The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020 - 14

FEATURE

BY NATALIA FEDORENKOVA
Ethernet Cable: Another mandatory
requirement is a high-speed Ethernet
cable (or two!) to connect to the internet.
I installed two completely independent
Ethernet cables. If one line is down, the
system automatically switches to the
second line.
Uninterrupted Power Supply: It's
strongly recommended that you purchase
an uninterrupted power supply device,
which will allow you to work through
short-term blackouts and protects your
data and equipment.

My workstation setup

Six Remote Simultaneous
Interpreting Platforms and Zoom
There are several options when it comes to choosing the platform that's
right for you. I'll discuss some of the most popular ones here, comparing
features and functionality.

R

emote simultaneous interpreting
(RSI) platforms substitute and
complement hardware equipment.
They can be used for online events
and webinars as well as regular onsite
conferences with interpreters connecting
remotely from the comfort of their homes
or specially equipped studios.
So, what are some of the RSI platforms
out there and what features do they offer?
What are the technical requirements
to support these platforms on your
workstation? Well, let's take a look. But
first, a few basics.

TIPS FOR AN EFFICIENT
RSI WORKSTATION
The photo above shows my remote
workstation. As you can see, I have a
laptop in front of me with a second
monitor connected to it. The RSI platform
is launched on one screen while the second
screen allows me to consult support
materials, glossaries, or search online. You
14

The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2020

can use two separate computers for this
purpose, but it's not really necessary as one
high-power laptop/desktop covers it all.
However, you might find having only one
screen very inconvenient because any new
window you need to open to check your
support documents will most likely cover
the RSI platform window. This means
you'll probably no longer be able to see
the video stream or the chat window used
to communicate with your interpreting
partner and the moderator. Not being
able to see everything will also increase
the chances that you'll miss important
information.
So, what else do you need for your
work setup?
Quality Headset and Microphone: The
most essential criterion in choosing a
headset is comfort since you'll have to wear
it for long periods. Some RSI platforms
have certain preferences in terms of headset
brand and type (see below). However, the
final decision is yours.

Soundproofing: Your workstation should
be as soundproof as possible to provide
clear sound when using the microphone.
You'll also need to close any windows
and doors to block outside noises. Many
platforms recommend working from a
specially equipped studio or hub if there's
one in your location.

COMPARISON OF RSI PLATFORMS
There are several options when it comes
to choosing the platform that's right for
you. To help give you an idea of what you
should be looking for in a platform, I've
compiled profiles of some of the most
popular ones in which I compare features
and functionality. Space does not allow
me to compare all the platforms out there,
but I hope this detailed overview will help
you make a more informed decision. For
pricing information, please refer to the
websites listed for each platform.
The main criteria I used when comparing
the platforms discussed here include:
■	

Whether the platform also serves as
an event platform, or can only be used
for RSI

■	

Interface

■	

Video stream

■	

Audio stream

■	

Relay

■	

Handover

■	

Response time to questions
(communication quality)

■	

The ability to listen to the floor
speaker and your interpreting
partner simultaneously

■	

Onboarding process
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2020

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