NewsChannel9 adds real-time captioning

 April 22, 2003 | Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)

 | Page: 27 | Section: Features
346 Words

Thanks to the addition of real-time captioning, Bea Lyons can now keep up with all of the news, and not just the scripted portions.

Real-time captioning is an upgrade from closed-captioning, which prints scripted text onto the television screen. Anything that is not scripted, such as late-breaking news, weather and ad-lib dialogue, is omitted.

For Mrs. Lyons, coordinator/associate professor of American Sign Language Studies at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, that meant she could see the video or people talking, but would have no idea what was being said.

WTVC-T V 9 began using real-time captioning Monday for all of its news programming except the 11 p.m. newscast and weekends, according to news director Steve Hunsicker.

The station is the first and only one in the area using the new technology, he said.

Real-time captioning incorporates a system similar to that used by court reporters. The person doing the captioning connects to WTVC from a remote location via phone line during the broadcast and keys into an incoder all of the dialogue as it happens. The incoder prints the text onto the TV screen.

For Mrs. Lyons, real-time captioning is a welcomed new service.

"With TV-9 now providing real-time captioning for their 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. news broadcasts Monday through Friday, I can finally receive and understand all of the news for the first time in my life. I've been hard of hearing since childhood and have worn hearing aids for almost 50 years. It's quite thrilling to finally know what is being said behind those pictures and videos," she said in an interview conducted via e-mail.

Mr. Hunsicker said he also believes the service will be of use to people for whom English is a second language.

"They might be able to read it, but not converse in it very well. This is a benefit to them as well," he said.

E-mail Barry Courter at

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