This guide indicates which requirements interpreters must meet to use Clevercast Translate at Home (T@H). It explains how the RSI interface is used and sums up best practices for providing remote simultaneous interpretation for a live stream.
Translate at Home: Remote Interpretation Guide
Requirements for Interpreters
We recommend a recent computer, preferably high-end or at least mid-range with a fast processor and sufficient memory (eg. Intel i7 with 16GB RAM) and a dedicated sound card and graphic card. Insufficient CPU or memory may result in audio distortions and packet loss. Sometimes, this will be heard immediately. On other computers, it may cause the audio quality to gradually deteriorate.
The operating system doesn’t matter. It should only be able to run a recent version of Mozilla Firefox (make sure to install the latest update). We strongly recommend using Firefox !
Don’t use Google Chrome. Even though it also supports WebRTC, the latest versions of Google Chrome too often result in poor audio quality (sometimes barely audible) and may cause audio quality to could deteriorate over time.
We strongly recommend using a professional or high-end headset with noise cancelling. Cheap headsets are often cause of audio distortions.
The room from which remote interpretation is done should be as quiet as possible and acoustically suitable. When you talk or clap there shouldn’t be an echo or a reverberation. Ideally, you should find a small room with a low ceiling, a thick carpet on the floor, no windows and sound absorbing panels (you can get the same effect by covering the walls with thick curtains, blankets or carpets).
Translators should have a wired ethernet connection! Even a good wireless connection may still cause a lot of audio distortion. A good quality cable (Cat 6 recommended) and connector are also important.
They should have a bandwidth of at least 5 Mbps up and 5 Mbps down. The time for packets to travel from their computer to our servers should preferably be below 50 milliseconds . If packets arrive too late, parts of your translation will be dropped or distorted. To check this, go to https://www.speedtest.net/ and click on the Change Server link. Next, type ‘I3D’ in the popup dialog and select ‘Rotterdam – I3D.net’. Finally, press the GO button and wait until all tests are completed.
Note that these values are indications: good connections with less bandwidth or a longer packet travel time may also result in sufficient audio quality. But in that case you should definitely do plenty of testing.
Using the interface
Interpreters will receive a secure link from their project manager, which gives them access to a language room in Clevercast. Go to the room by copying the link to the address bar in Firefox. When you first arrive in the room, it will be empty (see image 1). When you press the Connect button, Clevercast will ask you to fill in your name for the text chat (see image 2) and Firefox will ask you to select your microphone (see image 3). Once you’ve done that, you will be connected to video input, audio output and chat (see image 4). If your connection is too slow, you will see a bad connection sign in the upper right corner of your screen with the number of packets being dropped per second (see image 5).
While you’re translating, Clevercast maintains three connections:
- video and audio input: you can see and hear the live stream through the player on the left side of the screen
- audio output: the audio from your microphone is broadcasted to Clevercast. The Soundbar shows you when audio is being sent. The Mute Button allows you to stop sending audio temporarily.
- chat input and output: the Messages window contains messages from Clevercast and allows you to communicate with other participants in the same language room. Their names are displayed in the Other Participants window, along with their current status (= muted or not).
Note that this is the first version of T@H, new functionality will be added to the language rooms in future versions.
Make sure the latest version of Firefox is installed
Do this before you start testing. Then go to the translator room and check if you can connect to video, audio and chat.
* the OpenH264 video codec (offered by Cisco Systems, Inc) should be enabled in the Firefox plug-ins. This is the case by default. If you can’t see the video in Firefox (black screen) this plug-in is probably not enabled. Try enabling it, or do a fresh install of Firefox.
** if you are unable to use Firefox and you have a high-end computer, you can try to use Google Chrome (after thorough testing).
Restart your computer and close all other applications
To make sure your computer is stable, restart it before translating. When you’re ready to start, close all unnecessary applications to prevent them from using your processor, memory or internet connection.
Use an ethernet cable to connect to the internet
Even a good wireless connection may result in audio distortion. To be sure, you could turn WiFi off on your computer (it may still use WiFi, even if an ethernet cable is plugged in).
Ensure that the sound from your microphone AND from the video stream goes through your headset
Make sure your headset is set as your computer’s default audio input and output setting. If the sound of the video stream is heard through your speakers, it will cause an audio loop and lead to interference.
Make sure to test beforehand with a stream that has comparable audio settings. While you’re testing, the event manager should watch the stream and help you to set the volume of your microphone.
Make sure your microphone is set correctly and speak with sufficient volume
Configure your microphone correctly, so it produces enough volume. Also don’t speak too quietly, the audio codec will have a harder time distinguishing your speech from anomalies. This will cause your speech to be erroneously corrected.
Mute your sound when another interpreter is speaking in the same language room
If multiple interpreters alternate, we recommend strongly pressing the mute button while another interpreter is speaking. Even if you make little or no sound, your microphone may still transmit ambient sounds or cause jitter. This will result in audio glitches.
Reconnect if a connection problem persists
If a problem (eg local network issue) occurs during the event, the audio of your translation will restore itself in most cases. If it doesn’t, you should quickly reconnect (press the disconnect button and then connect again).