5softelIn January 2013 Softel, a global leader in key TV and media technologies, was acquired by Miranda Technologies, a Belden Brand. The company specializes in ancillary data and metadata systems such as those for subtitling, closed captioning, and for audio and video description.

Softel’s expertise also extends to interactive TV and advanced advertising, including for the second screen and for smart TVs/connected TVs. This know-how is delivered through a full range of products, professional services and bespoke development.

The company announced recently Swift™ QC, a powerful new software tool designed to significantly reduce the time taken to repurpose video content, including for delivery to IP connected devices such as smart phones, tablets and PCs. Swift QC is designed to check that caption and video files align correctly as part of an automated workflow, thus saving a laborious manual caption Quality Control (QC) process for each video clip.

Video is often edited for content, for duration, or format-transcoded, before being re-broadcast to web or mobile devices. This creates a huge challenge for content owners and broadcast facilities as they can no longer have confidence that the original closed captions will still match their repurposed video content. Swift QC provides fast 'pass / fail' caption and video alignment testing on any size of media repository, using advanced audio analysis and caption profiling techniques to check that parameters such as caption to speech alignment, reading speed checks, and caption languages all fall within defined criteria. The system also analyses for profanities within captions and flags any potential issues. Crucially, operators can deploy Swift QC either within their own facility or as a cloud service.

“We have been talking to many customers over the past year to understand the key issues they’re encountering when repurposing content for IP delivery”, said Sam Pemberton, President, Softel. “We came to the conclusion that in the race to process huge quantities of archived content, what broadcasters needed is a transparent caption and subtitle checking solution that can speed processes while seamlessly integrating in their workflow, and that’s exactly what Swift QC offers. It is a flexible tool that adapts to broadcasters’ requirements and significantly improves caption workflows without adding complexity.”

Softel is trusted by the most prestigious broadcasters, operators and post production houses across the world and has full-service offices in the New York Metro (USA) and in Pangbourne (UK), with further development and customer support capabilities in Auckland (New Zealand).

By Hiba Assi