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View this article featured in TV Technology
Read more about our partnership with ENCO Closed Captioning here
NOVI, Mich.—To ensure the continued delivery of closed captioning services for its hard-of-hearing viewers, Civic Center Television, part of the City Manager’s Office of San Jose, Calif., began using Enco’s AI-enabled enCaption4 automated closed captioning system.
In previous years, the city had contracted service providers that used human captioners to transcribe content. However, because of budget shortfalls related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AI-powered captioning service from Enco helped reduce operational costs.
“As a PEG channel, we have a capital fund that’s derived from the franchise and PEG fees the cable provider pays back to municipality,” said Craig Jutson, broadcast engineer and operations manager for the City Manager’s Office. “We can’t use that for operational expenses such as paying human captioners, so I proposed that we save the money we were spending on those contracts and purchase an automated system.”
The City of San Jose purchased a pair of enCaption4 units to support its two live productions simultaneously and provide backup redundancy. The platform stood out based on its form factor, processing quality and interface, according to Jutson. In addition, Enco’s partnership with Tightrope Media Systems make the enCaption4 available to PEG stations as a special package.
Jutson has added the names of council members, neighborhoods and other unique local elements into enCaption4’s dictionary to assist captioning. He also says the systems have learned since their installation on how to accurately generate other hard-to-spell pronunciations.
The enCaption4 units, in addition to covering live events like council meetings, add captions to offline content from other city departments. The platform generates standalone, “sidecar” caption files from on-demand video clips that are copied into a watch folder. Using Tightrope’s support for MCC and SCC caption files, the results are brought into the city’s Cablecast video server and associate them with corresponding media for playout.