADEM Group on the gaping hole in workflows left by the pandemic and how the industry has bridged the gap with remote editing.

Moderated by IET Media Exec director Allan McLennan from PADEM group, we hear answers to questions like “What are the challenges moving to remote editing?”, “Can Remote Editing open up diversity in this part of the industry?” and features a look to the future in terms of new technologies for meeting the streaming demand.

“One of the challenges with a technology transition is people often need a motivation”

Stephen Tallamy, EditShare

“It’s easy to keep doing the thing you used to do until you’re forced to do it,” explains EditShare’s Stephen Tallamy. But the panel doesn’t see the pandemic as just something that forced a change, rather they see the benefits in the move towards remove editing and remote collaboration. David Rosen from Sony was positive saying that “Creative resources can be anywhere and the elimination of having to move those people to where the content it…is a significant advantage.” From his perspective, increasing numbers of customers have cloud as part of their workflow.

“Never again.” My customers are saying, “Never again will I be in a situation where I cannot get access to. my content.”

David Rosen, Sony

The panel’s discussion moves to remote editing, the practice of giving editors access to remote computers which run the editing software and have access to the relevant media. The editor’s local computer then becomes a window on to the edit suite in a different building, or in the cloud. Ian Main from Teradici, explains that a company can open an edit station up to an editor who could be anywhere in the world which is why this is such an important part of the solution to enabling work to continue in an emergency. Teradici specialises in developing and deploying high-performance remote control of PCs and Stephen Tallamy speaks from the experience of enabling remote editing using Teradici for enabling remote editing workflows on AWS and other cloud providers and data centres.

“The production side shut down, but the post-production side accelerated.”

Ian Main, Teradici
Lou Wirth, award-winning editor and producer, joins the panel as someone who has continued to edit locally. “For producers who were forced to go into a remote editing situation, they may have always been on the fence about it”, Lou says, “…If it was a good experience, they would see the advantages of it and continue.” Indeed the consensus does seem to be that much of what’s happening now will be fed back into workflows of the future even when restrictions are lifted.

Listen to the whole discussion which includes a look ahead to IBC.

Watch now!
Speakers

Ian Main Ian Main
Technical Marketing Principle,
Teradici
David Rosen David Rosen
VP, Cloud Applications & Solutions,
Sony
Stephen Tallamy Stephen Tallamy
Chief Technology Officer,
EditShare
Lou Wirth Lou Wirth
Head Story Editor,
Lou Wirth Productions
Allan McLennan Moderator: Allan McLennan
Chief Executive, Global Market Technologist, PADEM Media Group,
Executive Board Director, IET Media technology network