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Highlights From Our Fall 2015 Lineup

Posted by Anna on August 26, 2015 at 10:30 am. Captioning, Video Description

The fall season is always the busiest time around our office. There are so many great new and returning shows in 2015 that it would be difficult to list them all, but these are some that our production team couldn’t wait to work on.

The Mindy Project – September 15th – Hulu

Season 4 of The Mindy Project premieres on its new home, Hulu, mid-September. As in the past, this season will feature many exciting guest stars, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayar, and, playing Dr. Lahiri’s mom and dad, Ajay Mehta from Royal Pains and Sakina Jaffrey from House of Cards.

Heroes: Reborn – September 24th – NBC

Five years after the original series was taken off the air, fans of Heroes are eagerly awaiting the premiere of its reboot, Heroes: Reborn. The 13-episode season kicks off with an action-packed, two-hour premiere late September.

Brookyln Nine-Nine – September 27th – FOX

Returning for its third season, hit comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine will premiere on Fox at the end of September.  While it’s known that Bill Hader will come on to replace Captain Holt to lead the squad, Fox has not revealed how many episodes he will appear in.

The Affair – October 4th – Showtime

Showtime’s Golden Globe Award-winning drama The Affair returns for its second season in the beginning of October. Joshua Jackson’s character, Cole Lockhart, whose wife left him last season, has a new love interest played by Oscar-nominated actress Catalina Sandino Moreno.

The Flash – October 6th – CW

Early October brings the second season of The Flash on the CW, complete with a new hero and a new villain. Violett Bean will join the cast as female speedster Jesse Quick, and Demore Barnes will play Henry Hewitt, AKA the villain Tokamak.

Master of None – November 6th – Netflix

Aziz Ansari fans will rejoice when his original comedy series Master of None debuts on Netflix early November. The semi-autobiographical program follows the story of a 30-year-old actor trying to make his way through life in New York City.

FCC Deadline: IP Clips Must Be Captioned January 2016

Posted by Anna on August 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm. CVAA, Captioning, FCC

FCC Logo

Another FCC deadline is right around the corner.  Beginning January 2016, all IP-delivered video clips taken from programming that was originally broadcast with closed captions will have to be captioned as well.  This milestone of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act only applies to “straight-lift” clips, which contain a single excerpt of a captioned television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television. “Montages,” which contain multiple straight-lift clips, will need to be captioned starting January 2017.

The FCC interpreted the CVAA to require closed captioning of IP-delivered video clips regardless of the content or length of the clip. While some commenters argued that the mandate should only apply the closed captioning requirements to clips with certain content or above a certain length, the FCC disagreed. They firmly believe Congress’s intent in enacting the CVAA was to ensure that consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing have full access to video programming that is shown on television with captions, including any video programming posted online as video clips. Whether those video clips contain news, sports, entertainment, or any other type of content is immaterial. They conclude that by making a clip available via the Internet, a video programming distributor or provider has made a conscious decision that it has value for the general public, regardless of whether it is 10 seconds or 10 minutes long.

This will no doubt be a welcome change for the millions of deaf Americans that are currently without access to the vast majority of IP-clips. While rates have certainly improved over the years, the most recent data that Consumer Groups submitted to the FCC in February 2014 indicated that only 57 percent of news clips and 18 percent of non-news clips are captioned, leaving many citizens cut off from critical news programming and important cultural touchstones.

CaptionMax is already working with many of our clients to help them customize a workflow so they can become compliant with this mandate before it goes into effect. We strongly encourage all of our clients to begin discussions with us today to ensure there is adequate time to define, develop, and test a new workflow prior to the January 1st deadline. To receive more information on how to incorporate the closed captioning of IP-delivered clips into your post-production workflow, contact your CaptionMax representative or sales@captionmax.com.

Tech Trends: Mobile Assistive Technology

Posted by Anna on at 11:30 am. ADA, Captioning, Video Description

CaptionCast in use on a smartphone

Increased mandates for closed captioning and video description have caused accessible media in the home to  come a long way since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, but there are many other venues where accessibility needs to catch up to the consumer, such as museums, amusement parks, and sporting arenas. Fortunately, there are some companies that have made great strides to make this type of mobile assistive technology possible.

CaptionCast is EEG Enterprises’ wonderful solution for streaming captions in a wide variety of live events and venues. The browser-based mobile application streams live captioning directly to smart phones, tablets, and other hand-held devices while seamlessly integrating into a facility’s existing caption authoring system. Each event has its own unique ID that attendees enter into the app, giving them access to captions in stadiums, arenas, conference centers, and other large-scale venues. The end user can even select how they want the captions to be displayed.

The Durateq ATV in use at an exhibit

For facilities such as theme parks and museums, the Durateq ATV offers an incredible solution for delivering assistive technology in a way that is elegant and immersive.  Using infrared transmitters and receivers, content can be triggered automatically on this handheld device as an attendee enters an exhibit or show area, with no need for pressing additional buttons or punching in number codes.  In outdoor venues such as national parks, GPS is used to trigger location-based content. Not only does the Durateq ATV offer assistive listening and closed caption, it can provide video description as well.  It has been used in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, the World of Coca-Cola Museum, and AT&T Stadium, among other locations.

As this type of technology becomes widely adopted, the world of entertainment beyond television will open up to millions of Americans living with visual or hearing-related disabilities.

Intern Spotlight: Justin Heard

Posted by Anna on August 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm. Video Describers, Video Description
Justin with our head of video description, Brian Gebhart

Justin with our head of video description, Brian Gebhart

This summer, we were very fortunate to have Justin Heard join us as an intern through BLIND, Inc’s PREP Program. As an avid video description enthusiast, Justin provided us with invaluable feedback to incorporate into our creative and technical processes. His quick wit and easygoing nature made him a delight to work with, and we wanted everyone to get a chance to know him better.

What’s been your favorite part of your time at CaptionMax?

Getting a chance to talk with all of the describers about techniques.

What are your plans for after high school?

First, I’m attending Blind, Inc. This is a center for blind people dedicated to training us in daily living skills, travel, technology, Braille, and more. After that, I plan on getting a guide dog. Then, hopefully I’ll be heading to college to get a bachelor’s degree in communications, followed by a master’s in sound engineering.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?

Books.

Do you have any hidden talents?

If I do, they’re hiding from me as well.

What is your biggest hobby?

Reading.

If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be?

Brent Weeks. He’s a fantasy writer. Did I mention I love reading?

What is your favorite TV show/movie?

That’s a tough choice. If it’s a currently airing TV show, I choose Daredevil. A past one, Hostages. As for movies, there are too many good ones. The first films that come to mind are Batman, The Dark Knight, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. No, The Hobbit movies are not included in that, although they are pretty good.

Justin in a meeting with our team of describers, giving us excellent feedback

Justin in a meeting with our team of describers, giving us excellent feedback

CaptionMax Wins Department of Education Grant to Improve Media Accessibility for Blind and Low-vision Students

Posted by Anna on at 10:00 am. Captioning
United States Department of Education logo

United States Department of Education logo

CaptionMax is proud to announce we have been awarded a five-year television access grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. This funding will be used to add video description to 800 hours of educational programming used in the classroom. Video description allows blind and low-vision students to access a program’s content through a voiceover that describes the key visual elements using objective, age-appropriate language.

“As K-12 education becomes more and more dependent on software and video presentations, it is becoming more challenging to ensure that blind children get the same access to information that is provided to sighted students,” says Jennifer Dunnam, President of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota. “It is no longer sufficient to simply supply Braille or recorded copies of hardcopy textbooks. The video descriptions provided by this grant play a significant role in leveling the playing field for blind children,” Dunnam stated. “We were happy to support the application submitted by CaptionMax to receive this funding; from our experience, CaptionMax provides a high quality product,” Dunnam concluded.

This five-year grant focuses on making classroom-appropriate media accessible to preschool and early elementary children who have sensory disabilities, as well as to children who are aural learners. “Accessible materials in schools are a critical component of a quality education. Many students with visual impairments miss out on needed information from televised educational resources heavily relied upon in classrooms. When there is no description, students with visual impairments will have gaps in learning,” says Cyral Miller of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

“The inclusion of description in broadly available media is still very much in its infancy,” says CaptionMax CEO, Truck Morrison. “However, this is a truly exciting time for blind and low-vision consumers who are witnessing a greater adoption of this service across educational programming, premium broadcast channels, on-demand streaming services, and both internal and external corporate content.  The Department of Education’s continued commitment to funding described educational content will dramatically enhance the learning experience and outcomes for this underserved audience.”

CaptionMax is the industry leader in media accessibility. For over 22 years, our mission has been to make all media accessible to all people, offering a complete range of services including captioning, subtitling, video description, and encoding. We have provided these services to over 1,000 broadcast, streaming, educational, and corporate clients, including CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, Disney/ABC, and Nickelodeon.  To learn more about how CaptionMax can help ensure your content is accessible to all people, contact your representative or email sales@captionmax.com.

 

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