Ericsson, EBU and BBC demonstrate new standard for creating live captioning

Press release
Sep 09, 2016 06:00 (GMT +00:00)
  • European Broadcasting Union (EBU) working group has devised new standard for authoring and contributing of live captions - EBU Timed Text Live
  • Proof of concept underway using open source EBU-TT Live Interoperability Toolkit, contributed to by EBU and public service broadcaster, the BBC
  • Ericsson to offer service to clients globally to improve content accessibility for Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities around the world, both in broadcast and online

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) today announced it is to support the creation of live captions using the new EBU Timed Text (EBU-TT) Live standard, which facilitates live subtitling and also supports playback of prepared subtitling in the same format.

EBU-TT Live will enable broadcasters to create live captions for online platforms quickly and easily without the need to invest in traditional broadcast infrastructure. Additionally it will enable broadcasters to replicate the familiar presentation style used on linear TV to ensure a consistent over-the-top (OTT) viewing experience. Currently, captions are available on OTT platforms principally for on-demand and pre-recorded programs. 

UK public service broadcaster, the BBC, is currently trialing the approach with Ericsson as part of a proof of concept utilizing the open source EBU-TT Live Interoperability Toolkit, with the aim of simplifying the methods used to deliver live captions to online platforms. Ericsson will also offer this service to clients globally to improve the experience of audiences around the world who access content through online platforms.

Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson, says: "In today's TV world, consumers want to watch both live and on-demand content anytime, anywhere and on any device - and we believe this experience should be accessible by all audiences. By working with the EBU and other industry partners, we can ensure our clients remain at the forefront of TV accessibility by helping them to adopt new solutions to meet the requirements of new broadcast and platform technologies. This new standard will reduce the cost and complexity required to deliver live captions to online platforms and enable all broadcasters, like the BBC, to ensure their live content and multi-platform services are truly accessible by everyone."

Ericsson's closed captioning business is one of the largest in the world, with hubs in Australia, the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the US. Ericsson has been providing captioning services for over 30 years and delivers 230,000 hours of captions every year, 100,000 of which are live. It is also the world's largest provider of TV audio description and sign-language translation.

Ericsson is one of the leading global providers of broadcast and media services, and has worked with some of the world's most well-known broadcasters, platforms and content producers, including BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT Sport, ITV, FOX, DreamWorks, Liberty Global, NPO, Canal+, NOS, Bonnier Group, Sky, HBO, TV5 Monde and France 24.

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