In 2016, the migration of SubtitlePlus quickly followed on to the next level, resulting in the SubtitleNEXT brand. Consequently, Profuz Digital was then in a position to offer users an entire product line which included a whole range of products such as SubtitleNEXT Enterprise, SubtitleNEXT CENTRAL, SubtitleNEXT Air, SubtitleNEXT LIVE Manager, NEXT-TT, Profuz LAPIS and the EXEcutor Media Integrator. These were all in effect different products but still based on the core LAPIS and/or SubtitleNEXT technology software platforms.
The software development milestones Kamen initiated had led to the evolution from Subtitle, one of the first file-based subtitling tools, through to SubtitlePlus, a worldwide renowned subtitling tool for broadcasters.
“Actually, when the first version of Subtitle appeared over 25 years ago, there were no file-based workflows around, and in fact, they were not even on the horizon. Back then, only tapes were used for preparing subtitles and the problem was that the existing subtitling workstations at that time were specialised and expensive devices. So, my initial concept was to create a software-only solution which would provide the same high-level workstation but with a standard PC, which we successfully achieved.” Kamen reflects.
“The design was (and still is) independent from any specific hardware as such, but allows for the inclusion of additional hardware support, such as video signals processing and video mixers that create open subtitles over video signals, as well as timecode readers, VCR controllers, and so forth. This in turn, also prepared the software for upcoming file-based workflows.“
Furthermore, Kamen had the insight to recognise that it made sense to make the subtitling process more accessible to a much wider user group and not strictly for professionals alone. His initiative was to implement user-friendly and familiar text editing application tools.
“In the development of the product, my aim now is to ensure that any software user, even without a subtitling background, can find it easy to use our subtitling tools.” Kamen adds.
An example of how this development has evolved in SubtitleNEXT, is that unlike many other subtitling tools that restrict users to work on one subtitle at a time, SubtitleNEXT allows you to work with the whole text in multiple subtitles in line with advanced text editing applications that are familiar in the market today.
The Subtitle version was a DOS-based programme and used the standard PC components to create, edit and air (burn subtitles over video signal). Kamen remarks, “I think back then, it was the only programme of this type and the only one that could both create, edit and air subtitles.” Soon afterwards, he created the SubtitlePlus version for Windows. “
A year after the first version of SubtitlePlus appeared, the file-based workflow was then included in its infrastructure. I think it was possibly the first ever file-based workflow in the subtitling world and definitely the only one that provided a mixed environment for both tape-based and file-based pipelines.” Kamen recalls
Another significant innovation break-through that Kamen can take full credit for concerns the independence of existing standards in Subtitle and SubtitlePlus. Kamen explains, “This concept is more relevant today than ever before. Most existing subtitling solutions available on the market, even now, are highly dependent on what kind of subtitles one creates, whether it be in teletext format, or as open subtitles, closed captions and so on. This means that some knowledge of these standards is still required, and therefore limits what can be done with the subtitles. The modern standards that broke this mould are compatible in SubtitleNEXT which is a system that has adapted and shows its readiness to handle and serve all the latest formats, resolutions and technical requirements including various fonts, font sizes, looks, positions, appearance, and much more. This allows SubtitleNEXT to widen the scope in which subtitles or other forms of timed text formats are used.”
Between 2002 and 2014, the focus of SubtitlePlus further evolved across its broadcast-related features and the development of the multi-channel, multi-language automated subtitle airing platform known, as the DVB Subtitle Server, evolved into SubtitleNEXT Central.
In 2016, Profuz Digital focused on the upgrade and further development of the latest version of the software and renamed it as SubtitleNEXT. Many of the new features, modern standards and formats were then added and have led to the system that we now see today. It is platform-independent and runs smoothly on all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MAC OS. ___________________________________________________________