As a broadcast engineer, you focus on solving technical and operational problems. However, the reality is you probably spend a great deal of time talking with sales people and researching equipment.
Features, Benefits or Values
Most interactions are feature and benefit discussions followed by a transactional exchange of currency for products, solutions or services. I’m sure being on the receiving side of a constant barrage of feature-speak and buzz words can make you a bit jaded. Deep down, you want products and solutions that solve your problems, are reliable so you never worry about them and, if a problem pops up is supported by a company you can trust. What’s important to you is a level of understanding about the company behind the products and services. Of course, you are interested in some of the features and benefits because you don’t want to make a mistake. You want a valuable relationship with a Company you can trust and work with for many years, and this ranks much higher than a few features you may never use.
How do you discover the soul of the companies you work with? Simple, ask what their values are? Do they even know? Knowing their values describes who’s behind the company and why do they do what they do?
We think values speak louder than features and benefits. A company’s values speak to their mindset, mission and culture. In an industry where most competitors offer similar solutions, core values help separate one company from another and provide clues to help you understand what to expect after the sale.
BroadStream’s Core Values
As an organization, BroadStream strongly believes our culture and values play a key role in our success and how customers view us. We live by three core values: Integrity, Respect and Be Your Best.
- Integrity is about being transparent, honest and consistent.
- Respect for each other, our co-workers, customers and vendors.
- Be Your Best is always making an effort to do your best every day. This does not mean be “perfect”, because no one is perfect. It simply means striving to do our best everyday.
These core values guide our decision-making and day-to-day operations. We have a “no-blame” culture to ensure that everyone in the organization has a voice at the table and contributes to the discussion while feeling safe and valued. This same “no-blame” culture extends to Support as well. Often, when problems pop-up, there are several companies involved. At BroadStream we don’t point fingers but rather focus on finding a solution to the problem, whether it’s ours or not.
BroadStream’s Operational Guidance
Operationally, we follow the Lean Six Sigma principles of continuous improvement and work to improve every facet of our organization and operations. Every process and every department is evaluated periodically to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible and that we regularly implement new processes to reduce waste and improve our internal workflows.
Reliability is Most Important
Our products and solutions are designed to provide the functionality you need but with a high degree of reliability including multiple redundancy options along with service and support to keep your system running smoothly and with minimal effort.
Others Value Values as Well
We’re not the only one’s that think core values matter. Check out these articles for more insight: Values Matter: Understanding Why Core Values are Important and What are Company Values and Why They are Important.
In a world where all of the providers deliver most of the same features, benefits and operational functionality, look beyond the shiny, new objects and dig deep to learn about the core of your future business partners. Want to learn more? Click here to reach out to us.
As I am sure you are aware, global supply chain shortages of certain key components are being seen around the world that impact the auto industry, consumer electronics and other markets. This uncertainty is now beginning to impact the broadcast industry and we are experiencing much longer lead times than normal from our supply chain.
BroadStream Solutions is making a conscious effort to do everything we can to counter this trend and ensure our lead times remain competitive and protect your project timetables as much as possible. Not only are we expanding our supply chain to multi-source components from around the world, but we are also pre-ordering components we know are most scarce to maintain an inventory of these key items to ship against future sales.
A member of our sales team will contact you to discuss the lead times we are currently experiencing and give you the chance to order from our hardware inventory to reduce delays as much as possible. If you have any specific questions regarding timescales and need answers now please visit our Contact Us page. By planning and working together we will strive to meet all of your project timetables.
David Bowes, CEO
BroadStream Solutions, Inc.
Integrated playout and captioning specialist, BroadStream Solutions, is pleased to announce that PBS station WVIA in Pittston, PA went live recently with BroadStream’s VoCaption Live solution for live automated captioning.
WVIA operates 3 channels including PBS, Create and Kids, successfully serving Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley area. Broadcasting since 1966, WVIA has a long history of service to the community and surrounding area with local programming, educational programming, outreach and services.
WVIA selected BroadStream’s OASYS Integrated Playout and Graphics solution back in 2018 and OASYS automates the playout of their three channels that include PBS, Create and Kids. Adding VoCaption provides the station with an automated solution to generate real-time captions for live shows and emergencies.
VoCaption is a cost-effective solution that uses ASR or Automated Speech Recognition to provide real-time captions at a fraction of the cost of human captioners.
Speech-to-text technology used for ASR has improved dramatically over the last few years and delivers accuracy comparable to a live human captioner depending on audio quality. With the decline of available professional captioners and corresponding improvements in automated speech recognition, broadcasters can confidently leverage this technology to deliver captions that are accurate, professional and provide much needed cost-savings.
With VoCaption Live, broadcasters get:
- Automatic conversion of audio to text in real time.
- Custom vocabulary tools to enhance localization and improve accuracy.
- Available 24/7 for emergencies, breaking news or whenever needed.
- Significant cost savings versus live human captioning.
- Improved and streamlined workflows.
You can reach us on our website to learn more about VoCaption Live and how it will save you money while delivering highly accurate live captions.
Captioning and Subtitling are similar but different and rather than dive into the differences we’ll use the word subtitling generically for this article to reference both subtitles and captions.
The beginnings of a wave of change with subtitling are happening in television. You may not have felt the tremors yet, but you will.
Subtitles on television began in the early 1970’s. Live subtitling, however, did not begin until 1982 when it was developed by the National Captioning Institute using court reporters trained to write 225 words per minute using a Stenograph machine. This provided viewers with on-screen subtitles within two to three seconds of the word being spoken and it’s been that way ever since. But…
Stenography, as a profession, has been in decline since 2013. As senior professionals retire they are not being replaced by younger candidates who are passing on this field as a career in favor of other professions. One reason for this is the demanding requirements of the job. Candidates must be able to type at lease 225 – 250 words per minute with limited mistakes. This requires discipline and focus for many hours at a time. Schools that taught stenography typically had a graduation rate around 4% due to the high standards and have seen a gradual decline in enrollment that ultimately forced many schools to close. In the US alone, there are over 5,000 open stenography positions with limited candidates to fill those positions.
At the same time the Stenography profession began trending downward, the demands for live subtitling were rising. This increase was driven by new government mandates in multiple countries, the exponential growth of live and breaking news, 24-hour cable news cycles, and more live sports broadcasts. Additional competition for live captioners is also coming from corporate events, government briefings, meetings and increased usage from the legal system for depositions and trials that are creating resource issues and rising prices for human captioning.
So how do we fill the gap between a decline in human subtitling also facing an increase in market demand? Technology. Specifically, Artificial Intelligence (AI). The technology has been around for many years. In fact, voice recognition dates back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The technology began to show significant improvement beginning in 1971 and continued to evolve into 2014 when it became commercially available. Early efforts suffered from accuracy problems and limitations.
With the acquisition of Screen Subtitling Systems, BroadStream began working to incorporate AI speech engines to create an automated solution we call VoCaption. VoCaption delivers live subtitling for your live broadcast that is more accurate than previous AI implementations and in many cases equal to or better than humans.
VoCaption can be used in multiple applications including:
- Emergency Subtitling – for those occasions when subtitles are expected to be in a program but for some technical reason they are not. VoCaption can help reduce those angry viewer calls because it can be activated in just a matter of seconds.
- Supplemental Subtitling – your news may provide subtitles using a script and teleprompter but for weather, sports, traffic and un-scripted field reports, rather than use a human who must be available and “on the clock” for the entire time, VoCaption can be turned on and off as needed.
The two biggest benefits you can expect are:
- Improvements in accuracy – A frequent comment we hear is “we tried AI several years ago and it wasn’t very accurate.” That was true then, but the technology has made excellent progress and accuracy is up significantly depending on the program genre and the audio quality. In addition, it’s easy to regionalize or localize the technology by using custom dictionaries to import regional or local names, geography, schools, sports teams and more. Utilization of these dictionaries will substantially increase accuracy and improve pronunciations and we can help you with that process during commissioning.
- Substantial savings – Human subtitlers are expensive and as the shortage of qualified subtitlers continues to decline you will likely see an increase in rates. Current estimates range from a low of $60 per hour to a high of $900 per hour depending on your needs. VoCaption is available when you need it and it sleeps when you don’t. You only pay for the times you need it so you will experience a significant cost savings versus human captioners.
VoCaption is available in both hardware and software versions for 3rd party caption inserters or as part of OASYS Integrated Playout and Polistream our leading, subtitle inserter. For more information you can contact us here and a representative will be happy to answer any questions, arrange a demonstration or provide a quotation.
Duluth, GA, USA – January 26, 2021: Leading integrated playout and subtitling specialist, BroadStream Solutions, is pleased to announce the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has selected OASYS Integrated Playout for all three TV stations in Western Canada. Two of the three stations, CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat, Alberta and CFJC-TV in Kamloops, British Columbia were launched in 2020. CKPG-TV, in Prince George, British Columbia is planned for a future date in 2021.
The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is one of Canada’s premier radio and television companies with station operations in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Each television station is replacing their legacy Sundance automation with BroadStream’s OASYS Software Platform to support a three playout channels configured as a 2+2 HD Playout system with Redundancy Manager on the Main channels and a 1+0 Playout system on their secondary channel. Ingest is via 2 HD BroadStream Maker ingest channels and a 72TB NAS with Indexing Services. OASYS is also integrated with Wide Orbit’s Traffic system. Sales, Consulting and Integration Services were performed by VidCom Communications in British Columbia.
“Our timeline was disrupted with COVID-19”, according to Bill Stovold, Director of Technical Services for the Pattison Broadcast Group. But BroadStream and VidCom worked tirelessly with our teams to bring CHAT-TV online before the lock-down. CFJC-TV occurred during the lock-down and the system was installed and expertly cabled by our CFJC-TV team and VidCom while BroadStream configured, tested, trained and launched the station remotely to make up for the lack of on-premise work and skillfully provided excellent virtual commissioning and training to our staff. Having the OASYS system up and running gives us so many more features, flexibility and workflow improvements with station to station interconnectivity that will help us operate much more efficiently. We know, moving forward, our OASYS system and staff can function remotely if necessary, and our ability to broadcast will never be in jeopardy. The change from traditional Master Control to the OASYS Integrated Playout system is a huge step ahead for us.”
“We are very proud and honored to work with The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group on these station installations. Their Management, Engineering, IT and Operations teams are top-notch in every way and we are thrilled to have them as part of the BroadStream family,” said David Bowes, CEO and Owner of BroadStream. “Bill Stovold and his team along with Vidcom Communications have been great to work with considering the added stress caused by COVID-19. We are very proud of the way our team stepped up and stuck to the timetable, despite the lock-down. We value our relationship with these great professionals and look forward to completing CKPG-TV, in the coming months and supporting the entire organization for many years in the future.”
About The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is proud to be one of Canada’s premier radio and television companies. The Group combines over 90 years of broadcasting expertise with Total Team Involvement as it builds a reputation as a committed broadcaster serving the needs of listeners, viewers, advertisers and communities throughout the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Since commencing operations in 1965 with their first radio station in Vancouver, the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has been informing and entertaining Western Canadians. Throughout the prairie provinces on its radio and television stations, and increasingly online through their increasing digital platforms, the Broadcast Group offers the very best in local news, information and entertainment.
Commitment to local on-air talent that generates content that is relevant to the audience in every city they service is a key strategy for the Broadcast Group’s award-winning stations and online news portals. The company also strives to do its part when it comes to helping local charitable causes, donating over $23.5 million of air-time in support of their communities in 2019.
About VidCom Communications Ltd.
VidCom Communications Ltd, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, is the leading systems integrator of high-end hardware and software for the Broadcast, Professional Video, House of Worship, Education and Entertainment Industries in Canada.
For over 30 years, VidCom has been leveraging its expertise in the broadcast, video, film, streaming and graphics industries to elevate our clients’ ability to deliver on their unique talents. Our quality of work has taken us international with systems in the US, Far East & Indian Subcontinent. VidCom’s dedicated support and training has ensured our clients’ advantage in productivity and performance while VidCom’s Rentals and repairs have minimized their downtime.
About BroadStream Solutions
BroadStream (https://broadstreamsol.wpengine.com) specializes in flexible and highly scalable solutions for integrated playout, live automated captioning & subtitling, file-based, captioning & subtitling, caption encoding and subtitling software tools. Our OASYS Integrated Playout solution is used world-wide by broadcasters of all sizes for Content Preparation, Playout and Management. Designed to improve workflow efficiency, solutions are available in SD, HD, and IP as well as SD/HD-SDI and SDI/IP hybrid playout configurations to provide a solid migration path to future technologies, including the cloud, to make transitioning easier.
In 2018, BroadStream acquired Screen Subtitling Systems in the UK. Screen specializes in products for the preparation and delivery of captions, subtitles and value-add information services across multiple platforms and devices. Our combined 60+ years of hands-on experience consistently delivers quality, flexibility, dependability, improved workflows and operational efficiency that scale from single channel facility to multichannel broadcasters and service providers operating hundreds of channels.
BroadStream is pleased to announce a new software release for Polistream. Since the acquisition of Screen in late 2018 one of our goals has been to double-down on product improvements on all Screen products and you will begin to see new releases on a regular basis. Our two software teams in the UK and Croatia have successfully merged and now work together as one team.
This new release for Polistream provides an initial release of support for DVB-TTML, which is DVB’s new specification for text-based subtitles. The new TTML delivery specification will provide a transitional path to a common TTML subtitle format for both broadcast and Internet-delivered services. This means subtitles used for broadcast can be re-used later for video-on-demand services over DASH/CMAF.
DVB-TTML is especially suited for high resolution content like 4K and higher resolution programming that will be produced in the future. It is also closely aligned with other TTML-based systems including the EBU-TT-D specification, which was adopted for both DVB-DASH and HbbTV. You can learn more about DVB-TTLM here.
Initial Release of support for EBU-TT Live input and output uses Websockets. EBU‑TT can be used in a broadcasting environment to carry subtitles that are created in real time (“live” or from a prepared file) from an authoring station to an encoder prior to distribution, via intermediate processing units. EBU-TT Live Part 3 is carried over Websocket allowing input and output as Client or Server. You can learn more about EBU-TT here.
This new Polistream release includes:
- Support for text backgrounds (TTML tts:backgroundColor attribute)
- We’ve also added an EBU-TT-D text background selector on the UI Options page. This can be set to OFF, ON, or AUTO which enables backgrounds to be “forced off or on”, or it can be controlled by the box attributes in the subtitle.
- When backgrounds are “ON”, the background color is black by default at the start of each row and may be set to other colors by the “new background” control codes embedded in the subtitle text.
Customers with an active support contract can contact Support(at)BroadStream.com for access to this software upgrade.
BroadStream will be virtual at 2020.smpte.org this year for SMPTE’s annual event to be held online at https://2020.smpte.org from November 10 – 12, 2020. We will be in the Exhibit Hall and our booth number is B3.
Stop by for a meeting. We will have an active meeting room available with a Chat feature so you can talk with us while you are visiting our booth. We can also arrange a special time for a product demonstration on OASYS Integrated Playout or VoCaption Automated Live Captioning & Subtitling Solution.
You can use this link to save on registration. Click here now!
Duluth, GA USA: 12 October 2020 – Leading integrated playout and subtitling systems specialist, BroadStream Solutions, and partner Cineom Broadcast DMCC agree to extend their already successful partnership in SAARC to the Middle East.
“Cineom Broadcast has been a very successful partner with BroadStream in India selling OASYS Integrated Playout and with the recent acquisition of Screen Subtitling Systems Cineom has already become a key player with BroadStream for sales of Polistream and BroadStream’s VoCaption, a new, automated live subtitling system,” according to Shelinder Sachdeva, VP of Sales for South Asia and the Middle East.
Cineom Broadcast DMCC was founded in January of 2000 and has served the broadcast, film, video, A/V and related markets throughout India becoming a premier provider of turnkey broadcast solutions and a trusted BroadStream solution provider. They have also expanded their expertise and reach to the Middle East and Africa and BroadStream is pleased to partner with them in the Middle East to leverage their professionalism, engineering and vast integration skills.
In addition to standalone versions of Polistream and VoCaption, BroadStream has fully integrated software versions of Polistream and VoCaption into OASYS Integrated Playout to help customers streamline and simplify their workflows for acquisition, asset preparation, live and file-based subtitling, traffic, scheduling, graphics, redundancy and playout operations.
The new combined product line from the Screen acquisition in addition to Polistream for subtitle insertion, includes VoCaption for live automated subtitling, SubCaptioner, a new file-based subtitling service and specialty subtitling tools, WinCaps, WinCaps Pro, WinCaps Q-Live, MediaMate, MSX subtitle monitoring solution and Plasma Gold teletext systems.
BroadStream is also adding new features to its already successful Multi-Channel Web Client to ensure simplified Monitoring and Control so customers have even more power and control to manage any channel from any location with a web browser to avoid playback and service interruptions caused by lock-downs or other issues currently impacting global operations.
BroadStream and Cineom recently partnered with Kantar Media to sell Kantar’s audio watermarking capability as part of BroadStream’s OASYS Integrated Playout solution. This integration enables OASYS to create a complete and licensed Kantar Media audio watermark. A Kantar Media license is also required and can be purchased from Cineom.
“We really value our relationships with our partners and Cineom has been instrumental in helping BroadStream grow in SAARC and we look forward to continued success with them in the Middle East”, commented David Bowes, CEO and President of BroadStream Solutions, Inc.
BroadStream (https://broadstreamsol.wpengine.com) specializes in flexible, highly scalable solutions for integrated playout, live automated captioning & subtitling, file-based captioning & subtitling, caption encoding and subtitling software tools. Our OASYS Integrated Playout solution is used world-wide by broadcasters from single channel operators to operations scaling from 3 – 12 channels and service providers with 50+ channels. OASYS delivers on Content Preparation, Playout and Management to improve workflow efficiency for broadcasters at every level. Solutions are available in SD, HD, and IP as well as SD/HD-SDI and SDI/IP hybrid playout configurations to provide a solid migration path to future technologies, including cloud implementations.
In 2018, BroadStream acquired Screen Subtitling Systems in the UK. Screen specializes in products for the preparation and delivery of captions, subtitles and value-add information services across multiple platforms and devices. With Screen we recently introduced VoCaption, a new AI-based, automated live captioning and subtitling solution to provide highly accurate subtitles for live programming, breaking news, emergency subtitling and more.
Armed with a vision to keep abreast with ever upgrading technology and enhance customer experience, three engineers- Mr. Paresh Sorathia, Mr. Vinayak Deo and Mr. Shailesh Parab set out to unravel the world of customized solutions to optimize and value add to industry workflows. Incepted as a System Integration brand in 2000, Cineom is now recognized as a Media Solutions Company globally. We specialize in a turnkey approach, offering end to end solutions customized for individual customers with an approach to complete the eco system.
Cineom has developed a unique level of respect in the media and entertainment community. Moving ahead, Cineom is committed to charter newer territories while treading towards a global presence and garnering international status and fame. Cineom aims to undertake large size projects globally, especially in ME & Africa. It has set it eyes on providing integrated visual and audio experiences for forward-thinking audiences, using state-of-the-art AI driven technologies.
WinCaps Q4 Standard & Professional Edition is available with two new discounts
until the end of 2020!
BroadStream Solutions, Inc.
3039 Premiere Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097 USA
Tel: +1 404 327 8300