Live streaming your event content gives you the power to reach a global audience and create a more inclusive experience for attendees. If you plan to live stream content, providing closed captions and translations should be at the top of your priority list. That's why we offer our own free Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations and third-party integration to provide text and audio captions and translation.
This article explains how to use a third-party human captioning or translation service with the Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events RTMP, or a Webex Events Simulive stream.
To learn all about the free machine closed captions and translations included with Video on Demand and your streaming credit for Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events Streaming, the Webex Events RTMP Player, and Webex Events Simulive, read our Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations article.
Human caption, translation, and interpretation providers
Human captioning means that real people listen to your stream and provide captions in real-time. Our official partners are SyncWords for closed captioning and translation, and Interprefy for audio interpretation. Other providers like Vitac and Caption Max also work well. The general processes and best practices described in this article should apply to nearly any human caption provider. 👍
Before learning more about our supported providers, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
Captioners generally provide one-to-many translation and interpretation — not many-to-many. This means speakers in a single stream must speak the same language for captioning to work.
Human captions and translations are possible with Webex Events Simulive video, not Video on Demand.
You can only use one type of captions per Live Stream or session. This means you must choose whether to provide either text captions or audio interpretation — not both.
Only the web version of the Event App supports captions from third parties — not the Mobile App. If you need Mobile App captions and translations, consider using Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations.
If you simply want to add machine captions and translations to pre-recorded Video on Demand content, consider uploading those recordings to Video Center and turning on closed captions for each. To learn more about how Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations works with Video on Demand, refer to our Use Video Center for Simulive and Video on Demand article for details.
SyncWords has actual people who listen to your live stream and provide real-time closed captions in multiple languages. If you're streaming pre-recorded video as Simulive content, they'll translate that, too! Attendees on the web version of the Event App select their preferred language from the drop-down next to the Show/Hide Captions button below the live stream.
Interprefy provides actual people who watch and listen to the stream and then simultaneously interpret the speech. Attendees using the web version simply click the Audio Captions button below the live stream and select their preferred language.
If you'd like to work with a different captioning or interpreting service, make sure you verify compatibility with Webex Events. A great way to know if a provider is right for you is to simply arrange a test stream with your provider to make sure everything works smoothly. If you have any questions before or after testing with your provider, let us know via Live Chat or email.
Working with the provider
This section focuses on working directly with SyncWords and Interprefy to purchase and coordinate their services for your event, and the general steps should apply to most other providers.
First, gather the following information:
Your event's start date
The number of sessions that need captions
The language the presenter(s) will speak during the live stream
The language(s) captions should be translated into
The web version URL for your Event App
If you're working with a different provider, contact them directly via their website and send them the information noted above.
After sending the initial information, coordinate with the provider on pricing, availability, and scheduling.
As you work with the caption provider, you need to provide them with a way to access your live stream(s) so captioners can watch the stream and add captions in real time.
If you're using live captioning with Webex Events Production Studio or Webex Events Streaming, provide a Speaker Link for each Session you need captions for. This ensures that the captioner can see and hear the stream with as little delay as possible. If you plan to go live multiple times in the same studio, make sure you communicate that with your captioner.
If you're using pre-recorded video to stream a Simulive session, or if you're using another streaming platform, create an attendee profile for each captioner so they can watch and provide the captions for the live stream from the web version of the Event App.
Send pre-recorded video (optional)
If you're using pre-recorded video for a hybrid or Simulive stream, it's a fantastic idea to provide video files and associated scripts to your captioner at least a week ahead of the stream. Since your captioner can prepare and review captions before the stream, this provides your viewers with a highly accurate captioning experience.
Even though captions for Simulive content can be prepared in advance, you should still set up an attendee profile for your captioner. They'll watch the stream in the web version and make sure the prepared captions are in sync with the video at all times.
Add the Widget Code or URL
Any closed caption provider must give you a unique Widget Code for each stream that will have captions. Others, like Interprefy, supply a URL for each. Once you have your Widget Codes or URLs, you're ready to enter them into your Event App.
Edit each session or Live Stream feature that will include captions and activate the Enable Closed Captions toggle. This reveals the Closed Caption Provider drop-down.
Select Syncwords, Interprefy, or Other if you're working with a different third-party provider.
Paste the Widget Code or URL for that stream into the 'Embed your URL here' field.
Click Save Changes.
Now you're ready to go with captions. Keep in touch with your captioner about any last minute schedule changes or delays. When the live stream starts, so will the captions! 👍
Captions in practice
If you're using visual closed captions, attendees simply click the 'Show Captions' button beneath the live stream to turn on closed captions. If the caption provider is supplying multiple language translations, the attendees will also select a language preference. To turn off closed captions, attendees click the 'Hide Captions' button.
If you're using audio captions or translation, the button will say 'Audio Captions'.
Attendees click the button to open the modal and select a language. Once they select a language, they'll start hearing the captions right away, and they can close the modal.
Now you know how to implement third-party captions for your live streams! Don't have the budget for captions with every live stream? Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations is available for Webex Events Production Studio, Webex Events Streaming, the Webex Events RTMP Player, and Webex Events Simulive at no additional cost. For Video on Demand content, Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations is also available for all videos you upload to Video Center!
Pro Tips! 😎
Provide your caption provider with information early (e.g. names of speakers, topic descriptions, etc.) to set them up for success.
Arrange a test stream with your caption provider to make sure everything works smoothly before your event starts or even before you contract their services!
SyncWords advertises support for English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French since those are the most commonly requested languages. However, they support many more. Reach out to your provider for more information on supported languages.
When a stream is over, download the recording and send it to your caption provider to merge the captions with the recording and then distribute it with the captions. If this service is critical to your event, verify that providers offer it before contracting their service.
Many caption providers can give you a script of captions for a session. If this service is critical to your event, verify that providers offer it before contracting their service.
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