EEG’S iCap Streamlines Live Event Captioning For Oregon State University
At an increasing number of universities across America, fans at athletic events are noticing an added dimension to their experience: live captioning. At Oregon State University (OSU), providing captioning at live events is becoming standard practice, enabled by the iCap Secure Realtime IP Captioning system from EEG.
OSU now ensures that live captioning is always available for any live event of 3500 people or larger, which includes Division 1 football at the 47,000-capacity Reser Stadium, and the 9,600- seat Gill Coliseum for men’s basketball and gymnastics. By employing iCap in combination with an EEG Smart Encoder, OSU found a solution that makes live captioning for large audiences a seamless operation.
“When we first started planning for live captioning, we expected it to be very complicated,” says Jeffrey Peterson, Equipment Systems Specialist for OSU. “Once we started investigating it, however, we found out about EEG and they put a roadmap together for us. It proved to be quite simple with iCap and the encoder running through our computer and video boards — they helped us configure the system, it worked immediately, and we were impressed.”
A revolutionary Secure Realtime IP Captioning System, EEG’s iCap was created to provide broadcasters, post production facilities, and live venues with the most efficient path to HD closed captioning. iCap makes closed captioning easier and more intuitive than ever before, going beyond previous analog-based closed captioning platforms by tapping the power of IP connections. The benefits of the system include superior quality captioning with lower delay, improved cost efficiency, enhanced security, and robust administrative features.
At OSU, all audio that goes through the PA system is captioned including announcements and scripts for promotional videos, appearing in a captioning window that’s programmed into the giant-screen displays at Reser Stadium and Gill Coliseum. “We really appreciate that iCap is 100% IP-based, with everything happening in one self-contained box,” Peterson says. “Previously, you had to have a telephone hybrid where you connected with the offsite captioners over an analog telephone line, and then have a return feed which added more delay. With IP, the whole process happens in real time, and its lightning fast – the captioners we work with love it compared to the traditional methods. They say it’s made their lives so much easier.
“Another advantage of iCap is that I can monitor what’s going on via the software,” continues Peterson. “We have an expansive setup, so it’s extremely helpful that I can jump onto a terminal and see that everything is open, connected, and working properly.”
Now that it’s integrated into the OSU system, the dependability of iCap allows Peterson and his colleagues to focus on all of the other pressing needs that inevitably arise on Game Day. “Other
than turning the system on and off, I don’t have to worry about captioning now – it pretty much runs itself,” he says. “There are so many things happening during an event, with lots of room for error, so you don’t want to have to worry about anything going down. So far, we’ve had zero issues with iCap.”
With captioning now a part of every large-scale athletic event, Jeffrey Peterson and OSU can see that it enhances the experience for everybody in attendance. “Naturally it provides accessibility for people who are hard-of-hearing,” he notes. “But it can get loud in a sports arena, and hard to understand what’s going through the PA system. Now I look at the captioning on the board all the time myself to confirm what the announcer just said. iCap has allowed us to treat captioning as an integrated system at Oregon State University – it really adds to the game.”