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EBU publishes new subtitling spec for broadcasters

The EBU has published a new specification for subtitling. The new format, EBU Timed Text (EBU-TT), is designed to provide an easy-to-use way of interchanging and archiving subtitles in XML.

According to the EBU, the specification is based on the W3C Timed Text Markup Language specification, but is designed as a more constrained version suitable for broadcast operation. It said that the specification would be increasingly relevant as broadcasters moved to file-based HD facilities, where subtitles are created, edited, exchanged and archived together with the content. The previous EBU subtitling format, EBU STL, was developed at a time when information was still exchanged on floppy discs.

The EBU XML subtitles group, led by Andreas Tai, has invited comments form developers and users, to be submitted by the end of March at the latest.