COVE Admin updated for Closed-Captioning Compliance, New Workflows

In advance of the new FCC-mandated Online Closed Captioning requirements taking effect October 1, 2012, PBS Interactive rolled out upgrades to the COVE Admin Tool earlier this morning. These changes will help stations be in compliance with the new FCC guidelines by offering more caption file options for upload in the admin.

This update will necessitate a new workflow for adding video files to a COVE Asset. Basically, if a caption file is required, you will need to add it before adding the video file. Details on the major admin changes are available below/after the break.

Complete instructions for how to use this new admin were emailed to each station's COVE point of contact yesterday, and the instructions are available for download from the COVE Resource Center's Closed Captioning section.

Additionally, a webinar will be held to review Closed-Captioning requirements and review the new admin changes. Details for registering for this webinar are below/after the break.

1.      Review this post and note the major changes to the COVE admin.
2.      Review the Caption Guide (linked above) for how to use the new admin workflow.
3.      Test your caption files to verify successful ingest.
4.      Respond to if your program/series does not require captioning for broadcast.

COVE CLOSED CAPTIONING WEBINAR – September 27, 1:30 – 2:30pm ET
We will be holding a webinar to review the COVE admin changes and give you a chance to ask questions. Register at this link:

You can also watch a recording of a previous webinar regarding Closed Captioning at

The major change to the admin is in workflow around adding videos and caption files. If your content requires captioning, you will have to add the caption file BEFORE adding the video file when you create a new COVE asset.

The most visible change to the admin is that the “Files” tab, where you add images, videos and caption files, is now broken into two separate tabs—“Video Files” and “Images.”
Video Files tab – You will ingest your caption file here first. You will add your video file second. We recommend adding a mezzanine video file to ensure proper playback of captions.
Image Files tab – You will still add a mezzanine image file here. The process is the same and not caption file-dependent.
Most of the workflow will stay the same. You can still add as much or as little metadata at any given time, you can save at any time, and you can work in any order. You will just have to add a caption file before ingesting video. Download the Captioning Guide for more assistance.

Due to the reporting and compliance requirements with the new guidelines, COVE also will have multiple levels of caption file validation.

Program level requirement – Programs added to COVE now have a setting for caption requirements. By default, this will be turned on. If you are exempt from adding broadcast captions, please email and we will remove the requirement.
COVE Asset requirement – If your program requires captions and you do not provide the file for the COVE Asset, you will be required to enter a justification. Prior to October 1, you can add ‘not applicable’ to get through your workflow. After October 1, you will need to provide a valid justification if you do not add a caption file.

The COVE Admin Tool will be able to accept three different online Closed Captioning formats: SCC, SMPTE-TT (DFXP) and SAMI. Follow this link for examples of the formatting of each of these file types.

The first requirements to go into effect state that all prerecorded programming that is not substantially edited for Internet distribution must be captioned when distributed via IP if it is shown on television with captions on or after SEPTEMBER 30, 2012. This does not include live or near live programming, or archival content that has been aired and is already available online.