PBS39 Implements AI-Enabled Automatic Realtime Captioning from Red Bee Media

Pennsylvania-based television station PBS39 (WLVT) has recently implemented Automatic Realtime Captioning (ARC) from global media services company Red Bee Media. The AI-driven solution combines Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology with Red Bee’s highly featured Subito live captioning platform. It allows the broadcaster to activate top quality automatic captions for planned and emergency live content at the press of a button. PBS39 chose to switch to ARC after a successful 3-month trial with Red Bee.

“Our team loves having the freedom to be able to activate closed captioning easily for our live broadcasts whenever we need it,” says Andrea Cummis, Chief Technology Officer, PBS39. “With a growing vocabulary that is adapted to our preferences and needs, the ARC solution delivers near perfect accuracy and thanks to Red Bee we now have an easy and cost-effective way of making our content more accessible to our audiences. We’re very satisfied.”

PBS39 was looking for an alternative solution after regularly having to source captioning services for unplanned live content at short notice, which tended to be time-consuming and expensive. Red Bee set up the ARC system with the television station’s caption presentation preferences, core vocabulary lists and an integrated activation interface. After concluding a successful three-month trial, PBS39 signed up for a multi-year contract to use Red Bee’s ARC solution for their live captioning requirements.

“We have created a market-leading automatic captioning system that uses our experience as a major global access services provider to meet all accessibility requirements for broadcasters, delivering greater accuracy than any competing systems on the market and at a much lower cost than traditional human live captioning,” says Juliet Gauthier, Strategic Product Manager, Access Services, Red Bee Media. “We’re happy that PBS39 are satisfied with the result, and we are looking forward to continuing making their content more accessible.”

PBS39 is using Red Bee’s ARC solution for two purposes. First for planned live content, which brings the highest possible accuracy secured through vocabulary optimization delivered by Red Bee’s expert captioning team ahead of the broadcast. They also use the solution for short notice “emergency” live content, where content-specific vocabulary is not optimized before the show, but the system retains PBS39’s core vocabulary lists including the names of news anchors, local places and people, and important general vocabulary relating to recent news events.

Automatic Realtime Captioning (ARC) is a new service-based method of optimizing Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to bring its accuracy levels up to those of human performances. Red Bee first introduced this solution at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas, with a demonstration involving live captioning of the 24-hour online news stream from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource