A Pair of Presidential Webcasts

In the past month, Total Webcasting was on the scene for not just one, but two presidential events.

The first webcast occurred on September 30, 2019, at Fordham University in New York City. Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, presented a lecture entitled, “Humanitarianism and the Public Intellectual in Times of Crisis.” In addition to the rapt audience on hand at Fordham, many more tuned in to the live webcast from all over the world (not to mention those viewers who accessed the recorded archive). Perhaps it should be no surprise that this was a popular webcast: when the leader of a nation speaks, people tend to listen!

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President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, gives a lecture at Fordham University.

Mr. Higgins is the ninth president of Ireland and has served in this capacity since November 2011. In addition to his political career, President Higgins is also known for being a poet, sociologist and broadcaster. The full lecture can be viewed here.

Our second “presidential” webcast took place a few days later, on October 4 at the University of Connecticut (UConn) campus in Storrs, CT, and although there was no foreign dignitary in attendance, the inauguration of UConn’s new president did not lack pomp and ceremony.

Following a series of presentations given by university faculty members, the inauguration of Thomas Katsouleas as the University of Connecticut’s sixteenth president commenced. The ceremony included musical performances, a poetry reading, and a keynote address from Richard Brodhead, who served as the president of Duke University from 2004-2017 and is a native of Connecticut.

From president to president, it was quite the week for Total Webcasting!

Total Webcasting releases the first version of its Portable Hardware Encoder for Live Multilingual Subtitles and CART Service

Total Webcasting has developed and is now using in production our Live Speech to Text Portable Encoder, which provides live subtitles as well as CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) service using multiple AI platforms. This comprehensive solution for live multilingual subtitles is a first-of-its-kind service, combining a unique portable appliance as the encoder and a robust user interface for an array of interactive features, including operator-generated descriptive text insertion (e.g., “Music playing” or “Applause”). With automated workflow, the live subtitles are systematically combined with Total Webcasting’s postproduction subtitles that produce highly accurate human reviewed interactive transcripts and synchronized subtitles.

With more than a year of development and field testing, Total Webcasting has now added this service as a standard feature to every webcast we do. Additionally, the Speech to Text Encoder and Service can function as a ‘standalone’ solution not requiring Total Webcasting’s full-service option. This approach allows for a much more scalable use of this platform combined with industry-disruptive pricing.

In the coming months there will be ongoing upgrades and improvements to the hardware, application, and cloud services, adding to the feature set and stability of the platform. Additionally, other AI functions and new concepts will be integrated for an even more robust offering.

How Webcasting Enhances Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation from high school is a momentous milestone for all those who achieve it. For many it represents the transition from childhood to adulthood, with graduates going on to attend college, accepting full-time jobs, starting apprenticeships or internships, volunteering for military service, and following many other types of calling. Even though I graduated fifteen years ago, I still remember my own ceremony vividly.

But as significant as graduation is for the students, it is equally important to family members, friends, and other loved ones of the graduates. They want to see the student procession while the band plays “Pomp and Circumstance,” hear the class speeches (especially if its their student behind the podium), but mostly they want to watch their graduate walk across the stage and accept their diploma. However, for a variety of reasons, it may not be possible for someone to attend in person. Fortunately, there are technologies today that can bring a graduation ceremony straight to your screen, even from thousands of miles away. Namely, the power of webcasting makes sure everyone can witness that special moment live.

For several years now, Total Webcasting has provided live video production and webcasting services to many high schools (and even some middle schools) in the Hudson Valley area of New York. Each webcast draws viewers from all over the country and internationally, and like all of our webcasts the footage is recorded for future viewing. Did you miss that special moment because someone stood up in front of you? Was the sun in your eyes? Wish you were able to get the perfect close-up? Have no fear—Total Webcasting captured it all.

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Total Webcasting was on site for several high school and middle school graduation ceremonies.

Total Webcasting would like to extend congratulations and best wishes to all the graduates of Marlboro, Monroe-Woodbury, Monticello, Rondout, Valley Central, Wallkill, and elsewhere.

College Commencements 2019: A Recap

May is one of our busiest months of the year at Total Webcasting. In addition to our regular workload, each May includes dozens of college graduations across the state and beyond, and we tack on a few new customers each season. But now that we’ve gotten through May and the calendar has flipped to June (which has its own unique slate of jobs, including middle school and high school graduations), it is a great time to reflect on another successful college graduation season.

This year Total Webcasting covered commencement exercises for a variety of institutions large and small, public and private, including the University of Connecticut (UConn), Bard College, Wesleyan University, the City College of New York, the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, SUNY Orange, Albany Law School, and New York Institute of Technology. Some commencements spanned multiple days, many were outdoors (presenting weather-related challenges), and all of them were important to their respective viewers.

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The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) served as an impressive venue for the Albany Law School commencement.

Thousands of family members, friends, and other loved ones tuned into our webcasts from all over the world to watch someone they love graduate from college. We were also excited to note the popularity of our real-time speech-to-text subtitles, which were accessed hundreds of times in each webcast. This technology is essential for many viewers, including those who prefer to read along with speeches. (You can read more about Total Webcasting’s real-time subtitles here.)

And as usual, the commencement exercises at UConn represented Total Webcasting’s coup de maître, highlighting the breadth of our capabilities. Comprised of 14 separate ceremonies held in three different venues across campus over the course of three days, UConn’s complete graduation agenda is a full and challenging one that requires virtually all of Total Webcasting’s resources—in terms of both personnel and equipment. Despite these challenges, 2019 featured another complete success at UConn, and for the commencement season overall.

A Webcast Fit for a President

The Hudson Valley of New York, where Total Webcasting is headquartered, boasts a variety of attractions and is a popular tourist destination for hikers, skiers, artists, mountain climbers, foodies, and many others. One particular landmark is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, located on the grounds of the former president’s homestead, a beautiful tract of land on the eastern bank of the Hudson River in Hyde Park.

FDR was the first U.S. president to establish a presidential library, which has since become a tradition. According to their website, “On the advice of noted historians and scholars, [President Roosevelt] established a public repository to preserve the evidence of the Presidency for future generations. Beginning a tradition that continues to this day, he raised private funds for the new facility and then turned it over to the United States government for operation through the National Archives.”

Each year, Total Webcasting makes a handful of (relatively) short treks across the river to the FDR Library and Museum to webcast an event. On April 15, 2019, the FDR Library and Museum hosted the talk, “Together, We Win: FDR, Frances Perkins and the ILO [International Labour Organization].” A majority of the program consisted of a dialogue among speakers, which included Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO, Ms. Martha Newton, Deputy Under-secretary with the Department of Labor, Mr. Scott Busby, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (part of the U.S. Department of State), and Mr. Kelly Ross, Deputy Director of Policy of the AFL-CIO, among others. Together these influential speakers discussed the future of labor and fielded questions from the audience.

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The panel members had some impressive credentials.

The webcast can be viewed here.

 

The Value of Customer Relations

We at Total Webcasting value the relationships we foster with customers, and work hard to build trust and good communication. Many of our customers have worked with us for over a decade and we hope to reach that milestone with many others.

Clifford Law Offices, based in Chicago, Illinois, is an example of a customer with whom we’ve developed an enduring relationship. On February 21, 2019, Total Webcasting traveled out to Chicago for the tenth consecutive year to webcast Clifford Law Offices’ continuing legal education (CLE) program. This year’s program, “The Path to Lawyer Well Being & Conscious Inclusion,” was a great success, drawing a webcast audience of almost 3,000 lawyers and helping them earn two hours worth of Illinois CLE credits.

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The panel for Clifford Law Offices’ 2019 CLE program.

Fortunately, Total Webcasting has many long-lasting relationships with clients, which is reflective of our reliability and proficiency as a company. In virtually every case, whenever Total Webcasting serves a new customer, we are called back for future work. It is one of our goals to continue to strengthen the business relationships we have, as well as discover new customers and build strong connections with them.

Total Webcasting Shares Conference Across the World

The International Conference on Protection and Accountability in Burma took place on February 8-9, 2019, at Barnard College in Manhattan, and Total Webcasting was there to offer its services on both days.

The conference focused upon the ongoing genocide and related conditions in Myanmar, an arguably underreported and neglected humanitarian crisis. According to the conference flyer, “the conference [was] designed to call the world’s attention to, and educate the international public at large about, the twofold need of protection and accountability which Rohingya genocide survivors and other ethnic and religious minorities such as Kachin, Shan, Karen, Myanmar Muslims, etc. demand and deserve.” The two-day conference was comprised of panels and keynote addresses that brought “together leading Rohingya campaigners, renowned genocide scholars, engaged international law practitioners, UN [United Nations] officials, and international friends of Rohingyas.”

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A panel from the first day of the conference.

Many of the in-room attendees came from overseas, and Total Webcasting’s Analytics Report for the webcast audience mirrors these diverse demographics. To date, viewers from more than 300 locations across the world have accessed the conference footage, including a global audience from over 200 cities for the live webcast. The conference was not only popular here in the United States and Southeast Asia (where Myanmar is located), but also in Canada and Europe.

Given the statistics in our Analytics Report, it appears that the conference’s goal of drawing attention to and educating the international community about the crisis in Myanmar was achieved. Total Webcasting is proud to support efforts like this to educate and highlight matters of global import.

Watch the full conference here!