Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Than An Inconvenience

Recently I needed to edit DVCam footage which was closed-captioned.

What is Closed Captioning?
Closed-captioning ensures the hearing impaired are able to view television, and has been a federal requirement for most television stations since the early 1990's. This Wikipedia article delineates the technical standards for captioning.

Back to the story:

I was surprised to learn that while the DV standard does support closed captioning, the process of capturing the footage in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 stripped the captions from the footage.

I reported the problem to Adobe and received this prompt response:

"I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you and I understand that
when capturing DVCam material that is already closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired, that the captioning is removed.

After collecting all the information provided by you, I researched on
this issue in my resources and have found that this is the product limitation that through which you are facing inconvenience. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to you." (sic)

To be fair, this isn't solely an Adobe problem. It appears that most nonlinear applications fail to retain captioning information when footage is captured.

But this is a problem that's been around for years and NLE manufacturers need to correct it soon. Or perhaps federal regulations need to be expanded to included video software companies too.

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