XML in the air - How TTML can change the workflows for broadcast subtitles
Institut für Rundfunktechnik, Munich
Although broadcast TV subtitles are well established, digital production workflows are changing. Increasingly, the internet is a primary channel for distribution. Audio and video standards have already adapted, but changes to broadcast subtitle workflows are only just beginning. Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) is the leading contender to replace legacy subtitle file and transmission formats for digital and hybrid broadcasting. TTML is a format for authoring, exchange, and presentation of subtitles. Used at different stages in the workflow, TTML addresses some, but not all, of the current problems in media distribution. We examine how TTML succeeds and where it falls short. We view each shortcoming as an opportunity for further advancement. Whether it’s a question of adapting TTML to non-XML environments or encouraging broader use of XML technologies in new areas, there is much to learn from these efforts.