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Subtitles + Internet = Advanced TV Research

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Ant Miller Ant Miller | 15:00 UK time, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

In one of the last of the short films we recently produced with Quentin Cooper, he mets up once more with Andrew McParland to take a look at recent developents in delivering subtitles over the internet.   A pretty unassuming development one may think at first, but as Andrew goes on to explain, having cracked the technical challenges posed by this task, a whole host of new possibilities open up!

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  • Comment number 1.

    I'm following the BBC R&D blog for a couple of months now, and I really appreciate its content. However it is frustrating not to be able to play the clips posted here. Are they really targeted for UK audience only ?

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm sorry for the frustration caused by the limitation on the embedded media player. We're not happy with the situation either- our target audience is theglobal broadcast technical community, both proffesional and 'interested amateur', so we are beginning to deploy a second video hosting service that has fully global access.

    This blog is hosted on the BBC's common blog platform with integrated media hosting, so video's here will still be UK only, but we'll shortly announce a way to access the alternatively hosted content. And it's not all that 'alternative' either!

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks Ant,that would be great ! :)

  • Comment number 4.

    Can't wait for this development to reach the masses. It's fascinating to see how users are already augmenting their viewing experience using tools like chat boards and social networking sites like twitter, engaging in discussion during the live broadcasts. One issue with this is the channels are disaggregated, entirely separate, so it is interesting to see how the technology being developed here can be used to merge these channels back together.

    Another aspect, which might be more immediately achievable in the short-term, is looking at how the BBC desktop iPlayer can be used to replay broadcasts linked to user generated content, for example twitter powered subtitles for BBC iPlayer.

    This example, like the one presented by Andrew McParland, opens a number of opportunities in how the original broadcast can be augmented in different ways. The tool was originally created to replay episodes from the BBC Virtual Revolution series with tweets made during the live broadcast, but users could easy create their own custom subtitles. For example, they could create subtitles of tweets made by the presenter, Dr. Aleks Krotoski during the broadcast, which could add an entirely new dimension and level of personalisation to the viewer.

    The opportunities are endless!



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