Customer Spotlight

Live Captioning Events and Meetings with WEBTV

In a Nutshell

WEBTV, a video communications co-op, provides streaming and video production services for clients all over the greater Montréal area, including governing bodies that stream their official meetings and hearings. WEBTV works with VITAC Canada, live captioning events and meetings, ensuring they are accurately captioned and accessible for all citizens.

The Challenge

WEBTV struggled with automatic speech recognition (ASR) solutions because almost all of the speakers at their streaming events were bilingual. Their client needed a captioning solution that could be trusted to caption both English and French as seamlessly as their speakers alternated between the two languages.

“Something that is really hard in Quebec is that city councils are bilingual. And our [region’s] French isn’t the same as in France, so it’s really difficult for any kind of artificial intelligence program to follow.”

Gabriel Cotnoir, WEBTV’s Coordinator and Head of Operations

The Solution

VITAC Canada’s captioning solution pairs
state-of-the-art technology with highly trained humans to provide high-quality captions in both Quebecois French and English. With VITAC’s trained professionals and preparation procedures, captioners can ensure that names, locations, and technical terms are captioned correctly in realtime.

The services VITAC offers WEBTV include:

  • High-quality captions in English and French that exceed accessibility compliance standards
  • A large, dedicated team of professionals to ensure availability for multiple events, even on short notice
  • Reliable and responsive 24/7 customer support
  • Expanded accessibility options for their clients

The Results

On the Benefits of Accessible Communications

Cotnoir points out that captioning governing bodies means getting names right is important not only for the people who need captions. “We find that politicians really want to make sure we get their names spelled correctly,” Cotnoir says. “In fact, there was even a recent memo that went out about it to all the council members reminding them to speak clearly. But we haven’t had a problem with your service getting it right.” He also notes the need for speaker changes, especially during council meetings, so citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing can easily follow which council members are speaking. “Sometimes, with other captions, it’s hard to follow who’s speaking,” he says. VITAC’s speaker changes make meetings easy to follow, even when council members are engaged in rapid fire dialogue.

On the Potential to Expand Business Services

Cotnoir also notes the potential to acquire additional clients by now offering high quality captions along with their live video productions. Of promoting this service as an additional offering for clients, Cotnoir says: “We want to make sure that as many people can see it as possible.”

On Choosing VITAC

VITAC is a captioning and accessibility services provider that strongly believes in working as a partner, offering teamwork and support every step of the way. By partnering with VITAC, WEBTV was able to provide the needed services to their clients and offer expanded services to other clients. Cotnoir says: “It’s a partnership, right? If we’re going to be able to grow our business by offering captions, why wouldn’t we do that and tell our clients and members about it?”

“We find that your service is just amazing. What I really like about it is that we know the names are always going to be spelled correctly and that is a big, big selling point for our clients.”

Gabriel Cotnoir, WEBTV’s Coordinator and Head of Operations


WEBTV is a streaming service and video communications cooperation based in Montréal, Quebec, Since 2007, WEBTV has been expanding the reach of communications in the Montréal area by streaming city and townhall council meetings, live performances and events, and more.

Logo for WebTV la coop. Two letter C's one large and blue and one smaller and black in the center, next to a blue dot and a black dot, with the words "webtv" in black and "la coop" in blue to the right.

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