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Comprompter Provides Live Voice Captioning For Up To Eight People On Set

As an extension of its popular Caption Central series of automated captioning software products for news and production studios, Comprompter has developed a new automated captioning system that can identify up to eight speakers and distinguish between them with a high degree of accuracy.

Called the Caption Central Multiple Profile system (CCM, or “Caption Central Multi”), it comes packaged as a rack-mount unit configured as a 4 or 8-speaker system. With the ability to pass scripted text directly to the caption encoder for speed and efficiency, the system includes built-in LAN and Audio input support and is compatible with any broadcast newsroom system.

Comprompter president Ralph King said the CCM software is based on years of product development and user feedback. He and his head programmer, Rick Hallock, have been focused on newsroom captioning since 1984 with the introduction of its first product, the PC-based Electronic Newsroom System (ENR) software package, which offered users the flexibility to customize their work environment to suit individual preferences. Related System Operator (SYSOP) software allowed operators to set system and user policies, set privilege levels for individuals and groups of users, and customize screens, formats, prompters displays and menus to meet local preferences and requirements.

Comprompter offers newsroom and automation systems for elections, school closings, Internet newscast publishing, and live voice closed captioning.

Comprompter offers newsroom and automation systems for elections, school closings, Internet newscast publishing, and live voice closed captioning.

In 2000, Comprompter unveiled its NewsKing software and later, in 2005, it started working on voice-recognition captioning. King said that at the time it showed promise, but they were disappointed in the PC’s lack of power, speed and accuracy, so it remained a back-burner project for several more years.

In 2012, the company released a single speaker (talent) software product, called Caption Central, which was based on voice recognition technology. While it met the requirement for instant on-air captioning, it could only provide a single trained voice profile that could be active at any one time. When a production had second and third speakers, the accuracy level fell off rapidly. So they designed the CCM system to support up to 8 speakers at once.

Not only does CCM software handle multiple speakers, but it also identifies every speaker by name and title, each time they speak.

  • For example: Bill McWha, Baptist Minister>> “The Law steps in only when individual morality has failed…”
  • Or, Charlie Williams, Agnostic Society>> “Granted … but the moral issue of right and wrong does not have to be based solely on the Bible”.

“For the first time, the hearing impaired viewer knows who is saying those words and can attach meaning by knowing the point of view of that speaker,” King said. “The CCM software keeps every conversation in sequence—regardless of the number of on-set speakers, or the order in which they speak—and presents the words spoken in the studio in the real-time sequence while also identifying who spoke them.”

With speed an issue with virtually every studio production, the CCM system’s text output runs about 2 seconds behind real-time. And each word is checked for correct spelling and context prior to sending it to air, thus ensuring that the CCM software chooses the best and most logical word.

  • For example: “The girl threw the ball through the window”.
  • Or, “The wind blew the blue ball across the yard”.

Based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Comprompter specializes in news and automation software for the broadcast and cable industry and offers newsroom and automation systems along with auxiliary newsroom software for elections, school closings, Internet newscast publishing, and live voice closed captioning.

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