Subtitling Special: Screen Subtitling Systems

Screen Subtitling Systems, Polistream U8000, Broadcast Magazine, magazine broadcast

John Birch Strategic and Business Development Manager

  1. Tell us briefly about your company. How was born?

Screen was founded as Screen Electronics by Laurie Atkin in 1976, and pioneered the first ever electronic subtitling system, providing the first digital character generator to the BBC. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Screen continued to lead the market, developing a number of new subtitling technologies including fully automated transmission using timecode, the first PC based subtitle preparation system and the first multi-channel, multi-language subtitling systems.

Screen is now the number 1 provider of subtitling production and delivery systems in the world, and with its broader product portfolio now builds on that success with products that enhance broadcast content.


  1. What makes your company different from its competitors?

As a pioneer you tend take genuine pride in your products and what they deliver to customers and ultimately in our case, the end user.

We have built and maintained an enviable global reputation as a company who has driven standards and stuck by them to earn incomparable trust within the industry.


  1. Which are your company goals?

After four decades of development and manufacturing, we have accumulated and enormous amount of specialised expertise. As the market changes and the rate of change increases, Screen’s goal is to use our expertise to innovate in parallel markets.


  1. What equipment or technology do you consider that is essential for your workflow? Would you want to highlight any recently purchase or innovation?



Screen Subtitling Systems, Broadcast Magazine, magazine broadcast


  1. Subtitling and Captioning. Comparing both, what are the specific challenges of each one?

The biggest difference is in the target audience, in that captioning is required by around 10% of the audience (as a service for hearing impaired viewers), whereas subtitling is required by 90% of the audience (as a translation of the dialogue). In reality the techniques for the distribution of captioning and subtitling are identical, the main difference between the two services is in the creation of the captions or subtitles, where (translation) subtitlers have the additional task of translating the language spoken in the media into a different language. This additional task is very specialized and requires exceptional language skills because the resulting translations must be natural and culturally relevant.


  1. Have you noted at IBC more interest in subtitling? To what extent do you consider this industry booming?

The demand for subtitles (translation) is continuing to rise, as more and more original content is created. The increased investment in creating new series and episodes (particularly for online distribution) is generating demand for more subtitle creation. It is estimated by some that the amount of subtitling is increasing by over 10% per year…


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