Television

Ai-Media adopts European caption quality model

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The Australian access company Ai-Media, which will take over the captioning of all Nine network television programs in January, has adopted the NER model, a method of measuring live captions created using speech recognition technology.

The NER model was developed by Pablo Romero-Fresco of Roehampton University and Juan Martinez, a respeaking consultant. ‘Respeaking’ is the term used for a captioner repeating the dialogue of a TV program or other medium into a microphone, which is then turned into captions by text-to-speak software. In the NER Model, N stands for the number of words in the respoken text, E for ‘Edition’ errors introduced by the respeaker, and R for ‘Recognition’ errors caused by the software.


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Audio description on TV – where to now?

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Media Access Australia has prepared an analysis of the ABC’s report on the technical delivery of the audio description trial on ABC1 last year. Written by Project Manager for Television, Chris Mikul, Audio description – where to now? looks at viewer responses to the trial, the technical issues that were raised by it, and how these may be overcome.

At the end of October, the Department of Communications released the technical report prepared by the ABC. The report was keenly anticipated by blind and vision impaired TV viewers who want Australia to join the US, the UK, New Zealand and many other countries in having a permanent audio description service on television.


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Network Ten stays with Red Bee Media for captioning services

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Major access supplier Red Bee Media has announced a multi-year arrangement to provide captioning services to Australian broadcaster Network Ten. This covers the network’s three free-to-air channels, Ten, Eleven and One, and is for both live and prerecorded captioning services. 

Red Bee Media is a significant international supplier of access and related services, and the Australian service utilises new innovations in captioning delivery, including the Subito system. Subito is a system for captioning news and other live or near-live programs. It uses speech recognition technology to align pre-prepared captions with the audio of a program.


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Foxtel launches captions on its movies on demand

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People who are Deaf or hearing impaired will have greater access to Foxtel’s content after the subscription service launched closed captioning for selected on demand movie services from 1 October this year. This move will see Foxtel provide closed captioning for the vast majority of new release movies aired across its 14 On Demand movie channels, plus instant access On Demand movies to iQ subscribers.

Head of Channel Partnerships Benjamin Cox told Media Access Australia that the introduction of closed captioned content was a response to the increasing popularity of its rental movies and TV shows.

“We’ve received a lot of customer feedback over the years and closed captioning for on demand content is something that has always been requested, particularly since video on demand has grown in usage over the recent years,” Cox said.

 “We’re heavily investing in captions for our linear channels and it makes sense to provide it across on demand services as well.”


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