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Hamilton CapTel 840i Real-Time Closed Captioned Telephone
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- Designed specifically for individuals with difficulty hearing over the phone. REQUIRES Telephone Service and High Speed Internet Connection (Ethernet or WiFi).
- Captioned Telephone is easy to use. It works the same way you'd use any other telephone. If you can't hear what someone says over the phone, simply read the captions.
- Captioned Telephone works with a no charge captioning service where specially trained operators use advanced voice recognition technology to generate captions of everything the other person says. There are no monthly fees or service agreements and your monthly phone bill won't change
- Installing the captioned telephone is easy and installation support is available. Captions are available in English or Spanish.
- Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) is regulated and funded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is designed exclusively for individuals with hearing loss.
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Hamilton CapTel makes it possible to listen while reading word-for-word captions of everything said to a user on the phone – similar to captions on television. You dial the other person’s number, exactly the same way as with any other telephone. As you dial, the phone automatically connects to a no charge captioning service. When the other party answers, you can listen to everything they say…just like a traditional call. Through the captioning service, captions are generated through voice recognition technology, provided by a live Communications Assistant, and appear directly on the large, built-in screen of the phone. The service is available nationwide, 24/7. The Hamilton CapTel 840i phone also offers a number of other valuable features, such as adjustable volume amplification, the ability to save captions for review later and answering machine functionality (those messages are also captioned with just the touch of a button). The keypad has large, easy-to-use buttons, and you can call out in the same fashion you always have. Your callers do not need any special equipment or a captioned phone in order to call you. It’s simple for them, simple for you -- and how wonderful to end the frustration, the need for your callers to repeat what they said, and the urging from you to "Speak louder". Hamilton is a registered trademark of Nedelco, Inc. d/b/a Hamilton Telecommunications. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc
Top customer reviews
The first thing that you have to realize is that the phone itself does not do any of the clever work. It requires a high speed internet link (mine is business level 50+Mbs) to CapTel where a human monitored computer does the voice to text and then transmits the text back to be displayed: this takes time and the delay is cumulative.
The translation itself is not bad but if there are any special names, words or phrases they are often mistranslated (watch the captioning on a news program to see how that works). So every now and then the operator will change the translation when it is obvious the machine has got it wrong. One to one - this system is not bad - the person on the other end needs to be told you are using a caption phone and then it works fine as they accept the occasional 5 - 10 second pause. I would think someone with a slower internet connection would have an even longer pause. If as in my case you are trying to listen in to a conversation between two family members, then the captioning gets further and further behind and can be a minute or more behind in even a simple unhurried conversation. The system allows you to save the conversations so you can see what was said but you cannot join in or if you do the others need to realize you are 45 seconds to a minute behind what they were saying. Quite often "(speaker too quiet)", "(Speaker unclear)", or "(Multiple Speakers)" etc. are embedded in the captions when the machine (and the operator) cannot make out what was said. The Captions will put (M) or (F) to show that it is a male or female voice which may be of some use sorting out who said what. If the speakers are the same sex then it can become confusing following other people's conversations,
The CapTel phone is explicitly for the deaf, so it is rather strange that the handset is not hearing aid compatible, no magnetic loop capability instead it has volume control that can make the handset volume louder. However, a digital hearing aid when it senses a loud sound reduces its gain - so raising the handset volume does NOT work at all with a modern digital hearing aid.
We are in a world where MicroSoft demonstrated an executive giving a speech in English to a Chinese audience which was real time translated and turned into his voice speaking Chinese with all the grammatical complexities that has - yet phones are not available that can translate voice to text in the same language in real time.
The CapTel 840i works as advertised. It can be useful one to one for a slow conversation but is little support if it is used to take part in rather than just listen to conversation between two (or more) other people on the line.
Finally, as it is federally supported under a program for the deaf, this phone cannot be passed on or sold on. I presume that when I have finished with this I have to return it to CapTel.
1) First, the captioning is on a considerable delay. It was just too difficult for my Mom to have conversations where there are these long silent lapses. Very unnatural and she just couldn't help but say "What" 3 times before the captioning showed up and then the caller started talking over the delayed captioning and it was just a mess and confusing. She just didn't want to have to manage that.
2) The phone's audio quality is ironically really bad. They may have volume, but as most old people hard of hearing will tell you, it's not about the volume, it's about the clarity. They can hear it; they just cannot distinguish the words. This phone has a very tinny sound on its normal setting and the tone options are really impractical. The 'High" tone setting is even tinnier, and the "Low" tone setting is this muffled sound. So my Mom thought it always sounded like someone was talking through a barrel. Not even close in audio quality to her regular phone.
3) It seems ridiculous in a world of cordless phones, that they have to go backwards in technology with a tethered handset, ala 1970's. My Mom really disliked the cord after years of freedom; she didn't want to go backwards.
Unfortunately, no redeeming qualities to this phone. So we sent it back. We'll just look for a regular cordless phone with great clarity.
This model does not retain settings in a power outage (don't know if any models do).
Highly recommend this.
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particularly when I am trying...Read more