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Realtime Hookup Solutions

/Making the Connection

Realtime Hookup Solutions


Realtime hookup generally requires a cable between the court reporter’s computer and the attorney’s computer.

The court reporter supplies the cable. The attorney or other participant at the depo supplies their own computer with a working serial port, plus whatever realtime capture software they wish to use.

A “serial port” is a connector on a computer that has nine pins in it. It looks like this:

Serial Port

Modern laptop and notebook computers do not come with serial ports so a short adapter cord is needed that has a serial port on one end and a USB plug on other.
Serial Port

This device is known as a USB-to-Serial Adapter. Such adapters are widely available and inexpensive.

The USB plug is connected to the attorney’s computer, special software is loaded and configured on the same computer, and then the computer has a serial port to which the court reporter’s cable can be connected.

The full setup looks like this:

Realtime Hookup Diagram

USB-to-serial adapters have special software that must be installed before the adapter will function, and there is some setup required. These steps should be done and in working order before the realtime deposition event. It is not advisable to wait until the deposition to make this installation.

Supplying a computer with a working, available serial port and realtime capture software is the responsibility of the attorney.

Supplying the realtime text feed to the attorney’s serial port is the court reporter’s responsibility. The reporter will provide the text feed via cables that the court reporter brings with them.


In some cases, a wireless connection can be used in place of cables. However, this requires proprietary software and hardware that not all reporters have. It also requires proprietary software for the attorney’s computer. If you specifically want a wireless connection, this should be made known well in advance so that an appropriate reporter can be located for the job.

Other participants at the deposition may not have the hardware and software needed for a wireless connection to the reporter. Realtime text via cable is universal and highly reliable.