A call has been made for a subtitling standard for file-based HD content as a new specification for subtitling is published.
The European Broadcast Union (EBU) is inviting comments from developers and users to be submitted by the end of March this year. They claim that their new spec will make it easier for interchanging and archiving HD, file-based content with subtitles, using the XML format. EBU Timed Text (EBU-TT) is based on the W3C Timed Text Markup Language specification adjusted for the specific requirements of broadcasters. The EBU has stated that the specification will be increasingly relevant as broadcasters move to file-based, HD facilities, where subtitles are created, edited, exchanged and archived together with the content. The new format will be particularly relevant in Europe where there are a lot of different languages but also the UK. For example even in the English-speaking UK the BBC have to put subtitles on around 75% of its content for Wales were a minority speak Welsh as a first language. (LB)