Realtime connection types
There are two types of realtime connections often discussed, which may be confusing. There is the realtime connection that sends steno to English from your steno machine to your laptop. Taking that a step further, there is the connection that sends English from your laptop to attorneys and judges on their laptops, iPads, netbooks, and other devices for viewing purposes.
Be sure to consult with your CAT software vendor to ensure you are properly outputting from steno machine to your laptop.
Some connection options currently in use
A personal router acts as an information conduit providing wireless delivery of local/onsite realtime to an attorney or judge. These routers provide a local area network (LAN) and do not provide internet access. Once a wireless connection is established between your personal router and your laptop, the recipient of realtime will then connect their device to your specifically named router. The advantage of this connection is there are no wires. With some software products, attendees who join the proceeding late will receive all prior testimony on their computer or device.
There are also options to transmit wirelessly via Bluetooth technology. A wireless connection between the court reporter and multiple attorneys onsite is made possible through a court reporter’s USB port.
Internet streaming is text streamed to attendees in remote locations. The remote location could be in the next room or anywhere in the world. An internet connection is required along with the proper realtime software to provide this type of service.
There are software programs available that allow your computer to act as a virtual router enabling you to provide a WiFi hotspot without a physical router. Internet access is not required in order for this realtime connection to be made.
Realtime cables are used for connecting your writer to your computer via a serial port for realtime. The realtime cable kit contains a serial cable with an adapter for the computer and an adapter for the writer. If your computer does not have a 9-pin serial port, you will need a USB to serial converter adapter in addition to this serial cable. This type has been a method of realtime delivery since the inception of interactive realtime but comes with potential connectivity issues.
It has never been easier to provide realtime today. Gone are the days of cables! In addition to connecting via a network or a router, there are many options for connecting devices for realtime utilizing a browser. Software installs, app downloads, or technicalities can slow you down when opening a realtime session. There are several options from CAT vendors that allow your clients to follow your realtime immediately on any device with an Internet connection. Check with your CAT software vendor for the latest in browser realtime options. (link to the future article that will be coming out this year re: browser edition).
Once your connection has been established, there are several options to now take that next step of sending a feed from your laptop to another person’s device to display interactive realtime. With so many advances today in realtime technology, there are different ways to effectuate connections depending on the method of realtime delivered and whether it be on-site or remote or both.
There are many software vendors that are ready to help with router and/or connection recommendations and many brands are available. Your CAT vendor may also recommend a particular method found to be very stable with its software.