Accessibility and transparency are two key goals for municipalities in delivering vital government meeting information and content to television and the web. When the city of Lompoc, CA, began implementing and providing live closed captioning during government meeting broadcasts, advanced artificial intelligence technology from TelVue allowed the city to provide a unique service for its residents in attendance at city meetings: live, dual language (English and Spanish) closed captioning. Nearly 62% of Lompoc’s population is Hispanic, according to the 2022 census.
Lompoc’s council meeting television broadcasts were in spoken English, and already captioned live in English using TelVue’s SmartCaption automatic captioning service. Residents attending the meeting could view the English captions on a monitor, and viewers on TV and the web could also view the English captions. Lompoc had a specific requirement to fulfill: to also make Spanish captioning available for any Spanish speaking residents whether attending in person or watching on TV or online. TelVue’s SmartCaption Translation feature made this easy, offering automatic, real-time translation of the English captions to Spanish for broadcast and streaming.
Bill Smith, Lompoc’s Media Center Manager for TAP-TV, the city’s cable access channel, says “TelVue’s closed captioning has been great for this community. Now everyone can watch and understand what’s happening in the city government.”
The dual language caption delivery gives Lompoc residents the means to equally access important local information and content. The ability to provide such a valuable and important resource is more socially inclusive and offers a greater chance for all community members to engage and participate more effectively with local government. The benefits of municipalities offering multi-language accessibility can’t be overstated in an era where new technology is available and affordable.
“Offering additional accessibility in broadcast content and government meetings boosts civic participation and expands audience reach,” said Jesse Lerman, TelVue President/CEO. “Captioning can be tricky to ensure all modern broadcast and streaming workflows are handled. SmartCaption simplifies that, whether integrated right on a HyperCaster playout server without any additional hardware required, running standalone for integration with any broadcast system, or in the cloud. As more viewers choose to consume video programming via the Internet, Lompoc is also able to provide captioning for its video on demand content in other languages important to their community, too. Whether residents choose to watch on TV, the web, or mobile and over-the-top apps, they all have a chance to experience and enjoy captioned community programming more easily.”
TelVue’s SmartCaption makes it easy for broadcasters of all sizes to affordably and accurately caption their live and on-demand programming in multiple languages. SmartCaption also supports custom vocabulary for enhanced accuracy, translation to over 100 languages, and a powerful, built-in caption editor.