The 2015 SMPTE Samuel L. Warner Memorial Medal Award has been presented to Sripal Mehta of Dolby Laboratories and Harold Hallikainen of USL in recognition of their collaborative work in the development of closed caption communication protocol standards for digital cinema.
Their accomplishments include the development of an Ethernet-based synchronization protocol with associated resource presentation list, and a content essence format by which content owners can create and package up to six languages of interoperable closed captions in a single distribution.
Their joint effort enabled the introduction of competitive closed caption systems in motion picture exhibition, providing improved means by which deaf and hearing-impaired individuals may universally enjoy the cinema experience.
Hallikainen served as a chair of the SMPTE committee writing the standard as it evolved. Mehta was the document editor and provided much of the structure and technical details of the standard. Hallikainen was the first to implement the client side of the standard and provided test hardware to all digital cinema manufacturers, facilitating testing their implementation of the server side of the standard. In addition, Hallikainen has further tested interoperability at every ISDCF (http://www.isdcf.com) Plug Fest and works with users to ensure continued interoperability.
Hallikainen wrote the ISDCF documents Language Codes, and Closed Caption Authoring Best Practices to further ensure interoperability of closed captioning from content creation through server playback to captioning equipment.