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Responsive Subtitles delivered

Responsive Subtitles are media constructed from separate objects delivered alongside a recipe for assembly tailored to an individual audience member’s personal and device requirements. And because everything is sent via IP it can be scaled to millions of users.

That’s the goal of BBC R&D and something you can see in the IBC Future Zone. “Responsive Subtitles shows subtitles being formatted in the client to provide personalisation to the individual requirements of subtitle users and their chosen device,” explained Jon Page, head of operations.

The research division began by looking into ways in which language models for individual programme topics might be used to improve the performance of speech to text engines and to detect errors in existing subtitles.

It examined iPlayer statistics on subtitle use and started to build an automatic subtitle monitoring tool to permit long term trend tracking alongside measurable issues, such as subtitle position.

Further work included making the experience more immersive by placing the subtitles closer to the speaker and looking at how subtitles can be avoided being placed over important parts of the scene.

It investigated how live subtitles could be realigned and reformatted during streaming and developed a way of matching up video clips on BBC web pages to the same piece of video in the BBC broadcast archive in order to locate matching subtitles for the web video.

BBC R&D, 8.G08