Anyone who deals in content delivery is no stranger to the many different content specifications and regulations that are in place all around the globe. Recently, multiple government legislations have been passed, bringing with them an obligation for a specific percentage of all broadcaster’s programming to contain audio description. This interest in AD stems from a commitment to improving inclusivity within visual media, with a focus on both commercials and promos.
Several countries, including Australia, Canada, the United States, Spain, and the UK have implemented these requirements. Due to these developing regulations as well as broadcasters wanting to improve the accessibility of their content, AD is now in incredibly high demand.
But what exactly is AD?
AD (Audio Description), also known as Descriptive Video Service (DVS), is a service primarily for individuals who suffer from visual impairments, providing a verbal description of the visual elements in media content such as TV shows, theatre performances, live events and movies. It is through tools such as Audio Description that we can make visual media more accessible for all, so its importance cannot be understated.
AD is comprised of a mono commentary of a narrator describing the visual media as well as a control track. The control track will communicate with your set-top box, telling it when to mix the commentary with the programme audio. In the event that the content is delivered online, there is no ability to mix the AD downstream so you will need a second audio track with premixed AD needs to be provided.
What are the challenges?
Whilst accessibility is important, implementing AD into your content isn’t always the easiest, or the cheapest thing to do. If, for instance, you write and record an audio commentary and you decide which points an audio description will be present, you will have that mono track ready. However, you now need to create a control track and there are very few technologies that allow you to do that.
What can Emotion Systems do to help?
Emotion Systems is proud to present an innovative AD module for our flagship product Engine, that not only meets global accessibility requirements but ensures the operator has the ability to create a compliant AD mix with missing deliverables. This AD module also provides a simple method for mixing the programme audio with an AD commentary track. The ability to do this allows for a more cost-effective, efficient, and easy implementation of Audio Description for your content deliverables.
Typically, AD content is delivered as a second audio stream, either mixed by the set-top box or pre-mixed for online consumption. Engine’s AD Module offers a simple, easy-to-use method for mixing program audio with AD commentary tracks, making it particularly useful for delivering video-on-demand (VOD) content. The nature of Engine as an automated audio signal processing application means that any operator, once setting up the correct workflow, can automate the creation of AD deliverables. The automation of this process saves valuable time and money, allowing any content distributor to comfortably and efficiently meet the increasing demand in providing AD deliverables.
We at Emotion Systems are experts in audio automation and file-based processing. Audio Description is no exception. If our Engine and AD module interests you then do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Additionally, for those interested in a more detailed, comprehensive breakdown of our AD module, click the link below to read our Audio Description Solution Sheet.
Call us - +44 (0) 1635 522 786
We look forward to hearing from you.
The Emotion Systems Team
As regular attendees of the HPA Tech Retreat, we at Emotion Systems are excited to announce our presence at this year’s retreat in Palm Springs this coming February.
The HPA Tech Retreat is a place where all of our industry's finest can congregate and discuss all the current trends and issues facing broadcast and television. Having a space that encourages and enables roundtable discussions and technology demonstrations is vital in allowing us to easily meet the right community and engage with them in meaningful, forward-thinking discussions.
At Emotion Systems, we specialise in automating file-based audio workflows in your media supply chain, taking those repetitive processing tasks out of the edit suite and automating them, in turn, improving the efficiency of content delivery and saving you precious time and money for more creative work.
Our recent focus is on immersive audio and all the requirements that our customer base has to adhere to. Immersive audio works well if you have the original master and required derivatives (surround and stereo), however, given the amount of legacy and archive material there is, the majority of which is largely in stereo or surround, immersive mixes are required in order to facilitate successful content delivery. A prime example of this would be commercials and promos typically only being available in stereo, therefore in certain environments where the content is immersive, it requires an upmix. In response to this demand, we have designed a brand new upmix module for Engine that allows immersive mixes to be downmixed to surround sound, making specified content delivery automatic and efficient. If you are attending HPA then make sure to visit our booth in the Innovation Zone, where we will be doing regular demonstrations and we can have a chat and answer any questions you may have.
Additionally, we are continually innovating ways in which content can be delivered correctly and efficiently. A big barrier that most distributors face is having to manually inspect inbound content, which is extremely time-consuming and demanding on your workforce. Several of our clientele receive upwards of 60 audio variations, so in order to facilitate the removal of that manual process, our examine and conditional workflow tech allows recognition of those audio variants as well as the selection of an appropriate workflow to automate the creation of the required deliverable.
Hear more about our participation at HPA from our CEO, MC Patel, by clicking the link below!
Make sure to come and visit us at the Innovation Zone where we can demonstrate first-hand how our technology works and the multitude of ways in which it can benefit your workflows. We will also be hosting a Breakfast Table on the 22nd where we will discuss all things automation from CALM and immersive audio, to upmix and more. If you want to book a slot at our booth, you can do so below. Alternatively please email us at: or call us at +44 (0) 1635 522 786.
We look forward to meeting you all!
Don't forget to book a meeting with one of our experts below!
The Emotion Systems Team.