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Subject: Caption and Video Description Solutions at NAB 2002
From: Mary Watkins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mary Watkins <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 4 Apr 2002 17:51:51 -0500

text/plain (124 lines)

Mary Watkins, Media Access Group at WGBH
617 300-3700 or [log in to unmask]


BOSTON, MA, April 4, 2002. The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), part of the Media Access Group at Boston public broadcaster WGBH, is leading an unprecedented cross-industry effort to enable Digital Television (DTV) systems to deliver closed captioning and video description services to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.

Through its DTV Access Project (, NCAM works with
broadcasters, professional and consumer electronics manufacturers, and
industry standards bodies to support implementation of these vital access
services. FCC mandates require all stations to have DTV signals on the air
by 2003, while a variety of requirements to transmit and receive closed
captioning and video description are now in effect.

At NAB 2002, the world's largest electronic media show (Las Vegas, 
April 6-11), NCAM will showcase progress on a variety of fronts, with a 
number of industry partners.

Whether you're a GM, station engineer, equipment manufacturer, content
developer or access service provider, make sure your NAB agenda includes
these stops:

LVCC Grand Lobby
Demonstration of DTV (EIA-708B) Closed Captions

In cooperation with Zenith and LG Electronics, NCAM will demonstrate the
first fully implemented EIA-708B caption decoder, which allows user control
over caption display (font, size, color, background). Video description for
DTV will also be shown. HD broadcast material provided courtesy of the
acclaimed WGBH-produced science series NOVA. Caption encoder provided by
Ultech. Bitstream playback courtesy of Sencore. DTV equipment must support caption reception and display by July 1, 2002.

The DTV Store, located in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Grand Lobby, is
a collaboration of The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the NAB designed to showcase digital television products and

"Meeting FCC Deadlines for Closed Captioning and Video Description"
Sunday, April 7 9:45AM
(LVCC Room S220)

As part of the opening session, DTV Access Project Manager Gerry Field will
present a timely update on current FCC requirements as well as guidance for
station GMs and engineers about what can be done now and what to plan for in
the months ahead to guarantee the provision of these vital and mandated
access services.  

Norpak (S6615), Sony (L18287) and Panasonic (L7214) Booths

Demonstrations of the first caption data being recorded to and recovered
from HD videotape formats: Sony's HDCAM and Panasonic's HD-D5. Videotape
will remain the essential link in the chain for moving content through a
station's plant. See the first implementation of the new SMPTE 334 standard
for inserting captioning into SMPTE 292 VANC-- the DTV pipeline. HD program
material and captions provided by NCAM, encoded by Norpak equipment.

Envivio (S7155) Booth

MPEG-4 is a potential common format for broadcast and web-based streaming
video, and can support multiple objects including caption and description
services. See the NCAM-Envivio collaboration resulting in a fully
accessible MPEG-4 multimedia video stream, and learn how MPEG-4
specifications, content and delivery can shape a multi-platform and
inclusive future.


NAB 2002 also marks the launch of the DTV Access Toolkit, NCAM's one-stop
online resource to assist broadcasters making the transition to DTV closed
captioning and video description. When you’re back home sorting through all
the details, visit for the lowdown on various access
technologies to assist you in making informed, cost-effective decisions.


And check out all the new national programming offering a video description
service for blind and low vision audiences. Switch to SAP audio on
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, JAG (both to debut with description in 
late May), selected movies/miniseries and specials and BLUE'S CLUES on CBS;
and THE BERNIE MAC SHOW, BOSTON PUBLIC, MAGIC SCHOOL BUS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and THE SIMPSONS on FOX. More national network programming will be announced shortly.

And of course, PBS stations nationwide continue to offer video description
on both prime-time and children's programming, as they have since 1991, and Turner Classic Movies also offers description on select movies.
Check out the full schedule at
DTV Access Project funding is provided by the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting Television Future Fund, the National Institute on Disability
and Rehabilitation Research/U.S. Department of Education and the NCAM
Business Partners Program.

NCAM, The Caption Center and the Descriptive Video Service® make up the Media
Access Group at WGBH, which this year marks three decades as the leader in
developing media access solutions which benefit industry and the nation's 36
million viewers with sensory disabilities. WGBH Boston is America's
preeminent public broadcasting producer. More than one-third of PBS's
prime-time lineup and companion Web content as well as many public radio
favorites are produced by WGBH. Since its establishment in 1951, WGBH has
been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Emmys, Peabodys,
duPont-Columbia Awards--even two Oscars. For more information visit 


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