DPAN.TV is a non-profit company co-founded by Sean Forbes and his business partner Joel Martin 10 years ago. It produces a high-volume of shows, including original video series, such as DTV News, Tru Biz entertainment news, Between the Lines public affairs, ASL Music Videos and Today in History—all specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Having grown up in a musical family, it’s no surprise that Sean Forbes is a hip-hop artist, singer/songwriter and drummer. After producing his first music video featuring his own original songs, one of the first people to watch it was Eminem. He’s also a successful entrepreneur, running an innovative online broadcast service. And oh, by the way, he’s deaf.
While Sean’s been profoundly deaf since he was one, it hasn’t stopped him from fully expressing his artistic voice and vision through music, music video performances, dance, and his online passion: DPAN.TV, The Sign Language Channel.
DPAN.TV refuses to deliver anything less than the highest-quality closed captioning for their viewers. Fresh content streams live daily, while the network’s on-demand media archive continually grows. And all of DPAN.TV’s non-live content includes closed captioning that viewers can turn on or off with a click. These captions can be created quickly in-house, and encoded right into the video, using Telestream’s captioning software, MacCaption.
With a staff of just 30 people—many of whom are deaf or hard of hearing—DPAN.TV is able to handle its own closed captioning and subtitling needs in-house on a single Mac running MacCaption software.
“Captioning video properly is an art form. With MacCaption, we have all the professional tools we need to caption and subtitle video in-house. This enables us to save significant amounts of money, labor and time, and most importantly, control the quality of the captions we produce.” – Sean Forbes
Since adding this user-friendly, do-it-yourself solution in February 2016, DPAN.TV now captions two to three hours worth of fresh content weekly using the following end-to-end workflow for non-live shows:
- The process starts with a script of what the on-camera anchors will convey
- The script goes through an English to ASL translation process
- The voice-over audio is recorded
- Captions are created using an industry standard 2-line, pop-on style format that is compliant with accessibility standards
- Last-minute changes are made on the fly to ensure that the captions accurately reflect what is said on the voice-over track
- The resulting .SRT captions file is then uploaded along with the source video file to the web
- The video file is uploaded to the site, which is hosted on the Amazon public cloud
“We live in a world where video is all around us, on broadcast television, online services, social media and in public places. It’s time that we make all of this content fully accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing community. That is what DPAN.TV is endeavoring to do.” – Sean Forbes
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