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On the Drawing Board

From the Lab: What we're working on

What we're working on is listed in no particular order.  That's because different people work on different tasks and there's no predicting who gets to what when -- or when they get done (alas!).

Magni MCP-601 Overlay generator interface

Add the interface to the free DynaCaption software.  It entails possibly opening a second RS-232 or USB port and we have to figure out an way to present this without overwhelming the user with all the options.

AutoCaption3 Helps

We're working on adding task oriented sections like "How to make a DVD asset" or "How to create a 708 caption stream."  A number of users have asked for these little "cook book" sections.

Generate Analog Closed Captioning Waveform Overlays

There's some discussion about eliminating this troublesome feature all together.  The uncompressed AVI files are huge.  Many NLEs do a rotten job of rendering the infinite bandwidth digital part of the waveform.  Many NLE operators don't key the waveform into the VBI (Vertical Blanking Interval) properly.  So this "feature" has dubious practical value and sucks up gobs of support time.

That said, there are a lot of price sensitive low-end clients who only want to demonstrate they've attempted FCC or ADA compliance, or they really don't expect the captioned material to be broadcast.

We're in the process of moving the ability to generate analog overlays into the free DynaCaption™.  This lets you deliver a hour's worth of overlays (normally measured in Gigabytes) in a 10Kilobyte email and eliminates time consuming resends if the client's preferences change.

Directly Inserting Digital Captions

The actual process is exceedingly simple.  Open the video file and stick the 608 and or 708 caption data in.

The problem is the wide variety of permissible variations in something as well established as MPEG2.  A simple program stream isn't to hard to work on but a transport stream is very complicated to untangle and rebuild.

Further complicating matters are all the other standards -- MPEG 4, Grand Alliance, and countless proprietary schemes all vying to be the next "industry standard."

At the moment we're concentrating on adding captions to the ubiquitous MPEG2 program stream but keeping a careful eye on the Grand Alliance recommendations.


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