Zoom Sacrament Meetings (with Closed Captions?)

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
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Zoom Sacrament Meetings (with Closed Captions?)


Post by bryant.larsen »

I have been asked to assist in streaming a portion of our Sacrament meeting to our ward. The Stake has provided a camera, additional microphone and paid for a Zoom account capable of producing a Webinar. (the webinar part is important for ensuring no content but ours is ever shared)

It turns out there are some members in our ward who are deaf, and would benefit from closed captions on the zoom call. I have researched and found a few options already:
We can try to do it ourselves: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articl ... _site=true
This would mean a member of the ward would be dedicated to doing their best to keep up and type as best they can. Every keystroke is sent over the wire, so mistakes are seen in real time. (this could be embarrassing or too difficult to keep up with)

Another option is to pay a service to provide AI based speach to text. https://www.3playmedia.com/zoom-captioning/ is just one of a few that use computers to do the work, however they do not share the cost upfront and I have not yet reached out to them.

Other companies provide live captioning with humans doing the work.

I am posting in here to ask: Does the Corp of the President already have an account with a closed captioning company that we could use? It seems to me that more than just my ward is interested in this, and perhaps a savings in total cost could be realized if the relationship with the captioning company was managed at a corporate level.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Zoom Sacrament Meetings (with Closed Captions?)


Post by drepouille »

Google Meet has CC built in. I have turned on CC during our Sacrament meetings, and it does a surprisingly good job transcribing the spoken word.
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Re: Zoom Sacrament Meetings (with Closed Captions?)


Post by russellhltn »

Question: how are these people accommodated normally? If they have a ASL signer, closed captioning may not meet their needs. A second stream with a ASL signer might be a better answer.

Depending on the number, perhaps a solution is for the user to run something like Google Live Transcribe on their phone.
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Re: Zoom Sacrament Meetings (with Closed Captions?)


Post by PhillipsCJ »

Closed captions on video broadcasts are an important consideration for broadcasting meetings, but they can be expensive and add an extra layer of technology to the broadcast. I have a few thoughts:
  • Machine captions can sometimes be an adequate solution that can work really well for some speakers with a good audio feed, but with any AI/machine caption solution be sure that it is providing an adequate experience for the member - 90% accuracy may sound good but means that 1 out of every 10 words is inaccurate - which can be especially problematic when it comes to Church doctrine =)
  • There are more professionally human reviewed solutions available (commonly referred to as "CART Services", but they usually run in the range of $90-$100 per hour.
  • While captions generally server a wider audience than ALS, like @russellhltn mentioned some individuals to prefer (or need) ASL instead of captions. If you go that route Zoom provides the option for the user to pin the ASL video feed as they view it.
  • I'm sure Church headquarters has contracts in in place with captioning solutions and CART providers (or employees) - they provide those services for General Conference and Regional broadcasts for example and there is definitely cost savings with usage, but my understanding of the policy on this is that the Church relies on local solutions.
Specific Services
Again, with all of the caveats listed above about machine captions, below are some possible options if that is the direction you need to go:
  • The AI/machine-based captions offered by Zoom were .$65 a minute the last time I checked ($39/hr)
  • Otter.ai provides a Zoom integration that offers up to 600 minutes per month for free (https://otter.ai/zoom)
  • As mentioned by @drepouille, Google Meet provides a no-cost, machine caption solution.
  • I don't know if there is interest, but if any ward is interested in professional CART Services I'm happy to share some vendors in that space as well.
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