Ericsson will establish closed captioning hub in Atlanta, Georgia to meet growing demand in the United States and abroad
Ericsson is the largest provider of closed captioning in Europe, delivering more than 200,000 hours of captions per year to major broadcasters and operators
The service will aim to meet the new regulations outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), intended to increase the quality of captioning services, and to provide smoother and more accurate closed-captioned communications across a wider-reach of programming
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) today announced the United States launch of a closed captioning service, a service which displays text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information. The company will establish a broadcast and media services hub based in Atlanta, Georgia to provide closed captioning and video description services to both domestic and international clients effective from April 2015.
Ericsson's world-leading closed captioning services will be delivered using the company's enterprise-level, schedule-driven software platform, which was developed in-house using market-leading speech-recognition technologies. It allows multiple captioners to prepare and deliver real-time services for clients while maximizing reuse of the caption data after it has been broadcast - for example, by helping to power content discovery or enrich archive search. The platform is currently being used to deliver both live and offline captioning services for major broadcast clients, including the BBC and Sky.
The platform, which supports closed captioning in various languages, made its debut at International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2014 and is a key part of Ericsson's Broadcast and Media Services portfolio following the acquisition of leading media services company Red Bee Media. Ericsson also plans to roll out video description services for vision-impaired audiences in the U.S. over the coming months.
Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services at Ericsson, says: "We believe that we can create significant value for U.S. broadcasters and platform operators. By ensuring their content is accessible to audiences everywhere and harnessing valuable metadata, we can power more effective content discovery and open new revenue models in a world with more platforms and more content than ever before. We are one of the largest media service providers in the world, originating more than 500 mostly complex channels, managing more than eight million metadata assets and providing leading creative services. I am excited to extend our portfolio to the U.S. market, starting with closed captioning that has a received a lot of encouraging customer feedback."
Ericsson's closed captioning business is the largest in Europe and has been providing captioning services for over 30 years. Ericsson delivers 200,000 hours of captions every year, 80,000 of which are live. It is also the world's largest provider of TV audio description and sign-language translation.
In August 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined new regulations intended to increase the quality of captioning services, and to provide smoother and more accurate closed-captioned communications across a wider-reach of programming.
Key milestones have been outlined by the FCC relating to the broadcast of English and Spanish-language programs in the United States:
As of January 15 2015, video distributors and broadcasters are obliged to meet specific guidelines relating to accuracy, synchronicity, completeness and placement of captioning for online video content
By January 1 2016, clips lifted straight from a program and posted onto the Internet, known as straight-lift clips, must be captioned
By January 1 2017, montages of video clips must be captioned
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