Olelo Community Media

Closed Caption

For nearly a decade, closed captioning has been an issue for PEG Access providers due to antiquated technology and the lack of affordable solutions.  But now, thanks to rapid software development and AI, closed caption has been made affordable and accessible.

‘Ōlelo has taken full advantage of the improved technology resulting in channels 49 and 53 receiving fully auto generated closed captioning 24/7, with channels 54 and 55 to be converted by end of year.

Auto generation allows media platforms to provide closed captioning without a transcriber which could be a financial barrier. “Accuracy for caption companies exploring auto generation was consistently poor, but in the last two years, accuracy shot up on several platforms including Facebook, Zoom, and YouTube, which revved up the industry,” says Playback Manager Russ Cabral.  “Accuracy is improving as we train AI to make phonetic corrections. Hawaiian words and pidgin are another story, but it should get much better over time.”

“Troubleshooting for year, this solution was a nice little victory,” says Todd Yamamoto, Director of Technology.  “It isn’t perfect but it’s such a great service, especially for meetings and hearings, like the upcoming 2023 legislative session hearings, which we plan on providing full coverage.

‘Ōlelo had been researching solutions for years, wanting to provide these services to ensure access to the hearing-impaired community and our kupuna population.  Thanks to more affordable and available software, specifically Apptek, ‘Ōlelo was able to serve its mission further by providing this service 24/7 and free of charge to producers who air programs with ‘Ōlelo.  For viewers on Hawaiian Telcom, click here , and for Spectrum, click here for instructions to turn on closed captioning.