Tightrope and ENCO Forge Partnership to Bring Automated Closed Captioning to Cablecast Community Media Workflows
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA and SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN, May 7, 2020 – Tightrope Media Systems – the pioneering developer of the Cablecast Community Media automation platform – and ENCO Systems, a leading innovator in AI-enabled captioning solutions, today announced a new strategic partnership designed to help community media organizations easily and cost-effectively incorporate automated closed captioning into their broadcast, online and OTT workflows.
The new agreement makes tailored configurations of ENCO’s award-winning enCaption automated captioning solution – optimized for the evolving needs of public, education and government access (PEG) stations – available to Cablecast customers at special pricing. The Cablecast customer service team will offer one-stop support for integrated Cablecast and enCaption workflows, while the two companies will explore further opportunities for technical integration between the two product families.
“The Cablecast platform already preserves existing closed captions in live and file-based content, but the captions themselves must be created externally,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “ENCO is the leader in automated, AI-driven captioning for broadcast, online and OTT delivery, and we think enCaption is a perfect fit for our users. Our goal is always to offer our customers the best products at affordable pricing, and by partnering with ENCO to offer this proven combination, we can save community media centers the time and effort of separately researching, purchasing and implementing a captioning solution.”
The Cablecast broadcast automation, playout and streaming platform lets community media organizations efficiently reach both ‘traditional’ and ‘cord-cutting’ audiences across outlets ranging from cable television channels to OTT services. ENCO’s software-defined enCaption platform enables users to effortlessly add closed or open captions to live and pre-recorded content in near-real-time, helping them comply with regulatory requirements – including FCC captioning rules for television and ADA compliance of website content – while better serving hard-of-hearing viewers and making their content more accessible overall. Building on ENCO’s patented automated captioning approach, enCaption combines machine learning with a neural-network speech-to-text engine to deliver exceptional accuracy with extremely low latency.
enCaption can learn the names of community leaders, council members and local landmarks to further enhance its exceptional word recognition and spelling precision, while multi-speaker distinction functionality leverages AI to detect changes between speakers even within a single mixed feed – ideal for captioning single-camera coverage of government meetings. enCaption’s flexible pricing options range from a usage-based model that enables customers to buy packages of hours – ideal for periodically captioning live or file-based programming as it is brought into Cablecast – up to a 24/7 package that allows broadcasters to continuously caption the output of an entire Cablecast channel.
North Penn Television, the educational access channel for North Penn School District in Southeastern Pennsylvania, uses this 24/7 approach. “We previously had feedback from hard-of-hearing residents and other community members about our lack of captions on live events like school board meetings, but until we found enCaption, real-time captioning was not affordable for us,” said Bob Gillmer, the district’s Coordinator of Communications Media. “enCaption fit our budget and gave us the accuracy we needed, and we now offer captions on both our cable channel and internal broadcasts within our schools. Cablecast and enCaption already work seamlessly together, and I’m excited to see how Tightrope and ENCO further integrate their systems through this new partnership.”
“While enCaption has always been cost-effective, our new pricing options for Cablecast customers make accurate, automated captioning even more affordable, allowing them to save money while meeting their compliance obligations and better serving their community,” said Ken Frommert, President of ENCO. “Cablecast has a large and dedicated following in the community media market, and they understand the needs of government and public access customers inside and out. We’re thrilled to be working with them to bring the benefits of enCaption to their customers and look forward to further integrating our solutions in the future.”