Change of Speaker
[Latest Blog and News]

VITAC Rolls Out New Corporate Products Lineup

Posted on: 4/22/2014 11:52:55 AM under News 


For 28 years, VITAC has been the nation's leading provider of closed captioning services for live and prerecorded television. However in those years, we've become much more than a broadcast TV caption provider, adding audio description, translation and subtitling, and captioning for the web to our services -- among many others.

In accordance with our goal of constant growth and improvement, we are proud to announce our newest service line, tailored to corporations looking to improve their communications and meetings. Across the three services, there is one goal: engaging of the target audience. Whether the audience consists of employees in a web meeting, viewers of a recorded corporate address, or attendees of a corporate event, adding captioning and/or subtitles is a great way to make your corporate communications more effective.

Here is VITAC's 2014 new product lineup:

Conference Captioning: Having a conference, meeting, or event speaker live-captioned by a trained stenographer is a great way to engage your audience, and enhance comprehension and retention. Captions can be displayed on any mobile device or on a display screen for all to see.

Global Reach Subtitling: Multimedia has become more important than ever for internal corporate communications. By translating and subtitling video addresses, as well as PowerPoint presentations and nearly any other document type, corporations can keep their non-native English speakers engaged and on-message like never before.

Web Captioning: Regardless of the meeting type, be it WebEx, Google+ Hangouts, MediaSite or GoToMeeting, having a live transcript of your meeting maximizes engagement and efficiency, and allows for easy indexing of your records.

Please contact us today with further questions or to order one of our new products.



"Oh, Liza" Web Series Debuts With Captions

Posted on: 4/16/2014 11:16:51 AM under News 


In step with the emerging trend of web series' producers electing to caption their internet-only content, "Oh, Liza," still in its first season, is now available online with captions.

The series centers on the 25-year-old Liza Fisher after she moves from Manhattan back to the 'burbs...and into her parents' house. But her folks haven't been suffering the empty nest as much as she had thought, and have welcomed the oh-so-popular Brendan as a lodger in Liza's childhood bedroom. The four episodes now available follow her attempts to un-cut the cord in suburbia, which, shockingly, doesn't go so well.

The whole thing is fun and funny, and self-deprecates those Millennials you always read about (and who created the series) -- like this interaction between Liza and her mother in episode 2:

"Mom, I'm 25 on a lawn chair in my parents' backyard in New Jersey."

"Your point?"

"I think it's pretty clear."

One of the memorable moments comes in episode 4 when Liza goes to a house-party-turned-class-reunion, where none of her fellow high school alums (many of them also living with their parents, apparently) can put their finger on what Liza's been up to all these years. Didn't she just get out of jail? Isn't she pregnant? Didn't she die, "like, a few years back"?

But Liza's saga is not nearly so eventful. Mostly her days are filled with normal kid stuff like lounging, envying other people, and hiding her cell in the freezer. You wonder how bad things have to get before Liza does something crazy and, I don't know, applies for a job.

The series is captioned by VITAC and, as mentioned earlier, represents an emerging trend of web series choosing captions to make their content more searchable, accessible, and professional. Though the FCC does not currently mandate captioning for content that airs on the web but not on TV, adding captions allows for better SEO results, opens the potential audience to an additional 50 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans, and differentiates the series from an amateur project.

The show was recently featured on the captioned web TV blog, a site that promotes web series producers who caption their content.

by Carlin Twedt



VITAC Represents at NAB This Week

Posted on: 4/9/2014 11:20:19 AM under News 


This week, senior members of the VITAC staff are at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas. The conference, which is held once a year, is the largest showing of electronic media of all forms, and boasts 93,000 attendees representing 193 countries each year. This year there will be over 1,550 exhibitors from every corner of the electronic media industries -- the perfect opportunity for VITAC to see in person the newest tech developments in broadcasting. It is also a great opportunity to spread the word about VITAC's newest and most exciting captioning capabilities. The VITAC representatives are Chief Business Development Officer Doug Karlovits, Chief Technology Officer Dwight Wagner, SVP Sales Darryn Cleary, and Engineering Manager Chuck Wall. Please feel free to say hello!

This year, VITAC is providing Spanish captions for Teradek, a manufacturer of groundbreaking devices for wireless video, who are streaming live video in English from the conference. The live-translated and captioned broadcast can be seen here, on the Ustream website.



The New Web Series Captioning Trend

Posted on: 4/4/2014 1:14:15 PM under Blog 


Given the new round of FCC captioning standards that entered into the National Register this week, it is little surprise that an increasing number of web series producers are electing to caption their web-only content. Though web-only series that have never aired on broadcast TV are not required by law to be captioned, one can only expect that just such legislation is around the corner. However, legal obligation is hardly the only reason to caption video content: captioning a web series not only makes your content accessible to over 50 million Americans who are hard of hearing or deaf, but also improves the SEO results for your videos, making them more likely to appear more often in a Google search. Captions also lend a professional quality to your content, similar to that of a broadcast TV production.

Captioning advocate Jamie Berke has established a website for the very purpose of encouraging web series' producers to caption. The site directs deaf and hard of hearing web viewers to content that is captioned by a YouTube ready vendor -- not the automatic captions of YouTube -- and is therefore accessible. As an additional benefit, the site celebrates web series that have elected to caption their web content by providing them with free promotional material. "Web TV captioning is not the future. It is now," said Jamie.

VITAC is participating in the new web-series captioning push, as well. We have the capability to caption any web platform that supports captioning, including YouTube and Vimeo. Tune in next week when we will publish a captioned sample of the indie web series Oh, Liza.



Archived Content Deadline This Sunday

Posted on: 3/28/2014 2:25:18 PM under Blog 


In just two days, on March 30, the next component of the Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming implementation of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) goes into effect. This time, the mandate involves archived programming for the web.

The report and order released on March 30, 2012, states that on March 30, 2014:

"All programming that is subject to the new requirements and is already in the [Video Programming Distributor's] library before it was shown on television with captions must be captioned within 45 days after it is shown on television with captions."

In other FCC update news, the recent decisions regarding caption quality standards entered the national registry yesterday, meaning that in due time (yet to be announced), the new caption quality standards will go into effect. 



Captioning Trivia: Results!

Posted on: 3/21/2014 3:58:27 PM under Blog 


Last week we asked fans of the blog to put their captioning knowledge to the test in our first-ever captioning trivia challenge. This week, we reveal the answers! Check them out below, or if you haven't taken the quiz yet, look at the post from last week before you read the answers.

1. The first captioned news broadcast was captioned live by a trained stenographer just over 40 years ago.

Correct answer: B) FALSE. The first captioned news broadcast was captioned offline (like most prerecorded programming) in just under four hours, by a crew of five people. The live broadcast occurred at 6pm and The Captioned ABC News aired at 10 -- in between, the entire broadcast had to be captioned.

2. A standard line of roll-up captioning can hold up to how many characters?

Correct answer: C) 32. Though the length of the line can be adjusted according to client specifications, a standard line of roll-up captioning that uses all the available space holds 32 characters.

3. "Open captioning" is the same thing as "subtitling."

Correct answer: B) FALSE. Open captions are "burned" into the picture and cannot be toggled on and off. Subtitles can be turned on and off, and are generally intended for use by hearing audiences who may not understand the language being spoken. As such, subtitles do not include sound effects.

4. A Realtime Captioner's steno machine, which he or she uses to "write" realtime programming, has how many keys?

Correct answer: B) 22. Unlike a standard keyboard for a computer, a steno machine has 22 keys, which the Captioner presses simultaneously in specific combinations to produce syllables, rather than individual characters.

Tune in next week for an important reminder about CVAA captioning regulations that go into effect on March 30, 2014.



Closed Captioning Trivia!

Posted on: 3/14/2014 4:27:15 PM under Blog 


Everyone knows that captioning is federally mandated for programming on all broadcast networks and much of the video content on the web. But how much do you really know about captioning? Take the first-ever captioning trivia challenge to find out!

1. The first captioned news broadcast was captioned live by a trained stenographer just over 40 years ago.




2. A standard line of roll-up captioning can hold up to how many characters?

A) 22

B) 28

C) 32

D) 36


3. "Open captioning" is the same thing as "subtitling."




4. A Realtime Captioner's steno machine, which he or she uses to "write" realtime programming, has how many keys?

A) 10

B) 22

C) 26

D) None -- all realtime captioning is done by voice recognition software.


How'd you do? Post your answers in the comments section, or just check back next week for the answers!



FCC Releases Order on Caption Quality

Posted on: 3/7/2014 12:29:11 PM under News 


On February 20, 2014, the FCC announced the most dramatic changes to caption standards since the CVAA passed in 2010. The Report and Order, released on February 24th, comes ten years after the issue of caption quality was raised by Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc, and mandates specific practices for program providers, distributors, caption companies and captioners.   VITAC representatives Heather York, VP Marketing, and Amy Bowlen, Manager of Realtime Training, took an active role in collaborating with industry representatives and establishing which proposed modifications were most urgent.

Below are some of the most notable best practices established in this meeting:

-To be accurate, captions must reflect not only the dialogue, but also sounds and music to the fullest extent possible. Accurate captions must also identify the speaker.

-Captions may not cover significant on-screen images, including important graphics and character faces.

-All new on-demand programming must be captioned, whether English, Spanish, or bilingual.

-Offline programming must be programmed offline (as opposed to live or live-to-tape), except in cases of last-minute editorial changes to the program, proprietary considerations of the program's content, or a damaged caption file.

-All new English-Spanish bilingual programming must be captioned. 75% of such captioning that existed before the ruling must be captioned by a date to be determined by the FCC.

Going forward, the FCC also hopes to address captioning requirements for online clips and whether or not to publicly post captioning complaints from consumers. Download the full report and order here.



VITAC Completes Sochi Captioning With Remarkable Success

Posted on: 2/28/2014 11:12:14 AM under News 


Last Sunday, VITAC completed a spectacular two-and-a-half-week feat, captioning the entire Sochi Olympics, both for broadcast on NBC and streaming on the web. The 22nd Winter Games marks the 10th Olympics for which VITAC was chosen to provide captioning, including, most recently, London (2012), Vancouver (2010), Beijing (2008), and Athens (2004). This time, we were the exclusive caption provider, and contributed a grand total of 1,310 hours of live captioning, with a broadcast uptime of an incredible 99.97%. This includes 542 hours of broadcast captioning on networks like NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC, and USA, and 768 hours of captioning on

"Captioning the Olympic Games is one of the most gratifying and demanding tasks we've encountered in our 27 years in business, with thousands of athletes competing in 15 different disciplines," said President Patricia Prozzi in a press release. The Olympic Games pose a unique challenge due not only to the massive volume of hours, but because of the diversity of the participants, all of whose names must be spelled correctly. Captioners spend hours researching event terminology and participant names in order to program the correct spellings into their dictionaries, a tool which allows them to spell long and complex words with just a few keystrokes.

Due to the high-profile nature of much of VITAC's realtime captioning work, it is little surprise that network and cable broadcasters continue to trust VITAC when the world is watching.

by Carlin Twedt



National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

Posted on: 2/18/2014 5:33:07 PM under News 


The week of February 16-22 celebrates the contributions of court reporters and captioners and all the benefits we gain from their hard work. Not only do court reporters provide realtime transcripts of courtroom and legislative proceedings, they also "write" all of the live content (especially sports and news) that we watch on TV today -- including all content for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which are captioned exclusively by VITAC -- a service that benefits over 50 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans.

The profession of court reporting traces back to one of the philosopher Cicero's slaves, who developed a shorthand method for quickly taking down Cicero's thoughts. Since then, the trade has developed, and now utilizes electronic, 22-key stenography machines, which type syllables instead of single characters, allowing court reporters to write at an average of 250 words per minute (the world record stands at 360 words per minute). However the improved technology does not do all the work. The skill is extremely difficult, and only about 10-15% of court reporting students graduate. Of that 10%, only about 10% are accepted into the closed captioning circuit.

Aside from the daily contributions court reporters and captioners provide, there is a historical benchmark that they currently fulfill, as well. Chapters of the National Court Reporting Association plan to observe the week through volunteer projects, such as the State of Georgia's Veterans History Project Day, in which the group seeks to transcribe veterans' oral history for submission to the Library of Congress.

Click here to find out how you can pursue a career in court reporting or captioning.

by Carlin Twedt


<< First  < Previous    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44    Next > Last >>
Showing 21 to 30 of 437 Post