The StenoCast Ez Send is the next-generation wireless transmitter from StenoCast, replacing the StenoCast RED, which was released in 2009.
The Ez Send plugs into the court reporter’s computer via a USB port. The Ez Send wirelessly transmits your translated realtime from your (court reporter) computer to up to 14 clients. The reporter’s clients may only receive this wireless realtime transmission if you provide to them either a blue or red Ez Receiver, or if they are using a StenoCast Realtime TV. These Ez Receivers plug into the clients’ computers via a USB port.
Not only is the Ez Send 40 percent smaller than its predecessor, it also has four innovations that make you, the realtime reporter, invaluable to your clients:
1) Realtime in Reserve (RiR) allows your clients to receive the entire realtime transcript, even if they connect with you after the start of the job. The entire transcript is instantly and automatically downloaded by your client and is then viewable and searchable, as if they had been present from the beginning of the realtime job.
2) You now have complete control over the number and types of connections. With previous generation transmitters you were limited to seven standard (2,400 baud) connections and seven refresh (38,400 baud) connections. With the Ez Send you have these options:
1. Seven standard (2,400 baud) connections, plus seven refresh (38,400 baud) connections
2. 14 standard (2,400 baud) connections
3. 14 refresh (38,400 baud) connections
Please note: If you configure your Ez Send to transmit with 14 standard connections, you may send your wireless realtime to from one, up to 14, clients in the standard mode. All these clients must receive your realtime in the standard mode. You cannot, for example, send in the standard mode to 12 clients and in the refresh mode to two clients.
If you are sending realtime to clients in both the standard and refresh modes, you may send your wireless realtime to up to seven clients using each mode: Seven in standard mode and seven in refresh mode.
Likewise, if you configure your Ez Send to transmit with 14 refresh connections, you may send your wireless realtime to from one, up to 14, clients in the refresh mode. All these clients must receive your realtime in the refresh mode. You cannot, for example, send in the refresh mode to 10 clients and in the standard mode to four clients.
If your CAT software company has adopted the Bridge refresh protocol, you may utilize this refresh feature if you have clients using the Bridge litigation-support software program. To do so you will provide these clients with red Ez Receivers. “Red” stands for “refresh-enabled device.”
To summarize: If you want to send “refresh” updates to your clients, you must (a) have CAT software that has implemented the Bridge refresh protocol; (2) have clients using Bridge litigation-support software; and (3) provide your clients with a red Ez Receiver.
Blue Ez Receivers may be used by all clients, regardless of the CAT software used by the reporter. Blue Ez Receivers are compatible with all CAT software (including Eclipse) and all litigation-support software, including Bridge. The only limitation is you cannot utilize the refresh feature if your clients are using a blue Ez Receiver.
As of January 1, 2012, all CAT software companies, except Stenograph, have adopted the Bridge refresh protocol. However, not all of these CAT software companies have fully implemented this refresh protocol. Please check with your CAT software vendor regarding the status of their implementation.
3) There is a dual-use serial port on the Ez Send. If you need to connect to a client using a serial cable, you can connect that cable (or multi-line block) directly to the Ez Send, and thus avoid connecting a serial cable into your computer and creating potential COM port issues.
You may also use the serial port on the Ez Send as an incoming port, which means if you need to connect wirelessly to more than 14 clients, you may do so by daisy-chaining two Ez Send transmitters together.
4) The new, much larger LED display allows you to know not just the number of connections, but the type of connections, standard or refresh. This information may prove invaluable if any troubleshooting is required.
Q1. Why are there red and blue Ez Receivers? What’s the difference between them?
A1. The blue USB Ez Receivers are given to clients using any or all litigation-support software. This includes LiveNote, Summation, Bridge, CaseView, CaseViewNet, Transcript Manager Pro. The blue Ez Receiver is the universal solution, working with all CAT software and all litigation-support software, including Bridge.
The red USB Ez Receiver is designed specifically for clients using Bridge. If your CAT software has adopted and implemented the Bridge Refresh Protocol, then you may send “refresh” editing changes to those clients using Bridge.
Note: Editing changes are reflected on your clients’ computers (using any software) as a matter of course. Those editing changes will be reflected in their transcript from the moment you make the editing change, and those globals or replaces will display from that point forward in the transcript. “Refresh” makes those editing changes retroactive to the beginning of the transcript.
Q2. I’m new to realtime. How do you actually set up the Ez Send equipment?
A2. We’ll start with the court reporter’s computer. This may look like a long to-do list, but it will take you about one minute from start to finish.
Take the StenoCast Driver CD that was provided and place it into your computer’s CD drive. It is an auto-run CD. During the installation process, within a few seconds, you will be prompted to plug your Ez Send unit into your computer. Plug one end (the small end) of the provided USB cable into the Ez Send, and the other end into any available USB port on your computer. Your computer is now assigning two COM ports to the Ez Send transmitter. When the installation is complete (a few seconds later), your computer screen will display the two COM port numbers that were assigned. Jot those numbers down.
Then go into your CAT software, and you will want to enter three pieces of information into your outgoing realtime settings: 1) Set the protocol to CaseView; 2) Set the baud rate to 2400; and 3) Enter the smaller of the two COM port numbers into the COM port box. That’s it.
If your CAT software has adopted and implemented the Bridge Refresh Protocol, there is one additional feature. You may also send “refreshed” editing changes to your clients using Bridge litigation-support software. To set this up on your computer, you will set these additional outgoing realtime settings: 1) Set the protocol to Bridge; 2) Set the baud rate to 38,400 (or 38k); and 3) Enter the larger of the two COM port numbers into the COM port box.
You are then able to send up to seven standard wireless realtime streams, plus seven additional “refreshed” wireless realtime streams from a single Ez Send unit. Each client will need either a standard (blue) USB Ez Receiver or a refresh (red) USB Ez Receiver to receive this wireless realtime.
Setting up your clients: It’s the exact same process as you’ve just completed. Place the CD into the client’s computer. When prompted, place the blue or red USB Ez Receiver into an available COM port on their computer. When the process is complete, their computer screen will display the COM port assigned to their Ez Receiver. Jot that number down.
You will then go to their litigation-support software (LiveNote, Bridge, Summation, CaseView, or any other) and you will enter these three pieces of information into their incoming realtime settings: 1) Set the protocol to CaseView; 2) Set the baud rate to 2400; and 3) Enter the COM port number that displayed on their screen. Note: this number does not need to match with the COM port number assignment on your computer. The protocol and baud rates do need to match.
Q3. Why use StenoCast Wireless Realtime equipment? Can’t I just use a Wi-Fi router system?
A3. Yes and no. There are some situations where you can “get by” with a Wi-Fi router system, but it may prove very expensive, and the venues where it can be used are very limited.
Keeping this as generic as possible, let’s say you use Brand X CAT software, and they offer a generic Wi-Fi realtime solution. They will probably charge you for that software option. Let’s put that fee at 0.
Your CAT software company will probably require you to have the latest version of the Brand X CAT software. You were happy with your earlier version, but you’ll need to upgrade if you want to go wireless. Let’s put that fee at ,000.
Brand X CAT software company may also require that you keep your equipment under contract with them if you want to use their wireless realtime solution. Fee: 0 per year.
Brand X CAT software company may also charge a yearly wireless realtime software fee of 0.
You’ll also need a Wi-Fi router. Cost: .
So let’s say you’ve now invested about ,000 in your Wi-Fi system. Now you can provide realtime to all your clients, and the realtime viewing software is “free”!
Here’s the rub: You can provide wireless realtime to clients who are using the “free” realtime viewing software that was developed by Brand X CAT software company, but there are two major difficulties ahead: 1) Very few clients actually use or want to use Brand X Software. The vast majority of attorneys use LiveNote. Many others use Bridge. Some use Summation. Others use CaseView. A few use Transcript Manager Pro.
So if your clients show up and decide they don’t want to switch to Brand X, they cannot receive your wireless realtime.
With StenoCast Wireless Realtime equipment any reporter using any CAT software may send wireless realtime to any clients using any litigation-support software. It’s that simple.
The other major flaw to the Wi-Fi option is most courthouses will not allow you or your clients to use a Wi-Fi system in the courthouse. Most IT departments are not willing to take the risk of a virus being transmitted from, say, one of your clients’ computers to the Judge’s computer that is on a secure network.
On the other hand, StenoCast’s safe & secure Bluetooth wireless system is approved in County, State and Federal Courthouses throughout the U.S. and the world. We do not rely on virus-protection software to guard against these threats. We handle it at the hardware level. The StenoCast realtime equipment physically does not allow anything to be transmitted from one client to another, or from one client back to the reporter. It only allows a one-way communication of realtime from the reporter to each individual client.
Q4. What are the advantages of a wireless StenoCast system vs. serial cables?
A4. Serial cables were a viable option up until a few years back when computer manufacturers discontinued putting serial ports on their computers. If you don’t have a serial port, you must use a USB-to-serial adapter. If you use a USB-to-serial adapter, you will have issues. The combinations of incompatibility between some software and some adapters are staggering. It also takes a significant amount of time to get a “wired” system set up, crawling under tables, taping everything down, only to undo it all when the job is finished.
You could potentially “save” a few hundred dollars when you purchase a serial cable kit, but your first realtime job that is lost because you can’t get it all to work more than offsets your initial savings.
Plus, it is a fact: You “sell” more realtime when you use StenoCast wireless equipment. When you show up for a job and your clients are ready to receive your realtime in about a minute’s time, other attorneys take notice. Oftentimes they initially say “no” when you offer realtime because they envision 15 – 20 minutes of struggle, followed by failure. Those “no’s” can turn to “yeses” if you are a sophisticated, competent realtime pro with top-of-the-line, professional wireless realtime equipment.
Q5. If I am using the Ez Send transmitter, I see that clients may receive my realtime using either Blue Ez Receivers and/or Red Ez Receivers and/or Realtime TVs. How does that work?
A5. Think of it this way: The Ez Send allows 14 clients to receive your realtime wirelessly. It sends out up to 14 wireless signals. If you have a mix of clients, some with computers using Bridge software, some with computers using software other than Bridge, and some without computers, here are your options:
1) There are two processors in the Ez Send transmitter. Each processor allows for up to seven wireless connections. So you can send wireless realtime to up to seven clients using any software, let’s call that the universal processor, plus you can send wireless realtime to seven additional clients using Bridge software. We can call that the refresh processor.
If some clients do not have computers, you can provide them with a Realtime TV. The Realtime TV will receive the wireless realtime via the universal processor. So if you have some clients using the refresh processor, that then limits you to seven universal connections. Those seven universal connections may be divided up in any fashion between Realtime TVs and clients using computers with Blue Ez Receivers.
2) If you are not using the refresh processor on the Ez Send, you then have the option to send 14 universal wireless realtime streams. Those 14 universal wireless streams may be divided up in any fashion between Realtime TVs and clients using computers with Blue Ez Receivers (for example, 10 clients with Blue Ez Receivers and four clients using Realtime TVs, or 12 clients using Realtime TVs and two clients using Blue Ez Receivers).
3) If all of your clients use Bridge software and you are able to use the refresh protocol, you have the option of setting up the Ez Send transmitter to transmit all 14 connections using the refresh protocol. All clients (1 – 14) would need to have computers, and you would give them Red Ez Receivers. You would not be able to also use Realtime TVs with this configuration.