EEG Upgrades AT&T Stadium With CaptionCast to All Devices
The Dallas Cowboys’ long history of leadership goes beyond their on-field performance. This storied NFL franchise is committed to a winning experience for the 100,000 football fans who flock to AT&T Stadium on game day.
A commitment to accessibility throughout the Arlington, TX venue ensures that each visitor will have a complete experience, even if they’re hearing impaired. The Cowboys have total confidence in their captioning by specifying EEG’s HD492 iCap Encoder for AT&T Stadium, paired with EEG’s CaptionCast Live In-Stadium Mobile Device Caption Streaming Service.
Together, these EEG solutions provide Dallas Cowboys fans with unprecedented ease of access to captioning. With CaptionCast, captions are put directly into the hands of fans by streaming them to their smart phones, tablets, or other hand-held devices. “CaptionCast has been a whole new dimension in captioning for us,” says Dwin Towell, Director of Broadcast Engineering at AT&T Stadium. “Streaming captioning to personal devices via EEG’s app makes it very efficient to use and easy to integrate.
Powered by EEG’s HD492 iCap Encoder, a broadcast industry standard caption encoder, AT&T Stadium offers captioning beyond CaptionCast. A channel on its IPTV system is dedicated to open captioning, so that anyone who needs captioning in a suite, club, or other location can simply tune to the stadium’s Channel 2 to view it.
“We want our patrons to have the best experience possible,” Towell states. “That’s why we make captioning available in any club or suite, plus give them something they can hold in their hand and walk around with. Everyone who uses CaptionCast tells us how efficient it is — before we started using it we had a bulkier system where you had to check out a box from our client services area and then return it. Now once you’ve got the app, all you have to do is log into it when you come to the stadium, and you’re free to move about as you please.”
The captioner for AT&T Stadium has the option of working onsite or logging in remotely. EEG’s iCap is the largest closed captioning and subtitle delivery network in the world, providing 24/7/365 connectivity to thousands of certified caption partners around the globe.
In addition to Dallas Cowboys football games, AT&T Stadium also counts on EEG’s solutions to caption a steady stream of additional athletic competitions and corporate events, in English and/or Spanish. “The stadium is open daily, holidays included, running four or five corporate events a day on many occasions,” says Towell. “We’ve found that our clients really like having captioning available as an option. It’s easy to offer, even for smaller events, because with iCap we don’t have to get an operator onsite.”
Like many professional sports teams, the Dallas Cowboys produce a steady stream of content. Their broadcast center is located at The Star, the team’s headquarters in nearby Frisco, TX, where the post game show and other weekly programs are produced and captioned in-house via an additional EEG HD492 iCap Encoder.
“When our programming leaves the facility it’s pre-captioned and ready to go,” Towell explains. “While captioning is ultimately the responsibility of the local station to meet FCC requirements, we find it makes for a much more efficient interface, since we’re uploading our program directly to their server. This way we deliver it complete, and we know the captions are correct.”
With such a high priority placed on accessibility, trust in their captioning solutions was vital to the Dallas Cowboys. “We put our first EEG equipment in AT&T Stadium when it opened in 2009,” says Towell. “We also had EEG at our previous facilities. They offer what I call ‘old school’ support: When you call them you immediately get knowledgeable people that can easily take care of your problem. That’s very impressive in this day and age.”
Looking ahead, Dwin Towell and his team expect to take advantage of EEG’s Lexi Automatic Captioning cloud-based platform. Lexi is capable of delivering over 90% accuracy for many common media types, creating a new standard in accessibility for addressing currently uncovered live material in broadcasting, corporate, education, government, and more. “We’d love to have all of the Web content that we’re streaming 24/7 to be captioned,” he says. “EEG’s latest developments in voice recognition are making that increasingly possible.”
For the Dallas Cowboys, EEG solutions have converted captioning from a bottleneck to an added bonus. “Captioning used to be fairly cumbersome to display, but with CaptionCast anyone’s cell phone becomes a captioning device,” Dwin Towell says. “That’s as state-of-the-art and efficient as you can get. EEG makes captioning easy.”