ENCO Acquires TranslateTV for Spanish Captioning/Translation

(Image credit: TranslateTV)

NOVI, Mich.—ENCO has acquired  TranslateTV and Sentinel Solutions from Vox Frontera, a Silver Spring, Md.-based provider of televised Spanish language captioning and translation services. ENCO says the TTV acquisition will give the company a broader reach into the growing multigenerational Hispanic television market inside the U.S. and abroad by offering broadcasters an on-premises option for advanced translation of live Spanish-language TV captioning, with plans to develop a global solution specific to AV applications. Sentinel supports cost-effective, real-time quality monitoring solutions for automated captions—an especially valuable solution to keep broadcasters compliant with FCC closed-captioning standards related to accuracy, synchronization, and completeness, ENCO added. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

TTV uses patented software to translate English closed captions into Spanish in real-time. While ENCO offers Spanish translation today within its flagship, automated enTranslate service—along with 45 other languages—enTranslate today only supports cloud-based processing for translation. Offering a fully on-premises captioning and translation system enables new business opportunities with customers that prefer to host their own systems and remain independent of the cloud. 

ENCO will leverage the same technology to develop an on-premises Spanish-language translation and captioning solution for financial institutions, corporations, government bodies and universities that restrict access to sensitive information. TTV’s open development platform will also allow ENCO engineers to make continuous speed and accuracy improvements, and add new languages moving forward for both broadcast and AV customers.

ENCO will natively integrate TTV into its enCaption automated captioning workflow in both broadcast and AV environments, which will allow the platform to be used for open captioning of meetings, classes, worship services and other AV-related events, according to ENCO President Ken Frommert.. 

“We look forward to supporting TTV’s legacy customers and bringing them into the ENCO family,” said Frommert. “Integrated with our enCaption automated captioning and transcription solution, we will enable this technology to natively accept live and prerecorded audio feeds and automatically convert them to text. Our same workflow will inject these translations onto multiple consumer platforms, presenting live, accurate captions on TV sets, desktop, laptops, and mobile devices. We will develop and innovate the TTV platform for new applications and use cases,  while bringing 24/7 product and technical support to the existing TTV client base.”

Frommert adds that with Sentinel, ENCO’s broadcast customers “can monitor and evaluate caption quality from ingest to transmission, while cleaning up inaccuracies, improving timeliness and providing documentation in response to FCC complaints.”

ENCO’s cloud-based enTranslate is available today as a plug-in to enCaption automated captioning and translation systems. Frommert expects to adapt a similar approach to TTV for its customers who want an on-premises version. All ENCO enCaption solutions leverage A.I. based deep learning and speech recognition algorithms “to deliver the most accurate and consistent live captions and translations in broadcast and AV,” the company said.

Gregory Schmidt, CEO of Vox Frontera, confirms that the company has transferred its TTV client base in the US, which includes The Tonight Show and local TV stations throughout the country, along with its TTV and Sentinel technologies. Longtime Vox Frontera Director of Engineering Dave Pinson will also join ENCO to support existing TTV customers and product development initiatives. 

“Vox Frontera has made a strategic decision to focus our company resources on other development efforts,” said Schmidt. “We know that ENCO offers best-in-class in automated broadcast captioning, and is a worthy successor that will serve our customers well.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.