NAB 2019: VITAC Demos VPC Control Tower, Next-Gen Tech, Always-On Connections, Captioning Reliability
VITAC, the largest captioning company in the U.S., has released the newest technology in the VITAC Power Connect (VPC) family of products, enhancing its captioning and accessibility services and providing greater reliability for caption clients and viewers. VPC Control Tower is a first-of-its-kind cloud-based application that allows easy, always-on connections between captioners, events, and clients, and serves as a central hub that establishes multi-level monitoring and management of client programming.
VPC Control Tower serves as a traffic director for captions, ensuring that captioners working with new, specially developed VITAC software – VPC Client – are routed to the proper audio and video sources as well as the correct endpoints. VPC Control Tower enables 24/7 monitoring not only of captions and caption paths but also of the entire captioning workflow process, including captioner readiness, caption transmission, and transcript delivery.
“VPC Control Tower creates a central control center that enables us to more securely connect with clients, control how captions are delivered, and monitor the quality of the captioning services we provide,” said VITAC Chief Marketing Officer John H. Capobianco. “VPC Control Tower’s combination of new, specialized equipment and high-reliability switching software will reduce errors, increase accuracy, and lessen turnaround time.”
Unveiled at NAB 2017, VITAC Power Connect was part of a large-scale initiative to Connect, Control, Monitor, and Report on continuous network connections between real-time captioners and live-broadcasting encoders, thereby minimizing a number of issues common in live captioning, including one of the most critical concerns: the threat of captioning loss due to ISP outages and modem disconnects.
The first delivery, the Connect phase, announced at NAB 2018, was the VPC Hardener, which provided a multi-line path from the captioner to the encoder for use in troubled areas. Also at NAB 2018, VITAC introduced the concept of VPC Control Tower, which links captioners, encoders, and audio and video lines and enables staff to control and monitor captions and connections at a never-before-seen level of detail.
At NAB 2019, VITAC is delivering VPC Control Tower. Working in conjunction with VPC Client software, VPC Control Tower enables VITAC clients and control teams to better view and monitor the captioning process.
VITAC has also announced the fourth feature of VITAC Power Connect: a reporting function designed to provide dashboards and reporting for clients and VITAC control teams.
“VITAC’s commitment to our clients is that we will deliver the highest-quality captions, with the highest degree of efficiency and services,” said Capobianco. “To that end, we pledge that we are constantly exploring new technologies and processes to improve that captioning workflow.”
Responsible for captioning more than 575,000 hours of programming each year — more than one hour’s worth of captions for every minute of every day – VITAC employs the largest team of qualified, trained captioners in the U.S. Clients include every major broadcasting company, most cable networks, program producers, corporations, educational institutions and government agencies.