Softel Announces Major New Version of Swift™ Create, its Widely Deployed Caption Creation & Repurposing Workstation

Swift™ Create V8 offers more than 20 major new functions to optimize productivity and streamline caption processes


Softel has dramatically enhanced the functionalities of its global caption and subtitle creation workstation, Swift™ Create, to deliver productivity gains and simplify processes. Swift Create V8 is the most fundamental new version of the lauded workstation for more than a decade. It addresses the demands of content owners, broadcasters and facilities to streamline the preparation, checking and repurposing of closed captions and subtitles for both traditional and IP delivered video services.

As the pervasive deployment of multi-platform broadcasting progresses across the world, new mandates are being put in place to regulate the use of captions on content streamed over the web. In the USA, the FCC Communication and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) mandates now require that captions for IP delivered content – for example those consumed on smart phones and tablets – be of the same quality as those broadcast for traditional channels. Moreover, any content captioned on a traditional platform must carry captions. The main challenge of multi-platform captioning is that there can be small variations in content, format and duration of the video for each use case, and thus the caption files must be repurposed to fit. With Swift Create V8, Softel offers over 20 major new functions directly addressing this challenge.

They include extensive direct media support allowing for captioning without having to first convert the media, “rapid review” mode, side-by-side caption file compare, and support for an even wider selection of captioning and subtitling file formats through the latest generation of the Swift Smart File Handling Engine. Swift Create V8 also provides EDL support, enabling the automated re-versioning of captions after video editing as well as “SmartText™” import, an enhanced text import tool that intelligently splits files into viewer-friendly captions, and “ProfanityGuard™”, a flexible tool that allows users to define dictionaries of questionable words and automatically provides substitutes. All these new functions lead to reduced caption repurposing costs, a critical factor for broadcasters who are considering the captioning of large quantities of archived content for IP delivery.

“We are very pleased to announce our highest performing caption and subtitle workstation yet – a workstation that benefits many man-decades of investment and aligns neatly with the latest trends in the global media market”, said Sam Pemberton, President, Softel. “Its “best-in-class” features will help broadcasters, content producers and distributors simplify their workflow and accelerate their ability to deliver valuable archived content over IP to boost their revenue.”

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New Swift™ QC Automates Closed Caption Quality Control for OTT IP-Delivered Video Services

Today Softel announces Swift™ QC, a powerful new software tool designed to significantly reduce the time taken to repurpose video content, including for delivery to IP connected devices such as smart phones, tablets and PCs. Swift QC is designed to check that caption and video files align correctly as part of an automated workflow, thus saving a laborious manual caption Quality Control (QC) process for each video clip.

Video is often edited for content, for duration, or format-transcoded, before being re-broadcast to web or mobile devices. This creates a huge challenge for content owners and broadcast facilities as they can no longer have confidence that the original closed captions will still match their repurposed video content. Swift QC provides fast ‘pass / fail’ caption and video alignment testing on any size of media repository, using advanced audio analysis and caption profiling techniques to check that parameters such as caption to speech alignment, reading speed checks, and caption languages all fall within defined criteria. The system also analyses for profanities within captions and flags any potential issues. Crucially, operators can deploy Swift QC either within their own facility or as a cloud service.

“We have been talking to many customers over the past year to understand the key issues they’re encountering when repurposing content for IP delivery”, said Sam Pemberton, President, Softel. “We came to the conclusion that in the race to process huge quantities of archived content, what broadcasters needed is a transparent caption and subtitle checking solution that can speed processes while seamlessly integrating in their workflow, and that’s exactly what Swift QC offers. It is a flexible tool that adapts to broadcasters’ requirements and significantly improves caption workflows without adding complexity.”

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TF6 Installs Softel Swift™ vTX To Implement Fully File-Based Subtitle Workflow

Softel announced today that France’s highly respected TF6 station has installed Swift™ vTX from Softel to handle subtitle processing for the channel’s mix of original entertainment, drama and feature films. Swift vTX is handling subtitle encoding and transcoding for TF6’s file-based workflow in its Paris studios.

Subtitle and caption transcoder Swift vTX screen shot

“A key element of our migration to a file-based workflow was to be able to meet demand of subtitled content for hard of hearing viewers,” said Nicolas Viault, Technical Director for TF6. “The solution we chose had to fit into our fully file-based workflow and integrate smoothly with our Harmonic Omneon video servers and our MBT asset management system. Softel was very responsive, and Swift vTX met all our technical criteria. We were very satisfied with the service Softel provided, delivering a cost-effective and highly efficient solution within tight project deadlines.”

TF6 is using Swift vTX to encode closed (Teletext) subtitles to MXF assets as SMPTE 436M tracks as HD and SD assets via the same workflow. The system generates a 436M track if assets arrive without one, to allow for standardized archiving into TF6‘s MBT MAM system and to aide faster processing directly on the Omneon platform. Additional SD support is provided with the ability to add VBI data directly to the video essence.

Softel’s Swift vTX, subtitling and closed captioning software enables the automatic insertion, encoding and transcoding of subtitles, closed captions and other video ancillary data. Broadcasters can use Swift vTX to repurpose content quickly and easily, regardless of file format, and to switch between SD and HD formats for multi-platform and worldwide distribution. Swift vTX supports a wide range of file and video formats, including MXF, and has direct interfaces with leading video servers for complete flexibility and seamless integration with a variety of workflows.

“Swift vTX has been specifically designed to provide the flexibility needed in complex file-based workflows that most broadcasters are using today,” says Sam Pemberton, Softel’ president.. “The built-in support for an array of files, wrappers and playout formats means it readily integrates with TF6’s environment. Our work with leading video server manufacturers has enabled us to simplify the overall subtitle process and reduce operational costs and we are delighted to have been selected by TF6.”

 Softel will be at NAB 2013 – Booth 2531

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Softel to showcase end-to-end subtitling and captioning family at NAB 2013

Softel at the 2013 NAB Show – Booth N2531

Following the recent acquisition of Softel by Miranda Technologies, a Belden Brand, the company will showcase Swift, its family of re-architected solutions for closed captioning/subtitling and video description software that allows content producers, broadcasters and network operators to quickly and efficiently comply with the FCC Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) mandates for closed captioning video content delivered over IP.

Swift offers end-to-end captioning solutions that enable the creation, repurposing, encoding, transcoding, insertion and transmission of closed captions and subtitles in a wide array of file formats while increasing reliability and productivity.

Also on show will be MediaSphere™, an interactivity platform that supports an array of interactive technologies including connected TV, second screen and set-top-boxes. MediaSphere Bridge is a second screen solution that connects to broadcast automation from any major manufacturer and, thanks to Softel’s unique relationships with multiple Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) system providers, offers either in-broadcast triggers or ACR solutions to facilitate interactivity between the TV and smart TVs or second screens.


Softel Product Highlights at the 2013 NAB Show

Subtitle and Caption Creation and Repurposing: Swift Create
Swift Create is a subtitling and captioning workstation that allows the preparation and repurposing of subtitles and captions. Swift Create supports all formats of Open, Closed and DVD/Blu-ray subtitles and captions.

Subtitle and Caption Encoding Software: Swift vTX
Softel Swift vTX enables broadcasters to repurpose content regardless of file format. It allows users to switch easily between SD and HD formats to facilitate multiplatform and worldwide distribution. Swift vTX supports a large array of files, wrappers and playout formats, allowing the integration of subtitled or captioned content across a wide range of media servers and editing solutions.

Subtitle and Caption Playout and Management Platform: Swift TX
Swift TX from Softel is a flexible and cost-effective subtitle/caption management and transmission platform that reduces workflow complexity and increases reliability and productivity. The versatile solution features real-time transcoding and a class-leading range of automation interfaces, along with the widest support of file formats available.

Video Description Software: Swift ADePT™
Softel’s Swift ADePT™ software is based on the market-leading Swift Create subtitle/caption preparation system, but it is dedicated to the creation and playout of video description. It allows broadcasters to increase audience reach by providing access to content for visually impaired viewers. The ADePT suite offers an end-to-end approach, comprising an efficient yet feature-rich solution for all formats of video description.

Swift ReSync TiGo™ 
Swift ReSync TiGo™ reduces subtitle and caption creation costs by assigning timecodes automatically to subtitle and caption content. Swift ReSync TiGo automatically creates timings  in the same way that a human operator would, allowing the operator to focus on text manipulation. Swift ReSync TiGo is available as an option to the Swift Create workstation.

Interactive TV Solutions: MediaSphere
MediaSphere TX and MediaSphere Lab are versatile iTV systems to playout, deploy and test interactive applications and environments. MediaSphere DTA is a headend transport stream generator capable of distributing data to digital transport adapters (DTA). MediaSphere Bridge is a second screen solution that can adapt to variety of ecosystems thanks to its connectivity via ACR or broadcast triggers.


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Miranda Technologies Acquires Softel

Complementary captioning and subtitling solutions bolster the company’s playout offering

Miranda Technologies, a Belden Brand, a global provider of integrated solutions for production, playout and delivery systems for television broadcasters and multi-system operators announces the acquisition of Softel, a leading provider of captioning, subtitling, audio and video description, interactivity and other key video technologies for broadcasters and content producers worldwide.

Read more>>

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Softel Swift™ TX Powers Just-in-Time Subtitle Insertion for Harmonic Spectrum™ ChannelPort™ Integrated Channel Playout Solution

Softel today announced that its Swift™ TX subtitling and captioning playout solution is integrated in Harmonic’s award-winning Spectrum™ ChannelPort™ channel playout module. This integration allows the Spectrum family of media servers to support just-in-time insertion of subtitles as content plays, supporting late delivery of caption information in multi-lingual playout applications and facilitating fast and cost effective production-to-playout workflows. ChannelPort system users will also be able to achieve considerable operational efficiency gains and reduced rack space consumption compared to the traditional ‘multiple vendor, multiple hardware unit’ solution.



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Softel delivers the opening remarks at the TV of Tomorrow NYC interactive TV conference 2012

Sam Pemberton, Softel’s CEO, delivered the opening remarks at the TVoT NYC 2012 conference last week. He provided a lot of insightful statistics on the evolution of viewing habits around the world and the emergence of second screens.

Watch it now!


More about MediaSphere™ Bridge – MediaSphere Bridge is the second screen platform from Softel that uniquely connects to broadcast automation from any major manufacturer and, thanks to Softel’s unique relationships with multiple Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) system providers, offers either in-broadcast triggers or ACR solutions to facilitate interactivity between the TV and smart TVs or second screens.

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Softel to exhibit at NAB 2013 – Booth N2531 – April 8-11, Las Vegas

At the 2013 NAB Show, the Softel team will showcase its full Swift™ range of feature-rich closed captioning, and video description software and hardware as well as its latest second screen platform MediaSphere™ Bridge.

If you are a content producer, broadcaster or network operator, Softel has published a useful Executive Briefing on the FCC CVAA mandates for captioned content delivered over the Internet. The Softel Executive Briefing summarizes the mandates, identifies key challenges and provides advice on how to resolve them.

Download the Softel Executive Briefing 



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Softel to Discuss the Future of Second Screen Technology at TVoT NYC Intensive 2012

Softel announced today that its CEO, Sam Pemberton will take part in a panel discussion focused on the future of the second screen technology at the TVoT NYC Intensive on December 10, 2012. Taking place at 2.05 pm, the panel is entitled “Getting in Sync: What’s Next for Second Screen Technology?” and will explore recent developments impacting the technological infrastructure of second screen interactive TV and social TV.

Softel is at the fore front of TV interactivity, with innovative second screen synchronization technologies based on an in depth knowledge of broadcast triggering and strong connections with multiple Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) systems. Its second screen platform, MediaSphere™ Bridge, uniquely offers connectivity via either of these technologies and thus can adapt to a variety of ecosystems.


“Research indicates that TV viewing time and attention amongst a significant subset of viewers is shared with the second screen”, said Sam Pemberton, Softel’s CEO. “So programmers will increasingly decide to make their content interactive, and further engage with their audiences. However the second screen and smart TV space are nascent and second screen platforms need to adapt quickly to deliver the interface consumers demand and ensure programmers are able to provide in-depth metrics and user-friendly transaction capabilities to their advertisers, and this regardless of the existing infrastructure.”

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Softel to participate to TVoT NYC Intensive on December 10th

At TVoT NYC, Softel will be showcasing MediaSphere™ Bridge and demonstrating how the company’s extensive knowledge of broadcast TV automation systems has enabled the unique flexibility this platform offers.

MediaSphere Bridge, has recently been expanded to offer a broader range of content synchronization technologies. The system connects to broadcast automation from any major manufacturer and, thanks to Softel’s unique relationships with multiple Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) system providers, is now able to offer either in-broadcast triggers or ACR solutions to facilitate interactivity between the TV and smart TVs or second screens.

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