Frequently Asked Questions

Quick Jump: AberCap | AberFast | AberLingo


Do I have to have my program captioned?
Federal rule requires anyone who distributes television programs directly to home viewers ("video program distributors") to make sure that those programs are captioned. Video program distributors include: local broadcast television stations, satellite television services (such as DIRECTV, Primestar, and the Dish Network), local cable television operators, and other companies that distribute video programming directly to the home.
What is the difference between "roll-up" and "pop-on" captioning?
Roll-up captioning is placed at either the bottom or top of the screen, and literally rolls up line by line in sync with the audio, with the top line disappearing as the bottom line appears. Roll-up captioning is presented with either 2 or 3 rows of captions.

Pop-on captioning pops onto the screen in sync with the audio in blocks of 1 to 3 lines, and can be placed basically anywhere so as not to cover up vital text or graphics, and can be placed to even indicate who is currently speaking.
Can you caption for HD?
Yes, we can.
Can you send me a file for my edit system?
Yes, we can. It is a simple black movie file overlay.
How good is your captioning?
We offer a variety of captioning levels to fit every budget, from basic (98% accuracy) to perfection (100% accuracy guaranteed).
What video formats can you take?
We can take all video formats (.wmv, .mov, mp4, mv4, avi, mpg, etc.) thanks to our transcoding farm that can encode your video into any format required
What caption format can you send me for archiving my captioning?
We can send you a variety of formats for archiving. For example: .cap, .cca, .asc, .txt, .stl, .srt, xml, .mov, .smi, .tds, .cin, .onl, .scc, .ult
Are you able to work with tape?
Yes, we have a full post-production studio.
Do you do live captioning?
Yes, we do.
Can you do open captioning? What's the difference?
Yes, we can do open captioning. Open captioning is basically interchangeable with subtitles and they are permanently on the screen and can not be turned on or off.
Can you do captioning for Blu-ray?
Actually Blu-ray does not accept captioning, they only accept subtitles, so we can do SDH (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing) or subtitles for speakers of other languages.
Do you caption for the Web?
Yes, we can caption for any web player that incorporates captioning or subtitling.
Can you caption for Android and iOS?
Yes, we do.
Can you handle distribution of my programming?
Yes, we have a full post-production and distribution facility that handles both tape distribution and digital distribution (see AberFast).


What is AberFast?
AberFast is the broadcast distribution arm of Aberdeen Broadcast Services. More specifically, it is our ground-breaking way to deliver programming content to networks and stations domestically and internationally without costly tape stock or shipping expenses traditionally associated with content distribution. We have taken file-based delivery to a place we all dreamed possible with our elegantly simple, file based, transcoding & digital file delivery platform.

Program Producers:

Are there a lot of stations set up with Aberdeen's digital file delivery service?
Yes, in fact, we partnered with well over 100 stations and networks in the first year of our ground-breaking file delivery service alone. We continue to add stations on a daily basis.
Does Aberdeen deliver to Christian networks?
Yes, nearly every Christian TV network, large and small, is set up with our unique digital file distribution system.
Does Aberdeen deliver to non-Christian stations?
Yes, every major network is either currently set up to accept Aberdeen files or is presently in testing.
Does Aberdeen have penetration in smaller markets?
Yes, to our own surprise even, our file delivery system has overcome some of the hurdles FTP solutions pose, including file delivery to small and even rural markets where large bandwidth is oftentimes not readily available.
How do I get my files to Aberdeen?
Via our robust "Hotfolder" file transfer system, which is a simply yet key component of Aberdeen's digital file delivery service.
What is an Aberdeen "Hotfolder" and how does it work?
A "Hotfolder" is simply an automated watch folder, which functions similarly to a drop box.
Will I be able to set up the Aberdeen "Hotfolder" myself?
With minimal collaboration, Aberdeen will set up your "Hotfolder" for you through a remote computer & phone support session.
How fast is Aberdeen's file delivery solution?
Our UDP based file transfers are significantly faster than that of traditional FTP and similar file transfers. We will help determine if your upload speed is adequate for this workflow. We typically look for our producers to have a minimum upload speed of 3-4mbps.
Is this file delivery system reliable?
Yes, in fact some major networks only accept Aberdeen file delivery because it is so reliable and the video quality looks pristine.
How do the files get to the stations?
Aberdeen will install a "Hotfolder" at each station if there is not already one in place.
Can I do the transcoding myself and upload directly to my stations?
Perhaps, but popular NLE (non-linear edit) systems are typically not capable of exporting the proper files as per the station preferred specification. Also, your local and station bandwidth constraints may be a limiting factor, as well.
Can I send my station an MPEG file?
A station may accept an MPEG file, but will usually "flip" it into their preferred native play-out spec causing a loss in quality to your video. Not to mention, the caption data may not survive the compression process.
Will one single file work for all my stations?
Not likely since each station typically has its own unique, preferred file specification. An MPEG file may be the closest format to a universal standard, but because of varying bit-rates, GOP structures, and other varying file essences, no two MPEGs are alike.
Will I have to coordinate with my stations to get set up?
Aberdeen will do virtually all of the coordinating and testing with each of your individual stations.
Is there a charge to set up a station?
Yes, but the per station set up fees are reasonably priced, one-time in nature, and are based on whether the station is an existing Aberdeen station or one that is not currently set up.
What video format can you work with?
We will provide you with our preferred file spec sheet, which includes several common file format options for the most popular NLE systems. Files that we can work with include those from the Apple QuickTime ProRes family, various Avid formats, and high bit-rate MPEG files, among other formats.
My program is already captioned. Can you use my existing caption file?
Yes, we can work with various caption file formats, but our preference is probably a .scc file.
Wouldn't a full quality HD file be too big to upload?
It would be with FTP, but is easily uploaded with Aberdeen's robust file transfer system, as we use a UDP file transfer protocol instead of TCP/IP, which is what FTP and most of the web is based on.
Is it like FTP?
It can be thought of as an automated FTP solution, but does not time-out and fail like FTP when trying to upload larger files. So, besides being more reliable, our system is much faster than FTP as well.
How will I know if my file made it to you okay?
You will receive an automatically generated e-mail notification with a unique tracking number for your transfer once the upload has occurred.
Can you down-convert my HD content to SD?
Yes, for a low cost, Aberdeen can handle all your distribution, both for HD and SD, from one singular HD source file.
Can you convert my files to PAL?
Yes, and at a fraction of the price of traditional standards conversion processes.
How will my video look once it is transcoded?
Depending on the quality of video to start, it should remain looking excellent. This is because we start with the highest quality video possible and will run your file through our transcoding farm only once to create a file that matches exactly the spec of the station. That means no quality loss due to multiple rounds of encoding.
Can you handle sending my programs to multiple stations?
Yes, our service is fully scalable meaning we can deliver to as few or as many stations as is requested and can add stations at any time.
Does Aberdeen deliver to stations overseas?
Yes, Aberdeen is currently delivering files internationally for significant savings over costly shipping abroad.
Do you do any type of quality control check of my program?
Yes, Aberdeen will run your program through our video analysis programs to identify whether your program has the proper video (gamma, chromo, etc.) and audio (peaks, loudness, etc.) levels, along with ensuring that your program is broadcast safe overall. We even take the CALM act into consideration when evaluating your master files.
Will you let me know when my program makes it to the station?
Yes, we will notify you via automatic e-mail notification once your stations have received your program(s).
Can you add closed captioning?
We thought you'd never ask! Please see our closed captioning options in the Aberdeen Captioning portion of our site.

Network & Station Engineers:

How fast is Aberdeen's file delivery solution?
Our UDP based file transfers using MD5 checksums are significantly faster than that of traditional FTP and similar file transfers, which are normally based on TCP/IP protocols.
What type of computer do I need for the "Hotfolder" to be set up properly?
Our "Hotfolder" system is platform agnostic and will work on any PC, Mac or Linux based machine or server.
Are the files transferred securely?
Yes, we use industry standard encryption using AES and SSL.
Can you use our FTP site instead when sending broadcast ready files?
Yes, but we recommend our "Hotfolder" solution as it is drastically faster and more dependable in our experience.
Is bandwidth an issue with your file transfers?
No, we transcode files to your play server's native spec giving us smaller files to transfer in the first place. Add to that the fact that our files are compressed on-the-fly with byte level incremental transfers to maximize throughput. Files can be delivered beyond actual line speed at times.
What do I need to do once the file hits the "Hotfolder" here at my facility?
The file can enter into your automation workflow or simply drag and drop the broadcast ready, closed captioned file directly to your on-air play sever, then go home.
Can you provide me a finished file even though we use a proprietary play server in our air chain?
Yes, our success rate is astounding in terms of being able to deliver files in a native file format, regardless of the preferred file codec or file wrapper, including, but not limited to, MXF, GXF, LXF, IMX, and many other exotic file flavors.
How is it possible to deliver a ready-for-air file that looks good and has captions without ingesting into our transcoder?
We will identify the file properties and very essence of the file in order to match the most exotic file codes and wrapper.
No other producer or company has been able to put captioning in the proper place, so how will you?
Through countless hours of testing and troubleshooting we have identified where caption information is to reside even within the META DATA of each respective file type.
Do the files contain the required EIA-708 (Line9 VANC) and EIA-608 (Line21) caption data required by law?
Can a "Hotfolder" be set up directly on my server or transcoder?
Yes, we can install what is simply a light weight JAVA based applet on any machine that is on your network.
Can we use Aberdeen's file delivery service internally for our own productions?
Absolutely. Please see our closed captioning options in the Aberdeen Captioning portion of our site.


What languages can you translate?
Our state-of-the-art technology and our worldwide database of translators enable us to virtually offer any language you need.

Here are the languages we specialize in:

Arabic, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, Flemish, French (Belgium), French (Canada), French (France), German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin Simplified, Mandarin Traditional, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Iberian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.

Don't see your target language? We also do the following languages:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Basque, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Gujarati, Hmong, Kurdish, Lingala, Macedonian, Malay, Maori, Mongolian, Punjabi, Somali, Tigrinya, Urdu, Welsh.

Still not sure if Aberdeen can do your desired language?

Most likely we will be able to subtitle your desired language(s), so give us a call (800-688-6621) or e-mail us to find out.
Are your translators in country?
It is often beneficial to have one of them from the United States (if the source language is American English) so they can be sure that any American nuances are caught.
What qualifications do your translators hold?
All our translations are completed by a professional translator who holds a university-level degree with at least five years experience working as a full-time professional translator. Many hold master degrees and/or certificates of translation in their own countries. Each translator goes through our rigorous selection and testing process to ensure their quality and style is up to our standard.
What are your quality controls? Do you have a review process? What is it?
For our translation projects, after the initial translation is completed, the original translator does a complete proofreading of their own work to ensure no errors or typos are committed. Next, a proofreader will review the work to ensure that everything is translated appropriately and is free of errors and reads smoothly for the target audience.

For our subtitle projects, the same process occurs to review the translated subtitles, but there is an additional review of the subtitles to ensure that the reading speed is ideal, the words are broken properly for subtitles, and all is synchronized perfectly to the video following subtitle guidelines.

For our voice over work, our translations go through the same review process as above, but also go through an additional adaptation phase so that the words line up with the spoken words in the source video so they are able to be timed with the original audio. This requires specialized translators. The voice over recording sessions are always supervised and reviewed by a director in the target language.
Can I proof the translations when you're done?
Our clients ALWAYS have a review/approval option before we send the final files at no additional cost.
Can you do subtitling by working from my existing translation?
Yes, we can! Usually we like to edit it a bit for subtitle translation as our client translations tend to be too long for subtitles, but we can extend a significant discount to you by using your translation.
Is it better to do captioning or subtitling?
Really one is not "better" than the other, but it really just depends on what the final destination is for your programming. If your video is for TV broadcast, you will most likely use captioning. If your video is for any other outlet, such as web, DVD, Blu-Ray, museum, etc…, you will most likely use subtitles. If you need other languages apart from English, subtitles are typically used.
What's the difference between closed captioning and subtitles?
The difference is really a technical and aesthetic one. Closed captions are used in TV broadcast and can be turned on or off as they are not burned on the actual video. Subtitles are used for other outlets (web, DVD, Blu-Ray, museum) and are permanently on the screen in most cases. In other cases, depending on the web player, you can choose what language you want. These subtitles are not actually burned on the screen (think YouTube). The latest digital captions can be manipulated by the user, and have a variety of looks that are not limited to the white letters with a black opaque box. The creator of the subtitles (Aberdeen!), ultimately has the authority to make them look however they choose.

Captions are almost always intended for the deaf and hard of hearing (and in the US you will mostly only find them in English or Spanish), whereas subtitles can be intended for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) or for speakers of other languages.
Do you do subtitles for Blu-ray?
Yes, we do!
Do you do SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of hearing)?
Yes, we do!
Can I turn captions and subtitles on from a DVD or Blu-ray player?
Yes, you can as long as they have been included in that DVD or Blu-ray disc.
Can I view captions and subtitles on my computer?
Yes, you can as long as they are incorporated in the online video you are watching and supported by the video player.
How do you determine if it is better to have captions, subtitles or even a dubbed video?
Choose captions if…

Your video is for English speaking or Spanish speaking deaf and hard of hearing viewers watching broadcast television.

Choose subtitles if…

The destination of your video is DVD, Blu-ray, Web, Museum, Amusement Park, Dr. Office, etc..

Also, choose subtitles over VO if your budget is tight or your target audience prefers them, or your audience has a high education level and can read at a decent rate.

Choose VO if…

Your target audience prefers voice overs in their native language over reading subtitles (think Spain, Germany, and Italy), you have an ample budget, OR the education level of your audience is low and their potential reading speed is slow.
Do you offer dubbing (voice-over) services?
Yes, we do!