January 12, 2017

Loyola University Maryland Captions Live Events with iCap and HD491 Encoder

David Weiss

Higher education campuses nationwide are striving to be more inclusive than ever as they give students, faculty and alumni increased opportunities to come together. At Loyola University Maryland that spirit applies to live events, which count on EEG’s award-winning iCap Network and HD491 Caption Encoder for real time captioning.

According to Joseph Bradley, Director of Event Services for Loyola, the desire to provide open captioning onsite and closed captioning for remote viewers comes naturally to the school. “We certainly want to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, but we don’t caption because we have to – we caption because it’s the right thing to do,” he says. “Loyola is a Jesuit university and one of our primary values is, ‘Care for the whole person.’ Captioning allows everyone to participate.”

The Right Solutions and Support
Bradley made EEG solutions part of Loyola’s dedicated infrastructure as demand for captioning increased at their venues, including the 3,000-capacity Reitz Arena and ballroom-style McGuire Hall. The hardware needed was the EEG HD491 iCap encoder for easy 24/7 connectivity to thousands of certified caption partners worldwide via iCap, EEG’s Emmy Award-winning Cloud powered caption network.

“EEG is a national leader in captioning technology – there are no words better spoken about their solutions,” notes Bradley. “But it’s their service that makes them stand out: I don’t think we’ve received any less attention from their customer support team than if we were a national sports network.

“The instructions for getting started with the HD491 and iCap were clear, but we’re not captioning experts here,” Bradley continues. “This was our first foray into owning a caption encoder/decoder. The support that we received from EEG at the initial start was exactly what we needed.”

A Fast Workflow for Live Events
For Bradley and his team, iCap has been the key to a fast, efficient captioning workflow for commencements, lectures, and other events that routinely attract attendees from on campus as well as the general public.

“Using iCap couldn’t be easier,” says Bradley. “It lets you plan far in advance so you can set it and forget it. I have our next four events pre-loaded ahead of time, so the captioners on the iCap network can simply log in at the appointed day and time. We feed the audio from our venue’s rack into the HD491, the captioner receives it and then the captions appear back here live onscreen, with virtually no latency.”

With all of Joseph Bradley’s responsibilities on the day of an event, EEG solutions allow Loyola to make accurate captioning available with ease. “Our use of captioning at live events has doubled in the past year, because people are taking notice of it,” he reports. “With the HD491 and iCap, you don’t have to be a technician to set up captioning – it can be done with very little effort. It’s only one piece of what I have to do, but EEG makes captioning appear as if it’s my only job.”