Auvi Translator Pro’s Film & TV Subtitler Riccardo Mimmi selected SubtitleNEXT

For immediate release – 5 March 2020, Bologna, Italy  IABM-member PBT EU is delighted to announce that Auvi Translator Pro’s film and TV subtitler Riccardo Mimmi is using SubtitleNEXT as subtitling system of choice to support leading film and television subtitling and localization projects.

Through his company Auvi Translator Pro, Riccardo provides specialised translation services across many languages such as English, Italian, Spanish and French.

Using SubtitleNEXT and proprietary online cloud platforms, Riccardo Mimmi’s role as a localization specialist and subtitler entails complex projects that involve translation and adaptation of content, where he has had to recreate the tone in documentaries, TV series and movies to suit the target audience.

Localization entails adapting cultural references in a movie or series to local standards or expressions which he excels at. Right from the synopsis phase through to pre-production and post-production, Riccardo’s expertise covers lip-sync dubbing and voice-over screenplays, dialogue lists and audio description for the blind and visually impaired. His skillsets are vast and he also works on video game and app localization.

“Subtitles have to abide to very strict requirements in my line of work,” Riccardo explains,  “So I chose SubtitleNEXT which is a reliable professional subtitling software to ensure 100% accuracy, and it supports all popular formats like .stl, .srt, .dfxp, .pac, Digital Cinema and more.”

Riccardo has an impressive portfolio and has been translating and subtitling literally hundreds of well-known movies, TV series, and documentaries from major Hollywood studios, broadcast networks and online streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon over the course of his entire career. Some of the many titles he has worked on include the likes of, ‘Klaus’, ‘Salvation’, ‘The Man in the High Castle’, ‘Vikings’, ‘American Hustle’, ‘The Americans’, ‘The Office’, ‘Easy’, the thriller film ‘Hold the Dark’, ‘Oprah’s Book Club’ and others.

Riccardo also supports upcoming filmmakers by providing film festival solutions that ensure accurate and fluent subtitles in order to help directors receive the recognition they deserve on the regional and international stage. Other key translation services he offers include timing, proofreading, editing, technical QC, conformance, exports, format conversion, transcribing, customising subtitle styles, “burn-in” and much more.

 

Passionate about his work, Riccardo adds, “The goal of any filmmaker is to convey messages and emotions by transposing stories and characters to the screen. Localised versions are only as good if they are faithful to the creative intent that sparked their creation.”

Ivanka Vassileva, CEO of PBT EU, a distributor of SubtitleNEXT software says, “Riccardo is a dynamic professional with an excellent reputation in the film and television industry for his outstanding subtitling and localization skills, and we are proud that he is part of the growing “SubtitleNEXT community. There is no limit to what he can do in his field, and we are thrilled to support him and continue to enjoy a close relationship with him on the many projects that he has lined up using SubtitleNEXT.”

Being an active member of SUBTLE and The Subtitlers’ Association keeps him abreast of industry trends, and he is also involved in education and training. He is in collaboration with ISTRAD’s Masters in Audiovisual Translation as an Italian tutor, where he helps students learn how to produce subtitles and dubbing according to the highest professional standards and best practice.

To find out more about SubtitleNEXT or to join the NEXT Club go to www.subtitleNEXT.com

_____________________________________________________________________

Media Information
About SubtitleNEXT
SubtitleNEXT is a timed-text subtitling software packages with an array of immediate resourceful tools and features that deliver to a high standard. Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, it is available in a single compact and powerful application. It’s a system that benefits many professionals and different skillset levels such as freelance audio-visual translation professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production and post-production companies and broadcasters. Anyone who has to handle heavy workloads within tight timeframe structures will find that SubtitleNEXT proves to be a time-saving and productive asset. Visit www.subtitleNEXT.com

About PBT EU – Visit www.pbteu.com

About Auvi Translator Pro  – Visit  https://auvitranslator.pro

 

PBT EU presents SubtitleNEXT as premium Sponsor at APTRAD in Portugal


PBT EU presents SubtitleNEXT as premium Sponsor at APTRAD in Portugal


For immediate release – 18 February 2020, Sofia, Bulgaria  PBT EU is pleased to announce their presence as a premium sponsor at APTRAD, where they will hold a SubtitleNEXT Workshop over the two-day conference which takes place in Porto on the 3rd and 4th of April this year.

Marking Portugal’s first-ever international audiovisual translation event, it will attract world-class professionals to explore various areas across the sector ranging from subtitling, dubbing, accessibility modalities, in particular, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, and audio description.

Profuz Digital’s CTO Kamen Ferdinandov, and creator of the SubtitleNEXT software platform, will  be participating in the technology roundtable as a speaker. The debate plans to outline  how AVT tools in a fast-moving industry are playing a key role where content is being produced at a rapid pace. Topics covered include how new subtitling software feature developments such as translation memories, glossary management, hybrid toolsets and more are mapping the way.

PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva states, “We are very excited that we are involved in this significant event. Kamen and I will be discussing the latest in subtitling technology at the SubtitleNEXT booth, and we will be available to demonstrate how our software adapts to specific AVT requirements. We are also giving away a free laptop with a SubtitleNEXT “Expert” lifetime license to a lucky guest at the event who enters the raffle. Do come by and see us, if you are at the conference to find out more.”

SubtitleNEXT has been adopted by many universities such as Hellenic American College in Greece, University of Warsaw, Videohouse and used on many well-known projects such as popular TV series such as ‘Vikings’ and ‘Big Little Lies’. To find out more, and to keep up to date with upcoming events, and future announcements, keep an eye on the SubtitleNEXT website. (https://subtitlenext.com/club/events/)

To join APTRAD and break new ground in audiovisual translation, at what will be an historic event for AVT professionals, visit the website at https://aptrad.pt/1stAVTIntConf to register. Read more about the technology round table programme here https://aptrad.pt/1stAVTIntConf/speaker-kamen-ferdinandov/

 

Media Information

About SubtitleNEXT
SubtitleNEXT is a timed-text subtitling software packages with an array of immediate resourceful tools and features that deliver to a high standard. Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, it is available in a single compact and powerful application. It’s a system that benefits many professionals and different skillset levels such as freelance audio-visual translation professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production and post-production companies and broadcasters. Anyone who has to handle heavy workloads within tight timeframe structures will find that SubtitleNEXT proves to be a time-saving and productive asset. Visit www.subtitleNEXT.com

About PBT EU – Visit www.pbteu.com

 

History of SubtitleNEXT. Part III. The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

Part 3 – The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

The NEXT-TT – SubtitleNEXT approach brings something different to the industry as Kamen outlines below.

“We offer something completely different to what is out there right now. We are not restricted to one market area; the product applies to every single company and industry. There literally are no limitations.

To provide an example, typically there are two approaches to providing solutions to customers, and they are either project or custom-based or industry-specific or ‘out of the box’.

The custom/project-based line is an extremely expensive option and can be slow moving. Also, historically from our experience, providers of such solutions are trying to replicate or reuse software that is made for specific situations which could prove to be a nightmare for users in the long run. Their knowledge and know-how are specific as they are focused on a limited number of customers/projects.

Regarding the industry-specific ‘out-of-the-box’ option, this can lack flexibility and needs additional integration work, which means that the company needs to adapt to the software and not the other way around.

Looking at both approaches, we effectively address both and our aim is to further develop and refine them. Of course, every solution has its drawbacks. However, by building certain partnerships, we are fully equipped to deal with challenges as they arise. For example, if an organisation has a requirement for the ‘best of breed CRM’, we would be confident and flexible enough to connect to whichever tool the client needs, and then be able to provide other functionalities much faster and at an affordable rate at the same time.”

The sky is the limit In the Cloud

Kamen expands further that NEXT-TT can provide a complete cloud solution, or it can be configured to work in a “hybrid” way.

“It would be entirely up to the customer and what their needs dictate in terms of the architecture. This adds an additional layer of security and creates a single environment to control the management, usage, structure, storage of various data and processes.”

“So, it is entirely up to you, “ adds Kamen, “If you want, you can have access to all your business-critical files from any web device whether you’re at your desk, working from home or at a coffee shop halfway around the world. Businesses are more mobile today than ever before.”

Advantages worth mentioning involving cloud asset management with SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT include easy implementation, quick adoption, great integration, an intuitive user experience and crucially, security. Fast implementation frees up IT resources and allows you to get started straight away. “We also want our customers to enjoy a user-friendly interface that anyone in their organisation can understand, and NEXT-TT is incredibly convenient and easy to use.”

The SubtitleNEXT team have attended several key events and have had extraordinary feedback and positive results with many freelancers, language service providers and linguist specialists adopting the SubtitleNEXT software. As a team they are always thinking about the next move.

What’s NEXT for SubtitleNEXT?

Kamen concludes, “Our secret is that we listen carefully to what everyone has to say. The team also genuinely cares about what challenges the industry faces and they take an interest. We work with this vital feedback and use it to implement positive changes, develop new capabilities and hopefully bring ground-breaking functionalities that benefit users more than ever before.”

The team has also been hard at work building a sense of community around the product for users to enjoy, which helps them to understand their needs and expectations at all levels. The successful launch of our online members group NEXT Club is a space set up by Profuz Digital for subtitling professionals to share resources, tips & tricks, and contribute to news articles and blogs in the “world of subtitling”.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enormous interest in SubtitleNEXT recently across various international events that we have been involved in such as The Languages and Media forum in Berlin, Media 4All8 in Stockholm and more recently at IBC2019 in Amsterdam followed by the Intermedia Warsaw Conference in Poland as Gold sponsors and Toronto’s Elevate event. The Profuz Digital outlook has always been fully committed to deliver simpler and versatile solutions without compromising functionality and performance.”

This is a company with software capabilities that are definitely going somewhere and here to stay for the long-term.

For further information about the company and SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS products, visit https://profuzdigital.com

Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends. SubtitleNEXT History. Part II

Part 2: Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends

The SubtitleNEXT of 1990 is not the same product that has now evolved into what it is today, but the goals of the creators of the company, helped get them get to where they are now. This evolution eventually led to the present day SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT platforms and has grown to fit user needs over time. It has been masterfully refined into the fully-fledged sophisticated renewed versions that are now available and “market-ready”.

Kamen sums up the advantages that the evolutionary process has brought to the present-day systems SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT,  “Unlike other tech products that tie up users with single vendor dependencies, we prefer to give our clients the freedom to benefit from a variety of dynamic industry-specific technologies, while retaining the distinct advantages that using a single system brings, such as providing a single place to generate searches and reports even across multiple external systems.”

Kamen runs through SubtitleNEXT’s 2019 version’s key features that make it stand out.

“It provides users with a multi-file synchronous browsing editing feature with a standard and text editor-like experience that can create standard and modern creative subtitles and timed text messaging that adapt to all the latest rules, checks and fix-ups to the subtitles (both text and timing).

RegEx Search and Replace engine has been included to allow advanced search and text replacements, for example one can find all Name Family type names and reverse them to Family Name without explicitly listing all name pairs, nor doing it a pair at a time.

The Hybrid platform called NEXT-TT supports both local and online materials such as subtitles, media and metadata. The latter one gives the same experience as in a web application but with the benefits of a desktop application, and uses all available translation and other tools, in case of a limited web application on terms of the webserver’s provision.

SubtitleNEXT has the flexibility to work with all kinds of timed media from video, audio, presentations, and also supports Live Subtitling with one or two stages of “re-speaking”.

SubtitleNEXT also supports non file-based media and direct video signals such as analogue, digital, and streaming which makes it perfect for all types of live shows and events such as festivals, live gigs, the Opera, theatre, presentations, conferences, seminars – you name it.  Its “automation for airing” feature is also useful for live shows and events with prepared subtitles.

The full set of digital cinema and TTML format features are also fully supported in SubtitleNEXT, including text positions, effects, sizes and colours, styling, looks including user configurable screen layouts that can be personalised to suit the project and user convenience.”

Often referencing a system as “legacy” means that it paved the way for the standards that would follow and that it is tried and tested, solid, trusted and a reliable product that has had time to prove itself to the market.

In the case with SubtitleNEXT, it is evident, it always and still does provide for the users’ needs.

SubtitleNEXT’s impact on Profuz Digital due to its historical role has been a positive one, and Kamen explains why, “To have an established product that the market already believes in, provides a great foundation to build further on even more incredible features that can bring efficiency speed and proficiency to users in a busy environment – for example – development has also included adding new interfaces including web-based, terminal-based mainframe applications, forward engineering approaches and these have greatly improved and influenced  the legacy software and durability.”

Adding, “Technologists understand the importance of sound architecture right from the start. The best systems in place today are those that embraced well-known IT architectural principles.  Poorly designed systems often don’t last, both because they wear out and because their inherent faults invite replacement. Thus, many organisations are rediscovering the value of both their legacy systems and the theoretical underpinnings of those systems.”

The History of SubtitleNEXT – Part I

Part 1: – Introduction to the SubtitleNEXT 30+ Year Journey

Defined as one of the industry’s most reliable and emergent timed-text subtitling software packages, it is no surprise why SubtitleNEXT is referred to by many professionals today as the “subtitler’s lifesaver.”

Delivering to high industry standards, the system is teeming with an array of immediate resourceful tools and unrivalled features. Available in a single compact application, it punches above its weight and can be put to work on heavy deadline-driven workloads.

Primarily aimed at audio-visual translation freelance professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production, post-production companies and broadcasters, SubtitleNEXT has proven itself as a time-saving commodity, but also a productive profit-making asset to media organisations worldwide.

Many of the companies and educational establishments that have already adopted the system and use SubtitleNEXT on a daily basis including the likes of Canal+ Myanmar FG, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, The Hellenic American College, Doli Media Studio, The  European School of Translation and Europe’s largest Belgium-based production company Videohouse, where it has been used on well-known TV series such as Big Little Lies, Sirens, Vikings and many more.

Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, SubtitleNEXT stems from a reliable legacy that has been built up over the past thirty years.  CTO and Founder Kamen Ferdinandov is the brainchild behind the core software  development. With a combination of technological expertise, Kamen is backed by a passionate team with astute business acumen and industry awareness, jointly responsible for SubtitleNEXT’s ongoing growth and success.

Kamen established his company Profuz Digital in 2014 along with PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva and Dessie Nikolov who is an experienced Software Product Manager and a Master of Digital Media from Ryerson University, Toronto and currently Profuz Digital’s Managing Director for the Americas. With headquarters based in Canada, Profuz Digital boasts an R&D Centre shared between Toronto and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

Profuz Digital was created  as a vibrant hub of technical innovation where business and technologies merge in order to provide game-changing and invaluable cutting-edge software solutions to a dynamic media and entertainment industry. The customised solutions created by Profuz Digital are not only powerful, but also cost-effective, user-friendly, time-efficient and easy to support 24/7.

The development of Profuz Digital’s LAPIS which is a  global business process and information management platform, took place in 2014.  Profuz LAPIS creates scalable customised modules that adapt to every type of complex business structure and connects all the dots that a business interacts with, including multiple-companies, outsourcing, partners, suppliers and customers, while constantly adapting to the needs of the organisation.   Doli Media and Canal + Myanmar FG are recent LAPIS customers, among many others that have installed Profuz LAPIS systems.

In 2016, the migration of SubtitlePlus quickly followed on to the next level, resulting in the SubtitleNEXT brand. Consequently, Profuz Digital was then in a position to offer users an entire product line which included a whole range of products such as SubtitleNEXT Enterprise, SubtitleNEXT CENTRAL, SubtitleNEXT Air, SubtitleNEXT LIVE Manager, NEXT-TT, Profuz LAPIS and the EXEcutor Media Integrator.  These were all in effect different products but still based on the core LAPIS and/or SubtitleNEXT technology software platforms.

The software development milestones Kamen initiated had led to the evolution from Subtitle, one of the first file-based subtitling tools, through to SubtitlePlus, a worldwide renowned subtitling tool for broadcasters.

“Actually, when the first version of Subtitle appeared over 25 years ago, there were no file-based workflows around, and in fact, they were not even on the horizon. Back then, only tapes were used for preparing subtitles and the problem was that the existing subtitling workstations at that time were specialised and expensive devices.  So, my initial concept was to create a software-only solution which would provide the same high-level workstation but with a standard PC, which we  successfully achieved.” Kamen reflects.

“The design was (and still is) independent from any specific hardware as such, but allows for the inclusion of additional hardware support, such as video signals processing and video mixers that create open subtitles over video signals, as well as timecode readers, VCR controllers, and so forth.  This in turn, also prepared the software for upcoming file-based workflows.“

Furthermore, Kamen had the insight to recognise that it made sense to make the subtitling process more accessible to a much wider user group and not strictly for professionals alone. His initiative was to  implement user-friendly and familiar text editing application tools.

“In the development of the product, my aim now is to ensure that any software user, even without a subtitling background, can find it easy to use our subtitling tools.” Kamen adds.

An example of how this development has evolved in SubtitleNEXT, is that unlike many other subtitling tools that restrict users to work on one subtitle at a time, SubtitleNEXT allows you to work with the whole text in multiple subtitles in line with advanced text editing applications that are familiar in the market today.

The Subtitle version was a DOS-based programme and used the standard PC components to create, edit and air (burn subtitles over video signal). Kamen remarks, “I think back then, it was the only programme of this type and  the only one that could both create, edit and air subtitles.”  Soon afterwards, he created the SubtitlePlus version for Windows. “

A year after the first version of SubtitlePlus appeared, the file-based workflow was then included in its infrastructure. I think it was possibly the first ever file-based workflow in the subtitling world and definitely the only one that provided a mixed environment for both tape-based and file-based pipelines.”  Kamen recalls

Another significant innovation break-through that Kamen can take full credit for concerns the independence of existing standards in Subtitle and SubtitlePlus. Kamen explains, “This concept is more relevant today than ever before. Most existing subtitling solutions available on the market, even now, are highly dependent on what kind of subtitles one creates, whether it be in teletext format, or as open subtitles, closed captions and so on.  This means that some knowledge of these standards is still required, and therefore  limits what can be done with the subtitles. The modern standards that broke this mould are compatible in SubtitleNEXT which is a system that has adapted and shows its readiness to handle and serve all the latest formats, resolutions and technical requirements including various fonts, font sizes, looks, positions, appearance, and much more. This allows SubtitleNEXT to widen the scope in which subtitles or other forms of timed text formats are used.”

Between 2002 and 2014, the focus of SubtitlePlus further evolved across its broadcast-related features and the development  of the multi-channel, multi-language automated subtitle airing platform known, as the DVB Subtitle Server, evolved into SubtitleNEXT Central.

In 2016, Profuz Digital focused on the upgrade and further development of the latest version of the software and renamed it as SubtitleNEXT.  Many of the new features, modern standards and formats were then added and have led to the system that we now see today. It is platform-independent and runs smoothly on all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MAC OS.

Blog post: Challenges M&E companies face today Part III

PART 3

Content is still KING –
Content is a valuable asset – assets require a reliable asset management system

This brings us back to the essential purpose of all this activity in M&E and that is content.  Content does still rule as king. Content and data are assets, and they need managing.

An “asset” is defined as any material that can be owned or controlled to produce value. It has positive economic value. Media assets are essentially graphics, videos, audio clips and files, animations maps, and other artistic materials and data that go into media, particularly interactive media such as video games.

Types of digital assets include, but are not exclusive to, photography, logos, illustrations, animations, audio-visual media, presentations, spreadsheets, word documents, electronic mails, websites, and a multitude of other digital formats and their respective metadata.

In today’s dynamic media world, information is everywhere and all around us. Media companies collect information and pass it on to their audience through various media channels – TV, Radio, print medias, social networks, etc. Therefore, the fundamental crucial challenge facing all companies in M&E is how all of this extensive vast amount of data can be organised and disseminated to the appropriate channels within a short space of time at minimal effort.

Too many different technology systems cause confusion and chaos

To organise vast amounts of data, film footage and content, companies tend to use different technological and software solutions. This is where the problem with communication and the exchange of information between the various software products arise. Companies I have seen use one system for media asset management, another entirely different system for customers, vendors and invoicing, and so forth. This is a profit-wasting and very poor time management exercise.

Using one powerful system that does everything, solves everything

This is where “LAPIS for Media and Broadcast” steps in as it can do it al – literally! Our LAPIS system plays various roles and consists of a host of benefits for various industries.  It is a powerful solution in these key areas:

  • Media/Digital Asset Management – You can organise your content with LAPIS – ingest, store, archive, review, approve, edit, and share your content. Post-production is one of the most complex areas of the business. You can keep your business up to date LAPIS which was built to be seamlessly connected to external tools to adapt to any customised need.
  • Production Management – Efficiently coordinate the various moving parts of your projects to save time and money. LAPIS helps you connect everyone, and everything involved to reduce errors and increase productivity. Manage equipment (vehicles, video, audio, lights, costumes, props), crews, castings, tasks, shooting locations, production/shooting schedule, and automate workflow.
  • Playout Provider – Playout and uplink are critical and require well connected 24/7 support. Many prefer to outsource that part of the business in order to optimise costs, guarantee performance and focus on their core business. Playout service providers can greatly benefit from the ability of LAPIS to easily connect to different systems. Manage content of all your clients through a single interface.
  • Multiplatform Content Delivery Management – Media companies can be empowered by LAPIS to manage the entire process from content-creation to publishing on social media platforms or media and playlist automations and enjoy reduced time to market. They can streamline multi-channel publishing and benefit from features like scheduling, assembling, approval, versioning and more.
  • Intelligent search mechanism – Searching is a powerful feature of LAPIS that benefits media companies for fast and dynamic results.

Conclusion

The broadcasting world is traditionally conservative. My opinion is that in recent years the quality of mainstream channels dropped significantly. Many companies are effectively trying to replace human knowledge with technologies that are not quite ready yet just to lower costs. Therefore, either the technology in the years to come will improve and move closer to high-quality established standards, or alternatively, consumers will lower their expectations.

The challenge of how to cope with future change is to find technology solutions today that are user-friendly, malleable and future-proof to cope with tomorrow.

The systems that companies purchase need to be able to adapt to constantly changing business environments. Modern technologies are built on top of this understanding and are offering new SaaS business models and software and infrastructure.

Acquiring technology is a long-term investment. Having technology where features and functionalities can be added or removed without losing any information or costing any time to the organisation is strategic and what forward-thinking technology like LAPIS offers.

The best solutions have everything within a single system making them capable of handling multiple content types and formats, tasks, workflows and processes. LAPIS achieves this goal by simplifying processes for the good of the organisation as a whole, thereby allowing people to be more creative and do what they do best.  It’s a WIN-WIN solution.

It is inspiring to see large media firms such as Belgium’s largest production company Videohouse, adopt our SubtitleNEXT platform.  Look out for our recent article on The History of SubtitleNEXT to find out more.

For further information or to try out a demo of LAPIS, visit https://profuzdigital.com/about-profuz-lapis/

 

 

Blog post: Challenges M&E companies face today Part II

by Kamen Ferdinandov

Managing the shifting Media Landscape driven by Technology

The digital media landscape as a whole is undergoing dramatic transformation with companies having to navigate through emerging technologies alongside elements of associated social change at the same time. The entire value chain is affected, including media owners through to agencies, and ultimately marketeers and advertisers too.

Media channels are becoming increasingly fragmented as consumers are empowered more than ever before through accessible social media and blogging sites, that were not readily available a decade ago. Customers have effectively evolved into influential “mini-media platforms” in their own right.

These are very exciting developments. To be part of the digital age and a technological revolution certainly brings freedom to consumers, however, on the other hand, it presents many challenges to M&E organisations, such as:

  • Staying relevant in a continuously evolving digital landscape;
  • Learning to adapt and communicate in engaging ways to match customer expectations;
  • Monetizing audiences.

 

 

The Stages of media production

This moves us on to my next point as we address the challenges faced within each stage within the media production process. Let’s focus on  pre-production and production, post-production through to delivery and distribution and how these organisations are having to adapt to many technological changes currently.

  1. Pre-production and Production – Pre-production, production and post-production are moving closer together now with many post companies getting involved right from the start of the process in order to define final outcomes and deliverables before filming a movie or shooting a commercial.

 

The constant demand for faster and cheaper productions plays a significant role in how things are now done. This factor alone drives the demand for more automated and “human-less” operations, which attracts modern solutions such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the industry.

When I was asked by the press recently in an interview what I think the future holds with regard to technology generally in M&E, I replied by saying that the future is in taking a more creative approach and choosing solutions that differentiate from the push towards automation, AI and ML, which means that technology should provide more effective and efficient tools more than ever before, even in areas where they weren’t originally even required.

Many large film studios and production firms are also installing their own in-house post-production facilities and departments for efficiency, in order to have everything operating under one roof as well as securing sensitive confidential footage which is easier to control under one umbrella organisation with tighter controls. This has a knock-on effect for the smaller post companies that have to survive when many of the major projects are now absorbed in-house by the large studios.

 

With LAPIS, post companies and production companies would feel assured and confident in the full security that their content and data is well protected at all times.

 

  1. Post-Production – The post environment is extremely competitive, highly technical and creative with skilled artists working under immense pressure to meet tight deadlines within the highest standards of quality. Post companies provide vast services that range from editing, time-intensive CG and VFX work as well as online editing, colour grading, animation, and much more.


There are many post systems on the market that can perform all of these functions in one system, and many stand-alone systems that focus on one area of expertise, however in

today’s market, many post-production professionals such as world-leading colourists and compositors recognise that they have to hone in on all aspects of the process from editing, grading and finishing in order to work most effectively with dailies, changes, immediate client approvals and interaction across all client suites on a given project.

A while back there were two main formats the post-production world used, these were PAL and NTSC, and now there are hundreds of permutations, field rates, frame rates, versions, language versions and formats that post-production workflows have to readily accommodate and be able to adapt to quickly.

We are also seeing much more interactive and personalised material being produced, such as the recent Black Mirror “Bandersnatch” episodes for Netflix where viewers had the option to choose the ultimate outcome of the story by controlling their television remote controls. Another example is Ang Li’s latest Gemini Man which was shot in 120 frames per second which is quite a feat. These complex projects have impacted how post companies have had to adapt  with challenging deliverables on a scale cinema and broadcast audiences from decades ago had never seen before. Post companies have had to post-produce footage in Large Giant Screen formats, HD, HDR, HFR, IMAX, VR, AR, XR resolutions up to 8K and beyond and much more.  This in turn creates demand for monitor display technologies to be compliant and available across media such as television, PC, mobile and cinema screens and to be fully compatible with these new formats.

 

On top of all this creativity and technical expertise, post companies have to still run their everyday business, pay their invoices, invoice their clients, pay salaries, run financial reports, make bookings in the various suites, and store massive file footage securely.  All these activities ideally have to be able to sync in with their creative work in order for them to be efficient and not get bogged down in the  everyday details.  This is the challenge and battle many running post houses around the world face today. Post-production companies would benefit the most from using LAPIS to coordinate and manage all these varied and vital tasks. A competent system like LAPIS can be an enormous support so they can get on with the business of running the business affairs efficiently and freeing up time to be more creative.

 

  1. Delivery & Distribution  – This is ultimately the end-product that consumers can enjoy in the version of their choice. All of the visual formats such as Large Giant Screen formats, HD, HDR, HFR, IMAX, VR, AR, XR resolutions up to 8K and beyond are delivered by post companies for distribution to then be displayed across various media such as mobile, PC, television and cinema screens.  Many of the  innovative resolutions have prompted a demand for display technologies and manufacturers are currently working hard to make it possible for households to eventually  be able to view many of these new formats from the comfort of home.  A recent example is how UHD and Stereoscopic 3D was made available for audiences to view Sky 3D sports. Across most Technology & Consumption spheres such as film, TV, Audio, Publishing, Games, Website, the Gaming Sector, footage is being adapted to audiences’ preferences.

    Online alternatives are gradually replacing traditional broadcasting. Online media access such as online TVs, VOD, and so forth, exceed traditional methods of distribution. Companies like Netflix and Amazon opened up the possibility for geographical expansion that resulted in increased demand and the need for speedy deliveries of localized content. Cinema or DVD/Blu-ray audiences tend to go to online streaming platforms now for example, such as Netflix and Hulu, and this has changed the entire focus of distribution and disrupted the way things now work in the M&E sector.


Consequently, the increase of outsourcing traditional in-house operations is now commonplace within the distribution arena, which in turn, brings in more and more mobile and web technologies into the mix. This in turn creates a massive demand for the simplification and adaptation for less knowledgeable personnel to be able to access these technologies and applications.

 

In Part 3, I will explore content and its intrinsic value to companies in the industry.  I will reveal in this concluding chapter how LAPIS can benefit the media industry as a whole in every area.

Blog post: Challenges M&E companies face today Part I

by Kamen Ferdinandov

Why I started Profuz LAPIS?

The Profuz LAPIS platform I created has been used to build web-based modern and scalable all-in-one solutions for companies such as Canal+ Myanmar FG, Doli Media Studios and recently the Jornal do Centro media group in Portugal. Adopting Profuz LAPIS’ capabilities has helped these corporations centralise their processes significantly.

These examples, and there are more in the pipeline, are a testament of the trust placed in Profuz LAPIS’s powerful business asset management to deliver results that help media professionals achieve greater creativity and productivity within their entire organisations.

Over the 30 years of working in the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, I came across so many clients in need of a business management system that could fulfil all of their organisational needs.

The M&E sector today is a vast landscape and encompasses television and radio broadcasters, film studios, production and post-production facilities, through to publishing organisations, new era media and much more.

I discovered that most companies in the M&E sector want a solution that is user-friendly but without the steep learning curve. Company owners are on the lookout for technology that is versatile and fast, as well as easy to implement. Platforms that are customised to customer’s specific requirements and that can adapt to existing workflows, help create more efficiency resulting in long-term cost savings.

I used all this valuable feedback over the years to form what is now been recognised as a compelling solution designed to support businesses perform more cost-effectively and resourcefully. I was inspired from the start to make a system that could be specialised to meet individual client needs. It was important to me from the outset that the applications that I created had to be able to adapt to an organisation’s own unique business model, instead of the organisation having to adapt to the technology.

The aim in our venture with LAPIS at Profuz Digital  is to also appeal to smaller entities and provide them with the benefits that an advanced enterprise-level system can deliver –  which is pretty much everything!

Some of the advantages that LAPIS brings to smaller companies, self-employed franchises and freelancers throughout the system’s entire life cycle, includes the reduction of critical resources such as time, training, support and maintenance. These bring huge benefits to smaller companies that can now be enjoyed alongside the larger firms.

There is a need for affordable media asset management in every organisation –  even in the smallest companies which previously couldn’t see its benefits. Start-ups and entrepreneurs starting a new business have to watch the purse strings closely and tend to look for modern and cheap solutions that might not suit their long-term needs and miss out on what LAPIS could do for them. Existing firms have different approaches ranging from not doing anything new; or trying to add something new on top of an existing process; or trying to replace and virtually upgrade everything with new technology. This is where LAPIS can step in to solve all their issues in one powerful affordable flexible system.

Next week, in Part 2, I will take you on a journey on how to manage the shifting media landscapes driven by technology.

Hellenic American College in Athens invests in SubtitleNEXT to equip Masters in Translation students with key localization skills

SubtitleNEXT prepares students with a definitive career path to face the pace of demand in the translation and creative industries

PBT EU is delighted to announce the adoption of  the SubtitleNEXT system at Hellenic American College in Athens, making it the first college in Greece to offer the platform for its Masters in Translation (MAT) Program and Audio-visual Translation Lab.

The MAT is one of 14 academic degree programs of the US-accredited Hellenic American University which the College offers in Greece. Students in the MAT program acquire the credentials to begin a career in translation, audio-visual translation and editing. They have the option of specialising in the creative industries and entering the world of audio-visual translation, gaming localization or translation for museums or advertising companies. Graduates of the program have found work as freelance translators or at  translation agencies, companies, audio-visual companies and the media.

Dr. Vasilis Manousakis, who teaches Literary and Audio-visual Translation at Hellenic American College, explains why he chose SubtitleNEXT for his students, “It brings an advantage as the environment and functions available in SubtitleNEXT offer my students a platform that matches what exists at large AV translation companies across the world.”

Dr. Manousakis is an artist in his own right, having subtitled and translated a broad range of genres, series and films produced by Disney, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Netflix, including House of Cards, Lost, The Good Place, Star Wars and Game of Thrones. His diverse professional and creative background has provided him with well-informed teaching material at Hellenic American College in the Master of Translation and Master of Conference Interpreting program.

He adds, “SubtitleNEXT stands out from all the other systems for its functionality and ease of use. It is effective and user-friendly at the same time.  My students have already used SubtitleNEXT to subtitle many projects I assigned to them. They learned how to navigate the system themselves and their reaction has been very positive.  Our industry is made up of companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney; they all require Accessibility Functions (Audio Description and SDH) and it is great to see these incorporated in SubtitleNEXT very soon. That way, we will have an All-In-One package. The most popular SubtitleNEXT tool among my students is definitely the “synchronization” and “in-sub notes” for the QA (Proofreading) task.”

Coordinator of the MAT Program and Associate Director of the Ph.D. in Language and Communication at Hellenic American University, Dr. Themis Kaniklidou notes, “We were using freeware before we upgraded to SubtitleNEXT. This upgrade brings added value to the MAT program, and we can proudly state that our students use professional programs that conform to industry standards. We are delighted that our students are learning top skills with SubtitleNEXT. It accustoms them to working within the kind of professional environment you’d find in the industry. In this sense, the skills will come naturally to them when they approach or are approached by studios and AV companies who want to commission subtitling assignments. SubtitleNEXT is a perfect tool to increase quality and productivity.”

An engaged researcher, Dr. Kaniklidou has observed the growing segmentation of the market, with more translators specialising in fields such as medical or legal translation. The emergence of new fields such as localizing video games and subtitling for streaming services and the immense progress that has been made in machine translation bring new opportunities. She believes that advances in artificial intelligence will repurpose the work of professional translators, with a lot more post-translation editing demands, a task, she confirms, students in the MAT program are already adept at handling.

Under her leadership, the MAT program is responding to these industry changes. She notes,  “We’re providing our students with what the market demands, both in content, with the program’s courses in specialisation translation, translation technology and audio-visual translation, and in technology. We’re doing a very good job for the lucky few students who decide to do the program. With SubtitleNEXT and through their assignments, our students gain experience in all types of AV translation and have a foretaste of the challenges they’ll face in their future careers. MAT is one of the few, if not the only, institution in Greece to be offering SubtitleNEXT to its students.”

PBT EU’s Sales and Product Expert Maria Markovska concluded, “We are delighted that the Hellenic American College has chosen SubtitleNEXT for its MAT program, arming a future generation with knowledge of how to effectively localize content for every major studio, OTT platform, and broadcast company and more, at the speed defined by fast growing global consumer demand. As a team that places our customers as first priority, we deeply value the relationship we have with highly dedicated college and faculty members – Dr. Manousakis and Dr. Kaniklidou, and we very much look forward to working with them as they continue to transfer vital and creative subtitling skills in an evolving digital world. Our next cooperation with Dr. Manousakis will be to expose in detail the functionalities in SubtitleNEXT for production of subtitles for the hearing impaired and automations that facilitate audio description.”

Media Information

About SubtitleNEXT
SubtitleNEXT is a timed-text subtitling software packages with an array of immediate resourceful tools and features that deliver to a high standard. Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, it is available in a single compact and powerful application. It’s a system that benefits many professionals and different skillset levels such as freelance audio-visual translation professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production and post-production companies and broadcasters. Anyone who has to handle heavy workloads within tight timeframe structures will find that SubtitleNEXT proves to be a time-saving and productive asset. Visit www.subtitleNEXT.com & www.pbteu.com

About Hellenic American College in Greecehttps://www.haec.gr/en/master-translation

 

SubtitleNEXT version 5.5 unveiled at September shows


IABM-member PBT EU Strengthens Global Presence bringing fresh momentum to multiple events with Profuz Digital LAPIS and SubtitleNEXT  at Elevate, Intermedia & IBC for broadcasters and subtitlers


SubtitleNEXT version 5.5 unveiled at September shows

September has been a productive and busy month for SubtitleNEXT’s creator and distributor  – Profuz Digital and PBT EU. They made an official mark on the subtitling market at a series of successful September shows this year which included Elevate in Toronto, Intermedia Warsaw and IBC in Amsterdam. At the same time, they also released SubtitleNEXT’s new version 5.5 unveiling a list of innovative tools and features.

ELEVATE 2019 – CANADA

Profuz Digital’s Managing Director for the Americas, Dessie Nikolov introduced SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS for the first time to Canada’s Tech Festival Elevate held from 20 – 26 September. Elevate 2019 featured an exclusive line-up of exceptional industry speakers that covered a variety of topics about innovation and the future of creative talent. The “New Media” and “Product” stages at the event hosted high-profile presentations from the likes of Corus, Viacom, Twitter, Hypebeast, Global News, including informative sessions by Vimeo, Asana, Facebook, amongst many others.

Earmarked as powerful systems of choice for content localization and media accessibility, Dessie reported, “We unveiled SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS’ ability to meet growing demand for more simplified, efficiently managed and localized media content cross multiple industries. We received enthusiastic and positive feedback from show attendees when they saw the benefits of our products’ online / offline inter-connectivity as well as the added advantage of not having to worry about downloading, uploading or transferring material. People were impressed by the functions included such as multiple supported video, timed-text formats along with integration of various speech-to-text tools.”

Noting other key tech trends spotted at the event, Dessie added, “There is a growing interest in 360-degree video and streaming, as well as a continued push towards the simplification of video editing to make it more accessible to a wider audience. The demand for authentic voices in storytelling was a major theme at the show, as well as a drive towards engagement and content consumption geared to Gen Z that includes TV series for youth streamed on platforms such as YouTube (e.g. Awesomeness). All in all, this event delivered on its promise to “elevate”, and we were left inspired by talks from Guy Kawasaki, Akon, and the one and only – Michelle Obama.”

 

INTERMEDIA WARSAW CONFERENCE 2019 – POLAND

The team at PBT EU enjoy contributing and participating in key educational initiatives too and were assigned as Gold Sponsors highlighting their flagship SubtitleNEXT product at their own booth at the 2-day Intermedia 2019 Conference from 19 – 20 September at the University of Warsaw. Preceded by various workshops on 18th September, the conference focused primarily on audio-visual translation with SubtitleNEXT now recognised as a strong contender in this vital sector.

PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva outlined the successful outcome, “The Intermedia Conference was a great space to interact with researchers, professional subtitlers, students and professors from across the globe in an intimate and welcoming environment. It was also very rewarding to hear a genuine sense of acknowledgement of SubtitleNEXT as an established Top Tier platform that professionals are now considering for freelancers, universities and media companies.

We take pride in our listening skills so that we can continue an effective ongoing development strategy and deliver helpful toolsets that people actually need. So, it was important to us, as well as interesting to hear about upcoming trends as well as ideas and suggestions for advancements and useful features, some of which were incorporated and released in the new SubtitleNEXT version 5.5 release which we launched and demonstrated. The brand-new toolsets and developments in version 5.5, specifically in the field of live subtitling with “re-speaking” and creative subtitles, following market demand, were applauded.”

IBC 2019 – THE NETHERLANDS

At IBC, which took place between 13 – 17 September at The RAI, the PBT EU team presented the latest version of the specialised range of professional, broadcast-quality subtitling and business process management systems, SubtitleNEXT, NEXT-TT and LAPIS including own-brand EXEcutor broadcast server series at the PlayBox NEO booth where PBT EU’s Sales Director Alexander Stoyanov was stationed to provide advice.

As an IBC veteran exhibitor for over 10 years, Alexander shared his overall IBC experience,  “Everyone I spoke to showed great interest in SubtitleNEXT’s capabilities to integrate multiple speech-to-text functionality, and its machine translation tools which help improve offline and online subtitling processes were positively welcomed. Profuz LAPIS received great feedback for its sheer capacity to align with macro workflows as well as its orchestration layer to legacy systems. The fact it can handle virtually any type of digital assets, regardless of their nature, impressed many. Our LAPIS for broadcast and media solution is still pretty much at the early stages and an innovative concept for which the wider audience is not yet fully aware of, however, the initial reaction provoked several interesting discussions which in the months to follow, are expected to materialise into some very interesting projects.”

“Generally, I believe IBC2019’s overall attendance was smaller by popular opinion, yet much more concise in terms of industry and partner feedback. On the broadcast side, SMPTE 2110 was a trending topic, with many manufacturers claiming they’re “already there”, without making the effort to explain the full picture, along with the advantages to clarify the bottlenecks and drawbacks that this standard brings.”

“Traditionally, the migration to IP, with the strategic goal to feed the ever-growing streaming, OTT and VOD beasts, was fully present in discussions, yet we don’t see this process happening at a scale represented by the marketeers and social media airwaves.”

“4K channels and content origination were also floating in the air, growing slowly in market portion but still with scarcity of premium content, especially for niche channels. Speaking of content, everybody seemed to agree that localization and accessibility are crucial, yet few enterprises had clear vision of how to achieve this. The diversity of distribution and monetisation platforms require a vast array of formats and styles of subtitling and captioning which are foreign to traditional broadcast and content creators. Much of the players on the content supply chain rely strongly on machine processing, ASR and AI to shorten the cycle and lower costs, and this hope was strongly amplified by the avalanche of overrated messages by technology creators on the efficiency and accuracy of their solutions. Practice though proves otherwise, and reality will punch back inevitably.”

Alexander concludes with, “Last, but not least, almost all media and broadcast organisations acknowledged the need to streamline both their asset and process management workflows. Most of them never thought that having this under one powerful singular system was feasible, so this idea resulted in mixed reviews. Keeping the focus on video only in terms of digitising, metadata enriching, indexing, purposing, archiving and repurposing is no longer relevant in the big game of complex processes and media company structures which start to incorporate all sorts of outlets, each one requiring a specialised workflow approach. I foretell that those players who see the potential in solutions handling these kinds of challenges will have the better market leverage in the years to come.”

SUBTITLENEXT VERSION 5.5 – NEW FEATURES

New features in SubtitleNEXT 5.5 include a series of stunning and dynamic tools such as Live Subtitling with one or two stages re-speaking with an optional multi-station live workflow automation; Integration with Dictation applications such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Microsoft Dictation, and Newton.  Other numerous new exciting features include Film Strips; Short forms support in both offline and dictation regimes, parallel multi-subtitles synchronous preview of multi-language subtitles; keyboard macros recording and library; a global detachable timeline; reading speed indicator; additional subtitling properties such as hidden, forced, draft, marked, properties for appearance type, transitions effects, Support of NEWFOR protocol and FAB Public Teletext protocol outputs and much more all available in detail on the www.subtitlenext.com website.

CURRENT CUSTOMERS USING SUBTITLENEXT AND PROFUZ LAPIS

Many of the companies and educational establishments that have already adopted the system and use SubtitleNEXT / LAPIS on a daily basis including the likes of Canal+ Myanmar FG, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, The Hellenic American College, Doli Media Studio, The  European School of Translation and Europe’s largest Belgium-based production company Videohouse, where it has been used on well-known TV series such as Big Little Lies, Sirens, Vikings and many more.

ABOUT SUBTITLENEXT AND PROFUZ LAPIS  

Primarily aimed at audio-visual translation freelance professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production, post-production companies and broadcasters, SubtitleNEXT has proven itself as a time-saving commodity, but also a productive profit-making asset to media organisations worldwide. The software efficiently supports a plethora of disciplines such as translating, editing, subtitle and dubbing adoption, timing/cueing/spotting, verifying layout on text over media, deliverables and much more.

The development of Profuz Digital’s LAPIS which is a  global business process and information management platform, took place in 2014.  Profuz LAPIS creates scalable customised modules that adapt to every type of complex business structure and connects all the dots that a business interacts with, including multiple-companies, outsourcing, partners, suppliers and customers, while constantly adapting to the needs of the organisation.   Doli Media and Canal + Myanmar FG are recent LAPIS customers, among many others that have installed Profuz LAPIS systems.

In 2016, the migration of SubtitlePlus quickly followed on to the next level, resulting in the SubtitleNEXT brand. Consequently, Profuz Digital was then in a position via PBT EU as distributor and systems integrator to offer users an entire product line which included a whole range of products such as SubtitleNEXT Enterprise, SubtitleNEXT CENTRAL, SubtitleNEXT Air, SubtitleNEXT LIVE Manager, NEXT-TT, Profuz LAPIS and the EXEcutor Media Integrator.  All unique products in their own right, but still based on the core LAPIS and/or SubtitleNEXT technology software platforms.

Visit the “home of subtitlers” here to get a full picture and join the growing NEXTclub. https://subtitlenext.com/

To contact the PBT EU / Profuz email sales@SUBTITLENEXT.COM

_____________________________________________________________________


Media Information

Press images available to download here:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q19aymdafrou7nc/AABhk47WSrN_m7DgozChqsGVa?dl=0

About Elevate 2019 – Visit https://elevate.ca

About The Intermedia 2019 Warsaw Summit – Visit https://intermedia.ils.uw.edu.pl/

About IBC2019 – Visit www.ibc.org

About Profuz Digital – Visit www.profuzdigital.com

About PBT EU – Visit www.pbteu.com

PBT EU Sales Contact

Alexander Stoyanov, Sales Director & Partner, sales@SUBTITLENEXT.COM, +35924392190