itfc, a subsidiary of the Deluxe Entertainment Services Group and supplier of content management, post production and access services, has been chosen by Sky to provide media access services, including subtitling, for the latest Sky Sports channel – Sky F1 HD.
Sky provides access services across many of its channels and, having already worked with itfc on pre-recorded subtitled programmes, they looked again to the facility to help with F1TM. With a deadline of just three weeks till launch, itfc had to work quickly, and in close collaboration with Sky’s teams, to set up the technical infrastructure and processes required to get the channel ready and to air with live subtitles.
“We’ve been working with itfc for a while and their responsiveness coupled with their technical and operational delivery expertise, meant we knew they were the best facility to take on our new channel project,” said Darren Long, director of operations at Sky Sports. “They rose to the challenge and delivered outstanding results – we were up and running with subtitles within the three weeks, which was just fantastic.”
As part of the pre-launch preparation, itfc and Sky’s engineering teams worked together to set up the audio/video monitoring equipment and also network routing, so itfc could deliver live subtitle data to transmission on Sky Sports F1 HD. In addition to its current kit, itfc also used SysMedia’s WinCaps Multimedia authoring tool, which enabled it to deliver the required subtitle data protocol for Sky’s transmission kit. itfc’s team of multi-skilled subtitlers quickly got to grips with the new tools and processes. In addition, intensive preparation of vocabulary and Dragon VR profiles took place in order to achieve the accuracy and speed required for live subtitling of such fast paced action.
“We’re really pleased to be part of the creation of Sky Sports F1 HD, and it’s been a fun, fast-paced experience for us all. The four-day race weekends are very intensive as we subtitle the Grand Prix and all the practice and qualifying races too, but the excitement on the track is infectious and there’s a real adrenaline buzz in the department on race days.” said Margaret Lazenby, head of media access services at itfc. “Working with Sky’s Sports traffic, content services and engineering teams was an integral part of the project in order to make sure everything, including the scheduling, was just right. It was a great team effort.”