DOE Funds Mobile Media Captioning Research


The Bush Administration apparently believes there will be a growing demand for mobile video content. 

According to noncommercial WGBH-TV Boston, which pioneered TV captioning in the 1970's, the Department of Education has given it more than half a million dollars to develop a system for captioning content delivered to iPods, cell phones and other handheld devices. 

DOE's National Institute on Rehabilitation Research (http://www.ed.go) has given the station a $600,000 grant over three years. 

“[M]ore and more video content is being delivered through handheld media,” said Larry Goldberg, director of Media Access for WGBH, in announcing the grant. “Yet the 28 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing can’t fully benefit from this content because it lacks captions.” 

Goldberg says the problem is two-fold, with no technical requirements for those producing the content, and no devices with the controls that would let the deaf and hard of hearing access captions. 

WGBH, though its Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media, is working on developing prototype devices for industry and policymakers as well as a variety of distribution methods via DTV stations, wireless networks or computer downloads that can be transferred to mobile devices. 

WGBH is working with Samsung, AOL, and Hewlitt-Packard on the project, with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions providing some of the content for testing.


Mobile TV Takes Flight

With local TV engaged in fierce competition, beaming signals to cell phones could open up a large, potentially lucrative new market for advertising and subscription revenues