ENCO is already regarded as a pioneer and market leader in automated closed and open captioning, with its award-winning enCaption solutions successfully serving television audiences and video users in corporate, educational and government applications for many years. Now, the company is again breaking new ground by bringing enCaption’s renowned accuracy, speed and efficiency to radio, enabling hearing-impaired audiences to consume radio programming online or via over-the-top (OTT) services.
ENCO will showcase enCaption’s benefits for radio broadcasters and audiences in booth N2524 at the upcoming 2019 NAB Show, taking place April 8 to 11 in Las Vegas.
While captioning is most commonly associated with television rather than radio, Internet and OTT delivery have created the opportunity for radio broadcasters to display corresponding text in the “listener’s” browser or app. This opens the door for hearing-impaired individuals to enjoy content such as talk radio that was previously inaccessible to them. Automated captioning also enables immediate creation of searchable transcripts that broadcasters can post alongside recorded audio clips, enhancing SEO for their websites while improving content discovery for site visitors.
Non-hearing-impaired OTT and mobile users often consume content with their devices on “mute” while on trains or at work, so the availability of captions will make radio a viable new option for them. Last but not least, automated captioning can bolster Visual Radio programming, which is already popular in many international regions and expanding in the U.S. market.
ENCO’s cost-effective, software-defined enCaption solution helps broadcasters and content producers effortlessly provide closed or open captioning for both live and pre-recorded content in near-real-time. Leveraging machine learning technology and a deep neural network voice recognition approach, enCaption’s speech-to-text engine delivers exceptional accuracy with extremely low latency. Integration with newsroom systems and other external vocabulary sources further enhances enCaption’s word recognition and spelling precision, which combine with the solution’s robust punctuation, capitalization and speaker change detection to ensure high-quality captions.
“There is a lot of fantastic content that is only available on radio, and which should be accessible to everyone regardless of any hearing disabilities,” said Ken Frommert, President of ENCO. “We’re excited to combine our deep expertise in the radio market with the proven yet continually advancing capabilities of enCaption to break through these accessibility barriers. Just as captioning enables hearing-impaired audiences to understand and enjoy television content, the same technology now allows them to do the same for radio programming.”
Washington, DC area NPR member station WAMU is in the development process of integrating live captions created by enCaption into their website, with a goal of providing 24/7 captioning of all audio content on WAMU. “This will enable us to make all of our content, regardless of its producer, accessible to our entire community,” said Rob Bertrand, senior director of technology at WAMU. “Our integration is still in the proof-of-concept stage, but we are happy with what we’ve been able to demonstrate so far. We look forward to being able to deliver our content to all members of our community, including those who have historically not been able to be reached by audio content.”
enCaption configurations for radio can be flexibly deployed on-premises or in the cloud. On-premises enCaption systems support discrete analog or AES audio sources, while both on-premises and cloud-based deployments can input IP-based audio streams. Captions created by enCaption can be output as files or streams in standard WebVTT format or as a raw text data stream for integration with the station’s website media player, mobile or OTT app. enCaption can also turn an audio-only source into a video stream with open captions overlaid on a plain background or graphic, or combine the audio with a separate video stream while embedding closed captions for display in a web-based video player.
enCaption solutions tailored for radio broadcasters are available immediately, and are backed by ENCO’s world-class customer service.