Captioning Compendium Part II: Typists or the Cloud?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

A picture with hands typing on a keyboard and a transcript button

In Part I, we explored the different types of closed captions that are displayed on the screen. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into how captions are generated. There are essentially two methods, both of which offer near-real-time performance for live programming.

First, there are companies that offer online captioning solutions produced by experienced, professional captioning teams. That means humans are literally transcribing your content and typing your captions (they are available for offline captioning, too). As you might expect, this method can be very expensive.

Cablecast supports a more economical approach with its automatic captioning technology, which is built into all VIO and Flex video servers running Cablecast 7.4 or higher. Cablecast’s cloud-based captioning engine uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) to convert speech into text – no human interaction (or typing) required.

There are plenty of real-world test cases that speak to its effectiveness – and we’ve found it to be very accurate – but we’ve also included a tool to make it even better. Each customer can create five custom vocabularies, which are sets of words that are likely to appear in your content. For example, you can include the name of your mayor and council members, as well as the names of local schools, parks, and even streets that are regularly referenced in meetings. Got a local sports program? Add the names of prominent athletes, coaches, and teams to another vocabulary list.

Your captioning vocabulary is a sort of cheat sheet for the captioning engine; it lets the program know these words are likely to appear during your programming, which helps correct spelling and improve overall accuracy. Cablecast’s vocabularies even work with acronyms, so the captioning engine knows to write “NAB” instead of something like “enaybee.”

Flexible Cablecast Closed Captioning pricing allows you to purchase blocks of hours or pay-as-you-go. Want to learn more? Get in touch for easy and accurate caption solutions from Cablecast.

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