August 16, 2013 onwards

We Sold our Software Asset to Telestream in August 2013

To update the previous story, which followed CPC up to 2009; we developed captioning software for many different video workflows from 2010 to 2013, including:

  • Released New Closed Captioning Software for Ultraviolet Disc-To-Digital Video.
  • Uvault and CPC Developed First Real Time Closed Caption Capture and Delivery Solution.
  • Released an optional add-on called Auto Time Stamp (ATS) for our post production closed captioning software.
  • Released YouCaption Real-time, speech recognition based closed captioning software.
  • Developed 3D subtitling software.
  • Released an HD closed captioning solution utilizing Avid Media Composer.
  • Added Avid to the list of video editing systems with which captions HD video.

From Sid Hoffman
Dilip and I founded CPC on January 15, 1985.

We sold CPC to Telestream on Friday, August 16, 2013. You may read the  press release.
Dilip continues to run the caption service department under the name Caption Depot. I am taking a “time out”, spending time with his family, at the beach and at Costco. 

In between those dates we revolutionized the closed captioning industry by developing the first commercially available closed captioning software. We then put huge resources into research and development, which resulted in countless captioning software breakthroughs and allowed our CaptionMaker and MacCaption software to dominate the captioning software field for all of those years.

We never considered ourselves businessmen. We operated the business using our instincts and intuition. The basic business operating principle was that we treated our employees, customers and vendors the way we would have wanted to be treated ourselves.

As most of you know, Dilip and I have completely different ways of looking at issues. Instead of locking horns, we learned from each other, and meshed our viewpoints to get the best outcome for the company.

We learned to deal with setbacks, such as the fire which completely destroyed our office (approx. 1996). We dealt with the fire (and many other issues) so well, that the next day we were up and running in a tiny one room office from which we ran the business for the next 3 months – and we did it so seamlessly, that not a single customer even knew we had a fire.

We also learned a lot about life. For me (Sid), the biggest thing I learned, by far, is the insanity of racism. I learned much of this by seeing how some people treated Dilip because he is from India, and has dark skin and an accent when he speaks English (of course he has no accent when he speaks Bengali).

In many ways, Dilip and I are living the American dream:

1) We received an excellent education via an affordable public university – Dilip got a PhD in Physics, and I got a Master’s in Audiology and a second Master’s in Computer Systems from the City University of New York.

2) We both worked 2 jobs for the first 3 years we ran CPC – running the company from our apartments.

3) We were able to rent cheap, but decent office space in Washington, D.C., and then in Rockville, MD. 

4) Our first lawyer, Harold Nussbaum, and our last lawyer, Don Nixon, were both very honorable men, who looked at issues not just from our point of view, but also from the other side, and gave us ethical advice, not just legal advice.

5) We founded the closed captioning software industry, and led it for 28 years. We did not have much competition because our products were so advanced, it would be hard to catch up with them; we understood the industry inside and out; and it is a niche industry.

6) We got lucky. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Television Decoder Circuitry Act (requiring closed captioning decoders to be built into all TV sets 13″ or larger), FCC captioning regulations, the Telecommunications Act of 2010, Section 508 legislation, and other regulations mandating closed captioning vastly expanded the need for captioning.

7) We created thousands of jobs. For each software seat that we sold, we created one or more jobs for people to use the software and create closed captions. 

8) We vastly cut the cost of closed captioning due to the efficiency and effectiveness of CPC software.

We thank all of you who have supported us over the years. 

I especially thank my wife Wendy, and my children Danny and Sarah, who have put up with me and everything I had to go through with the business for all of those years. For Danny and Sarah it has been their whole lifetime – for Wendy it probably seems like a lifetime.

I do not know what I will do next. Feel free to contact me as I now have plenty of free time.