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Simultaneous Subtitling of Live Broadcast Programs of the Olympic Games by Automatic Speech Recognition
NHK broadcast live captioned programs of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games in February 2002. Captioned programs included the opening ceremony (Feb. 9, JST), two races of the men's 500-m speed skating competition (Feb. 12 and 13, JST), and the team K120 ski jumping competition (Feb. 19, JST). This was the first-ever implementation of superimposed captioning of live broadcasts of the Olympics based on speech recognition technology.
The "re-speak" strategy was adopted to create the captions*. The language model of the speech recognizer, which represents the relation between word sequences in terms of probability of occurrence, was provided for each program. The models were trained from transcriptions of similar events in previous Olympics and news manuscripts. For example, the language model for the opening ceremony was trained from transcriptions of the opening ceremonies of the 1992 Albertville, 1992 Barcelona, 1994 Lillehammer, 1996 Atlanta, 1998 Nagano and 2000 Sydney Olympic games.
The system achieved a recognition accuracy of more than 95% for the opening ceremony and similar accuracy for the other two sports. The captions were displayed after a delay of less than three seconds.
The more than 100 Faxes received commenting on the captioning were extremely positive. NHK plans to use this system for caption broadcasting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Football Game in June 2002.

*Refer to the Broadcast Technology no.9 Winter 2002

NHK Science & Technical
Research Laboratories
Address: 1-10-11, Kinuta, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 157-8510, Japan
Phone: +81(0)3-5494-1125
Fax : +81(0)3-5494-3125
The completion ceremony of the new STRL building gave us the opportunity to compile a booklet on the history of television technology in Japan. During this work, we uncovered a lot of facts. The evolution in TV scanning lines is especially interesting. In 1926, the first Japanese television system built by Dr. Kenjiro Takayanagi had 40 scanning lines. These figures had increased to 441 lines by 1937. The first TV broadcasts in Japan were by NHK in 1953. They had 525 lines. These values were eventually used for the conventional color TV system based on the NTSC standard. The HDTV system, first viewed by the public in 1969, had 1125 lines. It became an international standard in 2000, and the same year saw its first use in digital satellite broadcasting. After the ceremony, the first 4000 scanning line image system was unveiled. Its high-resolution motion picture on a 320-inch screen impressed every visitor. The hundred-fold increase in scanning line number over 76 years was the result of the continuous efforts of hundreds of broadcasting engineers and shows the power of broadcasting technology.
Osamu YAMADA, publisher, Director-General
Keiichi KUBOTA, editor-in-chief
Takayuki ITO, editor
Hisakazu KATOH, editor
Yasushige ASHINA, editor
Michihiro UEHARA, editor
Hiroyuki KOYAMA, editor

Layout & Design :
Yohko OHTA, Masami OHNISHI,
DTP : Media-jin, Inc.