IRT and EBU collaborate over online subtitling for IBC

As online video comes of age, it must match legacy broadcast services for traditional features such as consistent access to subtitles. This will be a focus of separate demonstrations at IBC 2015 from the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and Institut für Rundfunktechnik GmbH (IRT), the research arm of German broadcasters ARD, ZDF and DLR, along with Austria’s ORF and Swiss public broadcaster SRG / SSR.

IRT will be showing how the latest HbbTV 2.0 standard enables smart TVs to access subtitles in a uniform way that is independent of the manufacturer. It will demonstrate a prototype service developed by IRT in cooperation with the Innovation Projects of ARD broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) and Samsung. This combines live streaming using MPEG-DASH with subtitles based on the EBU-TT-D specification. The work was carried out under HBB4ALL, a European co-funded project on media accessibility in a connected TV environment. Indeed for the last two years, IRT has been one of the leading contributors to both HbbTV 2.0 and EBU-TT-D, which together are aiming to unite the broadcast and broadband world.

Subtitles have been part of traditional TV services for decades, but over the Internet have been limited for live streaming by the lack of a standardized solution and by timing issues. In combination with MPEG-DASH, EBU-TT-D is a solution, enabling a common subtitle format to be used for video on demand services like catch-up TV as well as live streaming.

Meanwhile the EBU will be giving a series of EBU-TT related presentations on its booth at IBC, 10.F.20. EBU-TT, or EBU Timed Text, is the follow-up to the widely used EBU STL format and comprises three specifications. The Base spec is EBU-TT part 1, defining an easy-to-use XML structure for the interchange and archiving of subtitles. It builds on the W3C Timed text Markup Language (TTML) 1.0, which was designed for exchange of textual information synchronized to timing signals over the Internet. This was initially developed for transcoding or exchanging timed text information among legacy distribution content formats already in use for subtitling and captioning within online video.

The second EBU-TT specification is STL mapping, designed to map legacy EBU STL files to the new EBU-TT format. As such this is a key requirement for support of subtitling in hybrid services.

Then the third specification is Live contribution, covered by EBU-TT Part 3 published in June 2015 for authoring and contribution of live subtitling. It also introduces the concept of processing 'nodes' that can help improve subtitling quality in production and reduce the effort involved.

You might also like...

Essential Guide: Cloud Workflow Intelligent Optimization

Optimization gained from transitioning to the cloud isn’t just about saving money, it also embraces improving reliability, enhancing agility and responsiveness, and providing better visibility into overall operations.

The World Of OTT (Infrastructure Pt9) - Minimizing OTT Churn Rates Through Viewer Engagement

The basic goal is for consumers of video services to be highly engaged. It is easy to say but hard to do. Yet it is at the core of being a D2C streamer. D2C requires a deep understanding…

Streaming Video: Live, But Not Quite

More than 52% of survey participants report at least three-second latency delays or more in their live streaming broadcasts.

The World Of OTT (Infrastructure Pt8) - The Battle To Beat Content Piracy

Piracy is an ancient issue. In the media industry, piracy is the unlicensed use of content that is protected by copyright. While there are many benefits to OTT video, a downside is that its “over the top” nature where content tra…

BT Sport’s Live VR 360 Coverage Of Premier League Brings Fans Closer To The Action

While the merits of 8K delivery is being debated by broadcasters around the world, some are moving forward with plans to deploy the high resolution quality in creative ways that engage viewers and encourage them to interact with a live…