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Subtitling recognised as essential to Broadcasters to meet Accessibility Goals

New regulations have come into force that require audio-visual content to be made accessible to everyone, includinghearing-impaired people. As a consequence, this has generated a seismic shift in the broadcast industry’s attitude towards subtitles, resulting in increased demand for subtitling and captioning solutions. Broadcasters all around the worldnow have to ensure that their scheduled programmes have sufficient subtitling to meet these new guidelines.

Optimistically, subtitling is finally being recognised as essential, and no longer merely an optional add-on, as previously perceived. This positive move has revealed how valuable subtitles are to programme makers and filmmakers, as they not only promote growth, but they also dramatically increase profits by reaching out to vast global audiences in different languages.

Until recently, regulators only specified legal targets for linear channels. With OTT platforms dominating the market, the focus on regulating access services is switching to this area of content delivery.  Targets for accessibility are set by regulatory bodies in each country. For example, in the UK the targets are set by Ofcom, and other regulators include ACMA in Australia, FCC in North America, CRTC in Canada, CSA in France and CNMC in Spain.

However, meeting these guidelines can seem like a daunting challenge for broadcasters that have to work in fast-paced environments that demand constant live content and consistently updated news. This is where companies such as PBT EU come in and can confidently ensure that their broadcast customers are well-prepared ahead of time, to meet these obligations.

CEO of PBT EU Ivanka Vassileva notes, “There is a growing understanding of accessibility, and the definition is broad – from motor disabilities, sensory, to cognitive, the key element is to ensure that content is made accessible to everybody and that no one is excluded. Broadcasters need software that provides them with flexibility so they can enjoy a seamless in-house network to share live output across multiple different production teams on a global scale. With reliable and affordable software systems on the market like SubtitleNEXT, subtitling should no longer be a regulatory burden for broadcasters. SubtitleNEXT is a convenient all-in-one solution that can be used for captioning live events and offline content in real time. It can stream content in multiple formats that are suitable for linear broadcasting, including VOD platforms and social media platforms.”

SubtitleNEXT can also be set up to be based around remote working. Working in live news environments, a system enabling subtitlers to have access to newsrooms running orders is vital, as is the ability to deal with late schedule changes and breaking news.

In addition, it is crucial that skilled professionals working in subtitling have a good command of the language they are working in with regards to spelling and grammar.  Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is becoming more prominent and used by many of PBT EU’s partners and customers such as Linxstream in Dubai and AppTek in the States. AppTek hasintegrated its award-winning NMT, ASR and Intelligent Line Segmentation (ILS) technologies directly into SubtitleNEXT captioning, subtitling and localization platform, further enhancing SubtitleNEXT’s subtitling and captioning workflows.

Veronique Denis is a well-respected accessibility professional and specialist in real-time subtitling with speech recognition and also Co-founder of Max Live Media Access Services in Belgium. She has already been creating accessible audiovisual content for the hearing and visually impaired since 2015. She shares her thoughts on the topic of media accessibility, “Over the last few years, people have started consuming media in a different way: they consume audiovisual content anywhere and anytime. This is challenging for broadcasters wanting to meet accessibility standards and want their content subtitled on different platforms. SubtitleNEXT enables us to meet broadcasters’ demands and high standards by being our one stop shop for all of our subtitling needs: live, semilive or prerecorded, the result is always of high quality.”

Sonya Chakarova who is the Sales and Marketing Director at Pro Systems adds, “We are impressed with PBT EU’s refreshing approach and their impact in the broadcast sector with SubtitleNEXT. This remarkable software platform is playing a relevant role, not only in exceptionally constructive and helpful areas such as advancing accessibility for the hearing-impaired, but also in helping to improve communication and boost subtitling creativity in the broadcasting, media, and creative industries with a viable and affordable solution.”

When it comes to film and television production, Professor Agnieszka Szarkowska who works at the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw, passionately believes that subtitling is a creative process which requires ample time, experience, and imagination and believes that in order toensure the highest quality in subtitling, filmmakers should be interested in how their subtitled films can “speak” to audiences across the globe. She told the SubtitleNEXT team that she believes subtitling is crucial for the international success of a film, or TV series. “And yet”, she says, “It is surprising how little attention filmmakers typically allocate to subtitling, which – from their perspective – is probably merely an afterthought, a minor part of the post-production process.”

Professor Szarkowska adds further, “I am surprised how many content owners tend to downplay the role of subtitling by resourcing it to people with no experience or by allocating scant amount of funding for subtitling. Filmmakers and content owners need to realise that good quality subtitling is an excellent investment, a brilliant way for their films to travel across borders, and definitely not something where they would want to cut  costs.

Having put so much effort into creating credible film dialogues, filmmakers wouldn’t want their text to be stifled by unidiomatic turn of phrase and poorly synchronised subtitles. When done unprofessionally, subtitling – instead of enabling the viewers immersion into the story world – only shatters their suspension of disbelief, annoys them, makes them switch off and feel disappointed with the film as a whole.”

Defined as an exceptionally dependable subtitling software platform, it is no surprise as to why SubtitleNEXT is referred to by many professionals today as the “subtitler’s lifesaver.” Delivering to high industry standards, the system has an array of immediate resourceful tools and features.

SubtitleNEXT already has a proven track record of success. Throughout the entire pandemic, it has continued to support customers, owing to its flexibility and remote capabilities. Many of the companies that have already adopted SubtitleNEXT include Polsat, Kino Polska, OiV in Croatia, Listen Up in Bulgaria, AMC in Hungary, Hayat, HD Media, OBN, University of Warsaw, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Doli Media Studio and The European School of Translation. Others include Europe’s largest Belgium-based production company Videohouse where SubtitleNEXT was used for well-known TV series such as Big Little Lies, Sirens, Vikings, and others.

Recently Spain’s UCM and Hellenic American College of Greece adopted SubtitleNEXT to equip Masters in Translation students with key localization skills to prepare future subtitlers with a definitive career path to face the pace of demand in the translation and creative industries.

The SubtitleNEXT subtitling platform provides subtitling professionals with many toolsets that can significantly enhance their work, one example being the “live dictation” function which can be used in live subtitling workflows in order to caption news and events in real time which is quite an exciting new development. Many more exciting features have been released and more are on the horizon for 2021.

Visit www.SubtitleNEXT.com for further updates on the latestnews and join the SubtitleNEXT club to stay in the “know”.

More about Ivanka Vassileva, CEO of PBT EU, please visitwww.pbteu.com  

CONTRIBUTORS’ CREDITS



Picture courtesy Liesje Brockley Photograph

 

SubtitleNEXT powerfully accelerates Live Subtitling with Google ASR integration

Women Leaders in Tech

.MSpotlight: Ivanka Vassileva, Profuz Digital CEO, PBT EU CEO

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) in 1975, but the earliest observance of the holiday goes back all the way to 1909. Countries around the world have embraced Women’s Day to varying degrees, but there’s an undeniable global movement to more diversity, inclusion, and equality. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. We take this opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women all over the world now and in the past.

Forward-Thinking

We are proud to share that the companies behind SubtitleNEXT, Profuz Digital and PBT EU, are women-owned, women-led and women-empowered workplaces. With 50/50 gender representation, we are blazing a trail to a more equitable work environment. Ivanka Vassileva is the CEO at both Profuz Digital, a software development company based in Canada, and PBT EU, a systems integrator based in Europe. She and Kamen Ferdinandov, CTO, co-founded the companies 6 years ago united by their vision to push the boundary of business processes and information management optimization, and democratize access to enterprise-grade multimedia solutions. Heading both companies has not been without challenges, but Ivanka has successfully channelled her passion and diplomacy, and has graciously evolved into a global leader.

Global Mindset

With an education background in linguistics and translation, Ivanka commands 4 languages fluently. While completing her Master’s degree, she wrote news stories based on Reuters news abstracts. Upon graduation, Ivanka took on a role with Air France. There she utilized her language skills, and developed her business acumen managing B2B and B2C client relationships globally. Six years later, she entered the tech industry and in just two years was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). As a COO, Ivanka managed more than 120 employees, and helped clients world-wide achieve success.

Inclusive Leadership

Recent statistics show that at the executive level only 10% of roles in tech are held by women. If anything is to change in the future, next-generation female leaders need to truly be at the forefront of creating women-empowered workplaces. Recognizing women’s special talents and needs, and acting in accordance to embrace, support and accelerate as needed, is not an unattainable super-power. If every successful female leader feels it’s within her influence to uplift those around her with integrity and positivism, we will create a chain reaction of significant magnitude.

Belonging

Mrs Vassileva fosters an environment where collaboration is the norm, ideas are welcomed and given proper consideration. She encourages team members to pursue their passions, and recognizes them for all their contributions. And this is how Ivanka has lead the development and expansion of the SubtitleNEXT, Profuz LAPIS, and NEXT-TT product lines.

“Working for a woman leader is a privilege and a delight for me. Ivanka’s leadership style, work ethic and prioritization of accuracy, attention and responsibility resonate effortlessly with my own. That makes it easy for me to do my best every day. Work-life balance is extremely important for me. I am happy that she inspires a supportive environment. This empowers me to be productive and fulfilled in the office and in my personal life. I believe that women leaders make decisions faster and are better equipped to navigate in uncharted territories. I feel like I truly belong here.”, acknowledges Maria Ivanova, Finance and Logistics Manager at PBT EU.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful feeling of belongingness this IWD 2020! Happy March 8th from all of us!

 

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SubtitleNEXT holds Silver-Sponsorship status at Berlin’s Languages & The Media Conference attracting commercial opportunities

3 – 5 October 2018 –  Hotel Radisson Blu, Berlin-Mitte, Germany

Profuz Digital and its partner PBT EU are delighted to support the Languages & The Media 2018 Conference in Berlin with its flagship product line SubtitleNEXT logo proudly displayed as official Silver Sponsor product of the show. This year marks the 12th international conference on language transfer in AV media and takes place from 3 – 5 October. Major themes at the conference, sponsored by PBT EU along with big brand names such as Netflix, VSI and STAR, will include new distribution models, language tools, interlingual transfer, accessibility, the future of work and quality standards.

Considered “the fourth Industrial Revolution reshaping languages in the media”, this dynamic conference will examine crucial challenges and the way in which cutting-edge technologies like SubtitleNEXT are changing how AV media is delivered globally and how it’s consumed across languages.

The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition, whereby international solutions providers will showcase a range of innovative products and services. It provides an opportunity to learn about the sector’s pioneering timed-text technologies including SubtitleNEXT. Visitors to the conference can discover how SubtitleNEXT can be tailored to suit and adapt to specific requirements. As part of the lecture agenda, we will present our new web-based hybrid platform NEXT-TT which gives operators the best of both worlds with desktop and Cloud compatibility.

The complete NEXT-TT solution has resulted in new capabilities enabling extremely fast and efficient generation of managing timed-text, dubbing and localisation services of any type of content, or managing teams of translators, audio-visual professionals, and creative freelancers, providing an ultra-secure and super-fast private workspace, toolsets, and workflows for ensuring quality.

Sales Director at PBT EU, Alexander Stoyanov states, “We are thrilled to sponsor and support this important conference which is a high-level podium for all professionals involved in captioning, subtitling, timed-text, interpreting, and translating across a variety of media. Language essentially shapes who we are and in turn shapes the industry. How technology fits into the equation as a disruptor provides challenges as well as opportunities.”

CTO of Profuz Digital Kamen Ferdinandov, who will also be present at the event, adds further, “In my view, we are at a historic turning point in our civilisation and it is imperative to discuss the implications of how new solutions are making languages more accessible and affecting communications across cultures through media. So, this will be a fascinating topic threading throughout the 3-day period. As a company, we have embraced these changes  ahead of time. We are very excited to present the adaptable capabilities that SubtitleNEXT already offers to help solve the challenges facing subtitlers today in a market that demands constant content at a rapid pace.”

SubtitleNEXT is a user-friendly, innovative, customisable, intuitive and affordable timed-text software platform. Already adopted across various multimedia industries, it is designed for personal and professional use. It easily adapts to any settings, resolutions, and formats such as AR, MR, VR, 8K, 4K, 2K, HD, SD, 3D, UHD across online video, TV, film, theatre, concerts, festivals, conferences and events. It can be applied throughout the entire video production process from concept to distribution. Visit the “home of subtitlers” here https://subtitlenext.com/

For more information about ‘Languages and the Media,’ please visit the website to register www.languages-media.com