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How Public Broadcasters Manage Accessibility and Streaming Tech Upgrades

The ways that public broadcasters manage accessibility and tech upgrades on their streaming platforms are heavily influenced by government regulations and funding. Ravi Singh, Director of Streaming Platforms, Knowledge Network, talks with Nadine Krefetz, Consultant, Reality Software, and Contributing Editor at Streaming Media about the unique challenges that public broadcasting streaming platforms face.

“One of the things that as a public service broadcaster we have to consider are issues around accessibility,” Singh says. “We have to be a hundred percent accessible.” He notes that The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandates that Knowledge Network has 100% closed captioning available on-air as well as online. Another new development is the full implementation of described video (also known as audio description) for visually impaired users. “So, part of our workflow has been really looking at accessibility,” he says.

“What did you look at when you thought about your technology upgrades?” Krefetz asks.

Singh refers back to an earlier part of the webinar conversation with Igor Macaubas, Director of Digital Platforms, Product, and Engineering, Globo. “It’s interesting that [Globo] runs their own CDN,” he says. “I don’t think we could even possibly imagine doing that with the size of our team. Our technology considerations really have to scale to what we can, of course, afford. We're a donor-supported service along with the government grant that we get to operate annually. So, we actually found going to the cloud, for example, is really the option that would work for us. We still have to continue developing and growing, but we can't do that with the limited staff that we have internally.”

However, Singh highlights that Knowledge Network’s partners are essential to the process of continuing growth for the platform, and he mentions JW Player as a crucial example. “JW player runs many of our websites and applications,” he says. “And we pay really close attention to what their roadmap is because they often inform us how we're going to move forward.”

Learn more about accessibility and streaming tech at Streaming Media West 2022.

Watch full-session videos from Streaming Media Connect 2022.

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