Livestreams, Auditoriums and Presentations
Streamer does a lot more than just caption conversations. In this article we'll give you tips and instructions on using Streamer with livestream platforms such as Zoom, Facebook Live, or Skype calls, as well as in auditoriums and for general presentations.
Using Streamer to Caption and/or Translate Livestreams
With the COVID-19 situation, many businesses are using livestreams to support their workers. With Streamer, you can add open or closed captioning to any livestream or phone call. This works with any platform that you're using, including Zoom, Facebook, Google, Citrix, Abode, Skype, RingCentral and more. We also have an option that ties directly into Zoom's captioning menu.
With closed captioning, just the people that want to view the captioning will do so, and do this in their choice of over 100 languages. Once you've configured your Streamer accounts, you and your co-workers just click on a desktop icon, that's all it takes. You'll use this same approach in every situation. You do not need to send out invite codes, or URL links, you just click on the desktop icon.
If for your closed captioning session you'll be using a shared account, you'll want to share that account information with your guests. We've created some templates you can use. Click here to view the templates, and click here to download a PowerPoint file of the templates.
With open captioning everyone can see the captioning. This is true if they are viewing a live transcript, or watching a recording that you previously made. With open captioning the employees do not have to do anything, it's part of the video or livestream.
This module lets you directly integrate Streamer™ with Zoom™ meetings and webinars. Attendees view the captioning directly in Zoom by clicking Zoom's Show Subtitles menu option. It’s easy to use, no downloads or installs are required, and it works with the free version of Zoom - there is no need to pay for a Zoom subscription to use this feature (or any of Streamer's features). Just open your Zoom account. and in the settings turn on the closed captioning option. You just need to do this once, from then on to caption your Zoom meetings and webinars you just:
Sofia Ramirez, a teacher that is using Streamer, made a short video on using Streamer-Zoom and for more detailed information, here's a video we put together. Also, here's a sample email you can send to your co-hosts with information on the accounts you'll create for them.
- Start your Zoom meeting or webinar.
- Click the Zoom closed captioning icon to copy the API Token.
- Open Streamer™ and paste the Token into your Streamer-Zoom™ page.
Configuration Settings: When you open the Streamer-Zoom™ menu, you will see the following options for customizing your captioning.
User Tips for Streamer-Zoom™:
- API URL: As per the above videos, copy the Token API from Zoom and paste it here.
- BUFFER SIZE: A larger buffer adds a slight delay to the captioning, but allows full contextual-based transcription making it more accurate and easier for guests to read. Most people use the long buffer.
- DISPLAY: If you and your guests are only using Windows computers, then select the Windows option. This provides instant captioning - each word is displayed as it is spoken. If computers other than Windows are being used, then select the All Operating Systems option. In this option full sentences are displayed a sentence at a time.
- TRANSLATE SUBTITLES: You can select the language in which the subtitles will be displayed. It does not matter which language(s) are being actually spoken, this is the language in which all the subtitles will be displayed. Note that everyone viewing the captioning will do so in this language. To give your guests the ability to choose their own language for the subtitles, create a separate Streamer™ account that they will use. Here's how you do that.
- Just before you paste the API Token into Streamer™, remember to clear the existing transcript by entering /clear into the command bar.
- Remember to turn on, or off, your Streamer™ microphone.
- For better captioning and faster translations, add a short pause at the end of each sentence (take a short breath).
Using Streamer™ in Auditoriums
If you’re using Streamer in an auditorium with low lighting, then the /setdisplay feature is something you may want to use. By default each Streamer™ account is set to black text on a light gray background. That works great in bright situations like classrooms or conference rooms. The /setdisplay dark command change the display to yellow text on a dark blue background. The captioning is still very easy to read, and now each person’s screen will emit less light. To switch back to the default setting, type /setdisplay bright. See the online help menu for a complete description of the /setdisplay command.
Using the Overlay Feature
The Overlay Tool is a great way to caption presentations. This tool superimposes the captioning on top of another application, such as PowerPoint slides, Skype phone calls, or videos. To do this, go to the Streamer Settings menu and select the Launch Overlay Tool item. If this is the first time you’ve done this, you’ll need to download and install the Overlay executable. Once the Overlay Window appears you can drag it to the desired location and click-and-drag the edges to resize it to your preference. Within the Overlay tool you can also choose your preferred settings. The figure shows the Overlay setting I like to use.
The Caption All™ Tool
- The Line Spacing setting sets how close you want each line to appear in the window. I typically use a setting of “3”, which means just slightly more than single spacing (a setting of 1 means condensed lines, and 9 indicates double spaced lines).
- The Transparency setting is for the background shading – ranging from completely transparent (meaning no background color) to a solid color. I like a setting of 70%.
- The Caption Buffer tells Streamer™ how many words of context should be buffered before displaying the captioning on the screen. Streamer™ always uses context to generate the transcript. As new words are added to the sentence, previously captioned words may be dynamically updated, for example perhaps changing the spelling of there to they're. When previously typed words are changed, the transcript "jumps" a bit. The buffer smooths out this process. The larger the buffer the smoother the captioning appears to the guests. If this is set to zero, there is no buffer and each word is immediately displayed. When you add a buffer, the user does not see the initial words, only the words that have already been contextually corrected. I tend to use a Short buffer as I talk pretty fast in my presentations.
- Avatar Size selects the display size of the presenter’s picture. I like the medium or large setting. This lets guests know who is speaking at any given moment (which can be very important for a person who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing). The picture that is being displayed is the one entered in the user’s Account Settings page.
Coming soon is a new feature that, as the name implies, automatically captions everyone participating in a livestream event. If you want to caption a Zoom webinar or any other type of meeting, just launch Streamer on your computer and start the Caption All™ tool. This works for more than just livestreams. You can use it for videos, captioning television broadcasts, or a phone call. Any audio being played on your computer is automatically captioned. Once it's ready, it will be added to your Streamer Settings menu.
On-Site and Off-Site Employees
With Streamer you have a complete captioning and translation system to support both on and off-site employees. For example, you can set up a Skype session in meeting room that streams a live video to the employe(es), and the employee can then use the Overlay feature to display captioning on top of that video. Or you can set up closed captioning using Facebook Live, or embed captioning directly into a Zoom meeting. Even though the employees are off-site, they still have the exact same Streamer™ features as a person sitting in the office. And, as a host of the meeting, you have the same privacy and security controls. You alone decide if and when an employee can access the Streamer™ room, if and when they can download a transcript, and if and when they can participate in the captioning by adding text to the transcript.
We're here to help. Just send a Streamer message to @Streamer-Admin or an email to email@example.com or give us a call at 507-645-8924.