Screen Subtitling Systems has licensed Netherlands-based Spot Software to create and issue compliant PAC files, coinciding with the release of version 5.1 of the Spot Subtitle Editor, writes David Fox.
Spot is the first subtitle preparation systems vendor outside any formal partnership to undergo PAC testing and compliance certification by Screen.
The creators of the Spot suite of subtitle generation and authoring software approached Screen Subtitling’s partnerships’ manager, John Birch, at IBC last year to seek technical advice on the PAC format. Discussions subsequently led to the option of formal licensing.
PAC was created by Screen Subtitling, is used exclusively in its Polistream transmission systems, and is one of the most commonly recognised subtitle file formats for professional, high-end use.
“Receiving the PAC licence from Screen has been a positive step in the on-going development of Spot Subtitle Editor and has worked in perfectly with the launch on 16th May of version 5.1,” said Spot Software’s Mark Raishbrook (pictured l-r with colleagues Martin Cleaver and Jean Offenberg from Spot Software).
Spot was founded by a team of subtitlers, has been developing subtitling software for nearly 15 years and has established a pan-European customer base.
With the new licensing agreement, the latest version of Spot Subtitle Editor now has full PAC-compatible support for Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese and Korean character sets, with more to be added over the coming months. PAC is also the file format of choice in Spotwelder Pro QTH, its H.264 QuickTime subtitle encoder slated for release this summer.
On authorising the first PAC licence, Screen Subtitling’s John Birch said: “It’s not just in our own interest but that of many large broadcasters and of course in the interest of the software developers themselves that there’s a regulated licensing route, ensuring that any PAC files created conform to our technical specifications so as to sustain reliability for all concerned.”