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embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro

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Harry Brockman
embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 1:12:42 am

We need to deliver 28:30 shows to Extreme Reach (large TV distributor) in MPEG2 with embedded closed captions. We know this cannot be done through Media Encoder
So we are using the Telestream episode pro with a Pro-rez output from a show edited in Premiere Pro

Steps we have been told to follow
1 ouput a Pro-rez version of show (Premiere CC sequence) through Media Encoder
2 Use this pro-res .mov file as source first time through Episode workflow to create a new .mov file with a Quicktime Timecode track
3 Use this new resulting .mov with timecode as source along with .scc file in another Episode workflow that creates mpeg2 file embedded with captions per Extreme Reach specs...

The third step has been failing in Episode. The reason for this is not clear; it appears to be related to a "crash", but we have confirmed it is not a memory issue on the computer, and it does not appear to be related to a computer problem outside of the 3-step workflow outlined above.

It appears that either the encoding presets used in Episode during step 2 or 3, or perhaps the file created in step 2 (and used as a source in step3) may not work well together... After trying several combinations and switching out some presets to change step 2 (and resulting source file for step 3), we have been successful in completing the third step - creating an mpeg-2 with embedded closed captions...

The step 2 workflow that was successful used the DV25 MOV NTSC 16x9 encoder preset, with the size showing the correct aspect ratio and care taken to maintain proportion width to avoid any cutting or letterboxing. The Step 3 preset is set to Extreme Reach MPEG-2 with embedded captions specs.

Three questions:
1) Do you suggest another process... Or..
2) Do you suggest other presets or combinations of presets (and resulting source files) that you find achieve this transition from Premiere CC sequence to MPEG-2 with embedded closed captioning effectively and reliably?
3) Do you have any suggestions regarding what may be causing the Episode job to crash and fail?

As many editors are using Premiere CC and many are distributing through Extreme Reach, we thought perhaps there would be some ideas here for what may be a better way to achieve this. Thank you for any suggestions.


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Craig Seeman
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 2:16:50 am
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Jan 14, 2016 at 2:17:37 am

Are you using Episode 7.
Are you creating and MPEG2 Transport Stream?
You're not giving enough information about your Step 3.

From Episode User Guide

Adding Captions from a File (.scc or .mcc)

Episode can import .scc or .mcc caption files and embed their closed captioning data in the transcoded output. Caption files of the .scc type will add EIA-608 SD captions. MacCaption or CaptionMaker files of the .mcc type will add both EIA-608 SD and EIA-708 HD captions. Ideally, the source media file and .scc or .mcc files should both include QuickTime timecode starting at 00:00:00:00, but even if timecode is not present, Episode assumes the 00:00:00:00 starting point and processes the job anyway. (To add timecode starting at 00 to the source, you can pre-process it in Episode and use the Timecode selection in the Format menu.)
The caption data from the .scc or .mcc file is inserted into the user data of the MPEG-2 or H.264 output files.

To import a .scc or .mcc caption file:
1. Create a workflow to encode a media file into one of the formats supporting captions: MXF Container, MPEG-2 Video Encoder, or H.264 Video Encoder.

2. Select Video Filters in the Inspector.

3. Select the Caption Importer Filter.

4. Use the File menu in the Caption Importer to browse, select, and import a .scc or .mcc caption file. Captions from the file will be embedded during encoding.


Note: Because you must explicitly specify a file (and not a file variable), you must select the file in the filter each time you run the caption import workflow.

5. Enable captions in the encoded output by making one or both of these selections:

– To add the captions to an MXF container file, select the container, and check Add Ancillary Closed Caption Track.

– To add the captions to an MPEG-2 or H.264 video bitstream, select the Video Codec and ensure Closed Captioning is set to Same As Source. (Since this is the default setting, you won’t actually have to change anything.)



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Robert Berndt
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 3:49:53 am

I guess there are two things here.

First: the Extreme Reach tech actually has some flexibility here and allows for a couple formats other than MPEG-2.

Second: Adobe Premiere CC (2015) has support for exporting a file containing closed captioning directly. Seems this would save you a few steps.

(https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/closed-captioning.html)

Add your caption data to the timeline via import and preview to match your audio. Then on export to video file select one of the formats supported by Adobe to carry embedded captions..

Premiere Pro supports embedding into and decoding from the following file formats:

MOV
DNxHD MXF Op1a
MXF Op1a

(these should all pass on ER side but I recommend MXF Op1a)

And you will be given the option before rendering to include captioning.

If you have an issue you can ask ER to help - their Premiere folks are intimately familiar with this process.


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Harry Brockman
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 4:28:02 pm

Thank you for your help however it is our understanding that for SD files (unfortunately much to my chagrin almost all files requested have been SD) the ER spec is MPEG2 to accomodate distribution to TV stations.

The HD spec is MXF Op1a XDCam and we can create these files directly from Premiere Pro

Perhaps I am dealing with the wrong folks at ER (not helpful as they want to do this work and bill for it), unfortunately my experience with ER is they are not going to change the spec they want for SD delivery for me.

Perhaps you can give me a name at ER one of their Premiere folks

Here are the specs we were given
SD file specs:

Video
MPEG 2 Program Stream
4:2:2 @ Main profile
6,000 Kbps bitrate
720x480
4:3 aspect ratio
29.97 fps
NTSC
YUV colorspace 8 bit depth
Interlaced Top Field First

Audio
MPEG Audio v1 Layer 2
224 Kbps
2 channels
48KHz

Text (captioning)
EIA-608
A/53 DTVCC Transport
Muxed in Video #1
Constant bitrate

--

HD File specs:

Video
MXF OP-1a
MPEG XDCam HD422 ver 2
4:2:2 High Profile
50 Mbps
1920x1080
16:9 aspect ratio
29.97 fps
YUV Color space 8 bit depth
Interlaced Top Field First

Audio Channel 1 & Channel 2
PCM
little Endian AES wrapping
768 Kbps
48KHz
16 bit

Text #1 (captioning)
EIA-608
29.97 fps
Muxed in Ancillary Data / CDP
Constant bitrate

Text #2 (captioning)
EIA-708
29.97 fps
Muxed in Ancillary Data / CDP
Constant bitrate


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Craig Seeman
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 4:38:46 pm

SD files are often MPEG-PS. As previously states there should be no issue doing that in Telestream Episode Pro.



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Robert Berndt
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 4:53:16 pm

Ask for Jason Potter and/or Will Tom.

A bit more thorough description of accepted file formats can be found here (with MXF and MOV SD specs):

https://app.extremereach.com/Content/ExtremeReachSDandHDMasterSpotSpecs.pdf

Note the captioning comments below on their doc as well:

SD formats with embedded EIA608 Closed Captioning data and QuickTime Closed Caption track for
.MOV are accepted. Line 21 (VBI) captions are only accepted on 720X486 and 720X512 formats.
• The first trigger for closed-captioned files must be married to the first frame of video, and the first
closed captioned line should be “paint on”.

You could also deliver HD to Extreme Reach (if that is your source) and they can downconvert to stations who only air SD.


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Harry Brockman
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 7:41:56 pm

Much appreciate the Info Craig and Robert... extremely helpful!


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Harry Brockman
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jan 14, 2016 at 7:50:47 pm

I will reach out to one of the folks you mentioned at ER, any chance you have a phone number or email address?

Of course I am dealing with a rep. at this point not a tech....

My only concern is that they may have different specs for LONG FORM vs SPOTS (not sure why?) but if they take an MXF or MOV I can do this in less steps and without dropping $$$ on the Episode Pro. I must admit the folks at Telestream have been very willing to help... Alas, a rarity these days


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Ty Sherrell
Re: embedding closed captions in an MPEG2 video stream through Episode Pro
on Jun 17, 2016 at 5:10:54 pm

if you didn't find a fix for this, i do the same thing and i use compressor.

export the QT file master
import to compressor
add preset for MPEG2
attached .scc
done. SD files are usually 1.93GB


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