Samsung Electronics is demonstrating for the first time a new subtitling format – HbbTV 2.0 – which at long last will bring accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to live streaming and on-demand content.
The technology will be shown at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany, as part of the Hbb4All Pilot-A project, in collaboration with IRT and RBB, which aim to improve the delivery of a wide range of accessibility services.
Across Europe, broadcasters have the challenge of providing subtitles in a format that works on multiple platforms, so that they can help individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, or simply do not have sufficient language skills to comprehend the content without text support – whether it is in the original or a foreign language.
While sub-titling technologies for traditional broadcast platforms are well established, today’s challenge is to provide subtitles that meet the specific needs of the users in terms of channel, platform and their consumption requirements. To provide accessibility services that are easy-to-use, are of a high quality and work on all platforms offered by on-demand and IP television, broadcasters need a well-conceived production and distribution strategy that allows them to exchange subtitles and re-purpose them automatically.
HbbTV 2.0 adds support for EBU-TT-D as a subtitle format (TTML) for broadband content. On-demand content can be linked with out-of-band EBU-TT-D documents and content based on MPEG-DASH can have embedded EBU-TT-D subtitles. This in turn makes it possible to generate subtitles for live streaming via the Internet.*
The HbbTV terminals currently available in the market do not support subtitles for broadband content natively. However, these terminals provide sufficient information on the playback position for on-demand content directly to applications, so subtitles can be added in the application. This provides the flexibility needed to offer users customized subtitles, such as larger font sizes.
Samsung’s demonstration of the HbbTV 2.0 format is the first element of the Pilot-A project as proposed by the Hbb4All project. Demonstrations of HbbTV 2.0 will be available at IFA in Berlin in the ARD Digital Hall at the IRT and RBB booths, as well as at IBC, Amsterdam from Sept. 7-15, 2015 at the IRT booth.