The city is spending about $55,000 to bring the channel up to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, a requirement of a recent lawsuit.
LEESBURG — Closed captioning is live on LakeFront TV.
The city of Leesburg installed the technology this week for its public access channel. It was a result of a lawsuit that alleged that the city’s website and LFTV were not in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The city settled for $7,500 in April and agreed to fix both its website and TV channel. The city earmarked about $100,000 for website upgrades and another $55,000 to add the closed captioning.
Gadiel Marquez, a systems design engineer at Encore Broadcast Solutions, was on site Wednesday morning putting the finishing touches on the system.
There are two ways to provide closed captioning, he explained. The traditional way is to have human transcribers listen to a show live and type in the words they're hearing. The city opted for an automated system, though.
“It has a file server with a huge database of language and it has speech recognition just like a cellphone,” Marquez explained. “It recognizes the voice, the speech and it kind of matches to the database. Lot of power, lot of computing.”
At most, there will be a three- to four-second delay between when the word is spoken and when text appears on the screen.
Closed captioning for LFTV will be available live on TV, on the Roku and AppleTV apps as well as live streaming on LakeFront’s website. And viewers won’t have to watch with closed captioning, but will have the option.
“This was a long time coming,” said Anna Marie Chwastiak, LFTV station manager. “Our mission is to entertain, educate and inspire folks in Leesburg and the surrounding area… We’re already doing high quality programming, but this gives us another edge and we can to serve our whole community. So I’m ecstatic we’re adding this technology to LakeFront."