W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-tt@w3.org > November 2015

Re: Implementing Assistive Technologies

From: David Ronca <dronca@netflix.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 19:54:27 -0800
Message-ID: <CAMjV-FiAbouiVu6n_Q=xa5fX5OeuqBrpDr4cnEtRsFLJhtP2nA@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-tt@w3.org
"And for another thing, according to Dolan, major commercial content
streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others were well into
development of their own proprietary processes"

I have to take issue with this statement.  Can't speak for Amazon and
"others"  but we built our subtitling on TTML from day one, and have
evolved from a very simple model to full 608 support.  Today, we have 100%
catalog coverage and are producing assets in 20 languages.

We are in the front on TTML2 as we have 5 (yes 5) full or partial
implementations in flight including two rendering engines.  Our Japanese
subtitle work was done in TTML2.  I had planed to discuss our work in
Sapporo but was unable to make the trip.


On Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 4:26 PM, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:

> FYI. Nice write-up that includes some coverage on IMSC and WebVTT.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: SMPTE Newswatch <communications@smpte.org>
> Date: Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 1:28 AM
> Subject: Implementing Assistive Technologies
> To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
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> Table of Contents
> Implementing Assistive Technologies
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NW1>
> I <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NB1>TU OK's Immersive Audio Standard
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NB1>
> W <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NB2>here are the 4K HDMI Switchers?
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NB2>
> R <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_NB3>emote DVR Progress
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> November 2015 #1
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=bbb6641f97&e=84f2972d36>
> *Hot Button Discussion*
> * Implementing Assistive Technologies By Michael Goldman *
> Since *SMPTE Newswatch* last examined the topic of closed captioning and
> other accessibility technologies a couple of years ago
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=22f4b8d91f&e=84f2972d36>,
> not much has changed in terms of governmental regulatory requirements on
> broadcasters to widen access to modern communication technologies. Indeed,
> the only major recent action taken by the FCC regarding accessibility
> related to the expansion of rules regarding how to get critical emergency
> information to consumers with visual impairments
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=75e26f93d1&e=84f2972d36> by
> making that information accessible on their so-called “second screen”
> personal assistive devices. However, since the Twenty-First Century
> Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=dc2788fa15&e=84f2972d36>
> was passed, the media industry has steadfastly been seeking ways to make
> captioning, video description, and other enhancements more consistently
> available with their content across all platforms. In fact, the action in
> this space right now appears to be focused mainly around how to most
> efficiently implement the FCC’s requirements across an industry that
> “broadcasts” content just about everywhere, to everyone, using both
> traditional and non-traditional methods, and delivery and viewing systems.
> As discussed previously in *Newswatch*, the traditional television
> broadcast industry has remained stable and efficient in terms of providing
> closed captions by adhering to the established captioning standards,
> CEA-608, and its digital television descendant mandated by the FCC,
> CEA-708. Methodology-wise, television broadcasters continue to author
> captions in the CEA-608 format, and put them through a transcoding process
> to convert them into the 708 format as the final step in the broadcast
> chain. This methodology is used because 708 has never been “natively”
> adopted by the caption authoring industry as a wholesale replacement, since
> most archival content, hardware, and software infrastructure remains based
> on 608.
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=e46cfd39f4&e=84f2972d36>
> It is, however, “an interesting question” how changes in broadcast
> television picture creation, transmission, processing, and viewing due to
> the industry’s ongoing ultra-high-definition (UHD) transition could impact
> captions for broadcast content, including the integration of broadband
> delivery, suggests Michael Dolan, founder of the Television Broadcast
> Technology Consulting Group, chairman of the ATSC Technology and
> Standards Group 1
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=1800c3f19b&e=84f2972d36>,
> chair of SMPTE Working Group 24-TB, and a SMPTE Fellow. But Dolan suggests
> that this evolution to UHD and broadband delivery provides an opportunity
> to introduce new caption technology along the way.
> “Caption systems today already support at least eight colors—some of them
> more—and there does not seem to be any requirement from the authoring
> community for a broader set of colors than what is available today, unlike
> video, where you are trying to provide very smooth transitions between
> shades of all the different colors, and a wider color gamut and higher bit
> depth make a remarkable difference to the viewing experience,” Dolan
> explains. “When it comes to captions, I’m not aware of a requirement where
> you would need or want to make two subtle shades of red, for instance. That
> simply wouldn’t serve the purpose of helping the hard-of-hearing person
> discriminate text for different speakers or sound effects. However, it
> would complicate the decoder mixing to have two color models in play, so as
> you move to higher dynamic range, wider color gamut in video, ultimately
> the captions have to be easily composited into the video plane. And that
> process can get a little more complicated when you are working with one
> color model for the video and another for the text. So one would expect
> enhancements to caption technology to facilitate this [in the future], even
> if more colors are not needed.”
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=3ab91f88c1&e=84f2972d36>
> Meanwhile, in the increasingly busy commercial content streaming space,
> the industry has been turning to the SMPTE Timed Text (SMPTE-TT) format
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=6769ed525a&e=84f2972d36>
> for broadband distribution of captions. Since the FCC formally declared
> SMPTE-TT as a so-called “safe harbor,” meaning commercial broadcasters who
> used it would be considered compliant with the law now and for the
> foreseeable future, the industry “has really taken that to heart, but they
> have had to examine on a technical level what that means exactly,” Dolan
> explains.
> By that, Dolan means that after the FCC’s declaration that SMPTE-TT was
> the way to go, the industry had to get to work trying to find ways to
> coalesce around a common profile of SMPTE-TT as the standard choice for
> captioning commercial streaming video content. This is an important step
> since, until recently, captioning had existed across the Web pretty much in
> a hodge-podge of formats and systems. In this regard, getting both
> commercial and Web content to converge around a common profile remains a
> work in progress, Dolan suggests.
> “Some time ago, the UltraViolet industry forum created a profile of SMPTE
> Timed Text, because it is a rather large set of technologies, not all of
> which are needed to do a good job on captions and movie subtitles
> specifically,” he says. “That profile did a good job for captions, and it
> formed the basis of a new initiative by the W3C [Worldwide Web Consortium]
> with the profile known as IMSC1 [Internet Media Subtitles and Captions
> 1.0]
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=b356a0d869&e=84f2972d36>.
> That is now close to publication, and more and more folks are looking at
> adopting it as the profile for the safe harbor version of SMPTE Timed Text.
> Right now, there are reference implementations underway.
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=c551c00657&e=84f2972d36>
> “There are a number of commercial media delivery silos on the Internet
> that are using some profile of [SMPTE Timed Text] already, but most of them
> do not disclose what they are doing exactly, so it is a little difficult to
> talk about who is adopting it and who isn’t, other than to say that many
> programmers who deliver content to tablets and other ‘second-screen’
> devices are using a version of it when they deliver their content.”
> However, Dolan quickly adds that the volume of programmers and content,
> and the rapidly evolving nature of the Internet, combined with the typical
> nature of what it takes to roll out a new technology or standard even under
> the best of circumstances, means it will take a long time to coalesce
> broadcasters around a common profile such as IMSC1 in terms of
> standardizing caption formatting. For one thing, some software developers
> and Web browser companies have gravitated toward another option—WebVTT
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=4146100aca&e=84f2972d36>.
> That methodology relies on a simpler markup language built on Subtitle
> Resource Tracks (SRT), and has become popular for captioning some types of
> Web-based videos.
> And for another thing, according to Dolan, major commercial content
> streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others were well into
> development of their own proprietary processes before the industry got
> around to pushing toward standardizing commercial media delivery on the Web.
> “They are still converting not only video and audio, but also captions to
> whatever they have already designed for their silos, and much of that
> pre-dates a lot of the work over the last few years with respect to
> captions, certainly,” he says. “Some of them are moving in the direction
> [of SMPTE Timed Text] and some aren’t—it’s really on a case-by-case basis.
> “So a lot of progress has been made. But has everyone converted to a
> single format or fully deployed IMSC1? No. But there has been a lot of work
> put forward and a lot of activities are going on that are starting to adopt
> IMSC1, both in standards’ bodies and in commercial silos. It’s a process,
> but we are not even close to a common format, that’s for sure.”
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=015995f010&e=84f2972d36>
> Broadcast, of course, is not the only content delivery area where
> assistive technology is required, nor are captions the only area where
> there have been interesting developments in this category. In the world of
> digital cinema, for instance, captions are a relatively stable topic. DCI
> distributions now include closed-caption standards built around an
> Ethernet-based synchronization protocol, associated resource presentation
> list, and a content essence format that permits content creators to
> distribute DCI versions of their movies with up to six languages of
> interoperable closed captions associated with them. The industry also has a
> standardized protocol for how digital cinema servers talk to captioning
> devices, as well as well-established standards for descriptive audio in
> place that are carried in DCI packages
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=b6b8b13cc3&e=84f2972d36>.
> Further, as Dolan points out, the Interoperable Mastering Format (IMF) has
> “already embraced IMSC1” so new studio movies will typically be mastered to
> be optimized for streaming platforms going forward.
> At the same time, manufacturers have been making interesting strides
> regarding how to make such assistive technologies practical in the cinema
> space. When it comes to the issue of descriptive audio—that is, a separate
> audio track designed to describe or narrate what is happening in the
> picture to assist visually impaired viewers—hardware manufacturers have
> been offering a variety of solutions in recent years. For cinema
> applications, companies like Dolby, Sony, and USL, among others, are
> offering a range of technologies that provide closed captions to individual
> consumers on small personal devices, or audio signals through small,
> wireless RF receivers attached to standard headphones worn by impaired
> moviegoers.
> And for home viewers, “the methods of carrying descriptive audio have been
> mature for some time,” says Sripal Mehta, principal architect, broadcast,
> for Dolby Laboratories and co-designer, along with Harold Hallikainen, of
> the digital cinema closed caption communication protocol standard described
> above. “In some cases, a separate audio program with descriptive video
> mixed in is sent as an alternate sound program to the main audio program.
> The issue with this is that, in many cases, the main program audio is
> stereo or 5.1, while the descriptive video track may only be mono or
> stereo. Another method is to send a separate descriptive video track, which
> would be mixed, at playback time, with the main video. The benefit of this
> approach is that the visually impaired viewer gets the full surround
> experience, as opposed to a compromised stereo or mono experience. The
> Dolby encoding/decoding system takes care of ‘ducking,’ or reducing the
> volume of the main audio track when the descriptive video track dialogue is
> presented.”
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=fb45d55930&e=84f2972d36>
> Mehta adds that descriptive audio has become “a standard part of [Dolby’s]
> offerings, and is being adopted by our consumer electronics partners, as
> well as broadcasters,” and he suggests this trend is proliferating across
> the industry. And that’s not the only evolution in the assistive technology
> space in the broadcast world. He adds that another paradigm shift includes
> the shifting of descriptive audio tracks into the element-based, or
> object-based audio delivery world.
> “With object-based audio, music and effects, dialogue, and descriptive
> video are sent as separate elements, and are mixed together at playback
> time,” Mehta says. “This method delivers a premium experience to each
> listener of every need, provides the ability to adjust dialogue level for
> increased intelligibility, and reduces the overall bit rate for different
> experiences.”
> And related to the notion of “increased intelligibility” is the growing
> push toward what Mehta calls “dialogue enhancement” as another application
> to assist hearing-impaired consumers.
> “That’s the ability to pick out dialogue from the ambience of the
> content,” he says. “Next generation audio codecs, including Dolby AC-4
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=1e9b565fca&e=84f2972d36>,
> support dialogue enhancement, which involves advanced signal processing to
> improve the audibility and intelligibility of dialogue for both pre-mixed
> stereo and 5.1 audio programs, as well as object-based audio. Dialogue
> enhancement is a valuable feature for those who are hard-of-hearing.”
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=60426180b0&e=84f2972d36>
> *News Briefs ITU OK's Immersive Audio Standard*
> As reported recently by *TV Technology*
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=7597e2f6ca&e=84f2972d36>,
> the ITU recently announced approval of Recommendation ITU-R BS.2088-0,
> which essentially is an open audio standard designed to make feasible
> immersive broadcast sound experiences in combination with
> ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV) pictures. The recommendation, which you
> can read here
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=7978f85fb3&e=84f2972d36>,
> is based on existing Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) and WAVE audio
> formats, and codifies standards that will allow single files to carry
> entire audio programs and metadata for all combinations of channel-based,
> object-based, and scene-based audio available for those programs. When
> implemented for users who have the right technology in their homes, the
> idea is to permit them “to adjust the level of immersive audio” on UHD
> programs, according to the article.
> *Where are the 4K HDMI Switchers?*
> A recent column by Rodolfo La Maestra on the HDTV Magazine site
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=33be7eea7a&e=84f2972d36>
> takes a look at one of the understated problems with ongoing transition to
> 4K broadcasting: a lack of all the associated components that consumers
> with sophisticated home theaters might need to make efficient 4K viewing
> worth the trouble to begin with. In particular, with the arrival of 4K
> video players, UHD Blu-ray players on the horizon, and more, he suggests
> that manufacturers have not kept pace in terms of providing a basic element
> that home theaters with multiple components will need in 4K scenarios—4K
> HDMI switchers. “The market offered 4K TVs for the past three years and 4K
> players for at least a year, but the industry did not react quickly enough
> regarding 4K HDMI switchers that can comply with their requirements,” La
> Maestra writes. He suggests the industry needs to find a solution
> considering that most current 4K consumer displays only have one input
> capable of 4K HDMI 2.0 that are HDCP 2.2 compliant, while “there will soon
> be more 4K sources to connect to the display, so the need for capable AVRs
> and HDMI switchers to consolidate those connections will soon grow.” In his
> article, La Maesta also published reaction to this concern from several
> switcher manufacturers whom he spoke to earlier this year at the Infocomm
> 2015 tradeshow.
> *Remote DVR Progress*
> Recent cable industry news headlines included a report that progress is
> apparently being made on making the concept of the remote or cloud DVR a
> reality. Industry site Fierce Cable recently covered news
> <http://smpte.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=afdd4606a7ec4be507008b977&id=a5adf93829&e=84f2972d36>
> that Charter Communications was making plans with technology partner Cisco
> to conduct a remote DVR trial for IP video to the home, as well as
> conducting experiments to enable remote content distribution through IP in
> the home. These plans were disclosed in a recent filing Cisco made with the
> FCC, according to the report, which added Charter and Cisco were shortly
> about to begin field trials. The idea of remote DVR technology is to permit
> users to record TV shows and store the recordings in a cloud-based server,
> rather than on an at-home, set-top box. Conceptually, this would reduce the
> cost or need for certain types of set-top boxes, and allow users to access
> recordings from different devices and locations. The report adds that
> Comcast and Cablevision are also working on similar technologies.
> <#150cfe54c800999d_150ce6cc4af86968_>
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Received on Wednesday, 4 November 2015 03:54:58 UTC

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