With 40 years having passed since the UK’s first flagship programme was broadcast with subtitles, the RTS Thames Valley Centre invites you on a journey into the past, through the present and into the future of this essential service.
When BBC1 broadcast the landmark series, Life on Earth in 1980 with Ceefax subtitles on page 888, no one could have imagined how the technology, regulation and penetration of the humble subtitle was to develop over the next 40 years.
With the help of some of the industry’s leading experts in the field of subtitling, we’ll remind ourselves of how far we’ve come, and where we’re heading. We’ll also hear the perspective of a user of subtitles.
Nigel Megitt from the BBC, Hewson Maxwell from Red Bee, Dawn Jones, a subtitle user and blogger, and Dom Bourne from Take 1 will share some history, provide some fascinating facts, run a demo of how live subtitling works and how important the provision of subtitles is for the 10% of the UK TV audience who use the service. We’ll also take a look at the very latest technological advances that can ensure that every piece of content can be made accessible to the whole population, quickly, cost effectively and at high quality. We’ll even find out why subtitles have a host of other uses beyond making content accessible to people living with deafness and hearing loss
Nigel Megitt is the BBC’s Executive Product Manager with responsibility for the engineering strategy for Access Services for both broadcast and online distribution. He has been active in the Access Services sector for over 7 years, and has contributed to various standards groups. He co-chairs both the W3C Timed Text Working Group and the EBU Timed Text group. Previously Nigel worked in enterprise architecture and at BBC Research & Development where he led a team of developers working on EPG schedule data systems.
Dawn Jones, Subtitle user and blogger, has much experience of being a subtitle user for most of her life, the important part they played during her early years, and her hopes for the future.
Hewson Maxwell, Head of Technology Development, Access Services, Red Bee Media will give an overview of past, present and future techniques and technologies for the production of highly accurate and synchronous live subtitles. (Red Bee will also be providing live subtitles for the event.)
Dom Bourne, President and Founder, Take 1 Script Services will talk about the future where more on demand services will be regulated and need cost-effective subtitles, but without compromising on quality - through a combination of technology and humans.