Television

Telstra Pay TV applies for caption exemptions

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Telstra Pay TV has applied to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for exemptions to caption requirements for its subscription service Mobile Foxtel, which delivers 34 Foxtel channels to mobile devices.

Amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act passed in 2012 introduced captioning requirements for subscription TV services. However, the ACMA has the power to grant exemption or target reduction orders to television services if providing captions for them would cause ‘unjustifiable hardship’.


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Report looks at television access levels across Europe

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A major report commissioned by the European Commission has found that levels of captioning, audio description and signing on television vary widely across Europe, and are highest in countries which have introduced legal or regulatory obligations. 

The Study on Assessing and Promoting E-Accessibility looked at accessibility levels in three areas – web, telecoms, and television – in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), along with four comparison countries, Australia, Norway, Canada and the US.  For each country, the study looked at two public broadcasters and two commercial broadcasters.


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Highlights of 2013: television caption quality

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In June, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released its long-awaited caption standard, setting out the criteria it will use when dealing with complaints from the public about poor captioning.

The Broadcasting Services (Television Captioning) Standard.2013 is a very important piece of legislation for Deaf and hearing impaired viewers. Prior to its release, there was no definition of captions in the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) and no indication of what constituted adequate caption quality. This meant that the ACMA could only deal effectively with complaints about a program where the captions either did not appear, or were so bad that they were obviously useless for viewers.


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Unscrambling caption quality control

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In 2014 Media Access Australia will release the world’s first review of how the quality of closed captions and subtitles for the Deaf and hearing impaired is controlled internationally. The white paper is sponsored by Red Bee Media and will explore how a more consistent approach to captioning will benefit both viewers and caption providers internationally.

The report will draw on a range of approaches from across the world, both in English and other languages and will examine how various countries such as the UK, USA and Australia ensure the accuracy of closed captions on broadcast television.


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