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New cinema caption eyewear being trialled in the USA

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Equipment manufacturers in the USA are developing a new caption viewing system to compete in the developing market for closed captions.

The yet-to-be-named system comes as eyewear connected to a small receiver, with the captions appearing on the glasses in sync with the soundtrack. The eyewear is being tested in Regal Cinemas in Seattle.


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New version of NVDA released

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A new version of the free and open source screen reader NVDA for Microsoft Windows was released today.

The official NVDA blog of NVDA 2011.1 reports on the release and highlights some of the key new features which include but are not limited to:

Digital media and technology: 

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‘Media Watch’ puts the spotlight on poor captioning

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Last night’s episode of Media Watch on the ABC looked at the state of news captioning on Australian television, and found that all too often the quality is so poor that captions are incomprehensible.

The program, which can be viewed on ABC's iView service with captions, noted that many of the problems stem from an increased use of ‘voice captioning’ (where a captioner re-speaks dialogue as a program goes to air and speech recognition software converts it into captions). Previously, live programs and live segments of news bulletins could only be captioned by highly-paid, highly-trained stenocaptioners.


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US communications regulator proposes new rules for audio description

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On 3 March, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ‘Notice of Proposed Rulemaking’ which outlines how it intends to reinstate audio description quotas on American television

Reinstatement of the quotas for audio description (called ‘video description’ in the US) is a provision of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Obama in October.

The quotas were originally introduced by the FCC in 2000, but its authority to do this was successfully challenged in the United States Court of Appeal five months later.


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