Soon, the DOT will require closed captioning on IFE. The DOT and APEX’s Closed Caption Working Group have been discussing the specific requirements. The details aren’t public yet, which means there’s a lot of chatter about what to expect.
We do know that some new regulation is coming. And we know that many IFE providers will struggle to update their content and delivery systems for compliance. Analog systems that do not support overlay will struggle to accommodate captions. Older content may not be available in captioned formats. Existing content agreements will need to be revised.
The number of stakeholders in this conversation makes clear answers particularly difficult. Airlines, interest groups, IFE providers and entertainment studios all have concerns. Ultimately, the regulations will have to take into account all these voices, with their competing pragmatic, financial and ethical concerns.
The APEX committee will likely release the results of its industry survey later this summer. Then we’ll be able to learn more about the likely regulations.
What about you? When do you think these regulations will go into effect, and how stringent are they likely to be? What do you see as the most important technical obstacles or limitations for your own business?