Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Radio Captioning

National Public Radio plans to offer captions for its main radio programs by the end of 2009. NPR Labs is using new digital radio technology to deliver signals to new captioned radio receivers. NPR’s goal is to generate captions for about 100 hours of live programs per week. The HD radio technology was tested during the election, to allow the deaf to enjoy NPR’s coverage that evening.

The plan is to combine the radio with an IBM speech-to-text program that's under development. That would give listeners real-time translation, rather than a typical 20 minute delay. The NPR researchers developing the technology will meet with receiver makers next month to encourage them to produce units capable of decoding and displaying the captions. Harris Broadcast has contributed $50,000 to the effort along with engineering support.

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