Sony and Aberdeen to Demonstrate First Application of File-based Closed Captioning at NAB

Sony Electronics and Aberdeen Captioning along with software developer CPC have joined forces to develop the first file-based closed-captioning system that maximizes the benefits of Sony’s XDCAM HD422 tapeless technology. The new workflow uses Sony’s PDW-HD1500 optical deck to make the process more efficient, faster and more flexible.

“Because the XDCAM system is file-based, we’re able to do our work in a much more refined and streamlined way,” said Matt Cook, President of Aberdeen Captioning. “Now, once someone is done with their XDCAM edit, we take their file, caption directly onto that file, and then place it back onto the disc. We’ve eliminated the need to go through a closed-captioning encoder—which can cost up to $10,000—therefore eradicating the requirement to do real-time play-out.”

According to Cook, clients—which include a range of broadcast networks, groups and independent producers—benefit from faster turnaround times and a more cost- and time-efficient process than previous methods.

“The primary benefit for clients is that they can keep their file in its original form, and send it to us on a hard drive, via FTP site, or on a disc,” he said. “Once we put the captioning data back in the video file, we can then return it to the client in the format of their choice.”

The PDW-HD1500 deck is designed for file-based recording in studio operations. A Gigabit Ethernet data drive allows it to write any file format from any codec onto the optical disc media, and it also makes handling either SD or HD content much easier.

“This deck is perfect for applications like closed captioning, where turnaround time is often critical and multi-format flexibility is a key,” said Wayne Zuchowski, group marketing manager for XDCAM system at Sony Electronics.

Cook added, “We can handle any format without a problem. That type of capability and functionality is very important to us because as a captioning company we’re required to deliver a finished product in any format a client requires.”

When Aberdeen receives content from a client, the company first converts it to a smaller “working file,” for example Windows or a Quick Time media file, which is used to do the transcribing, captioning and timing.

“Once the captioning work is done, we marry the original MXF XDCAM file and our captioned data file through our MacCaption software,” Cook said. “With the press of a button, both files are merged, and we can drag and drop it back onto the disc and send out, or FTP it to a client and they can drag and drop onto a disc.”

The Sony and Aberdeen joint captioning system will be on display at NAB in Sony’s exhibit, C11001, Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center.

Article Written by Tom Di Nome, from Sony Electronics

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