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The Different Types of Captioning

Each captioning company will categorize their levels of captioning differently, but a fully operating captioning company will offer at these three types of captioning: live captioning, live-to-tape captioning, and post-production captioning.

Here are descriptions of the different types of captioning:

Live Captioning

Just like it sounds, live captioning is written by a live captioner in real-time.  The live captioner is trained as a court reporter and uses a stenograph machine to caption live.  They do not type using a keyboard. The live captioner writes at the same time the show is being broadcasted. The live captioner dials in directly into a T.V. station.

Live-to-tape Captioning

This type of captioning is written by a live captioner in real-time. Instead of dialing into a station, they dial into an encoder and an audio line and write in the same “live” style.  The show is recorded in real-time, but is mailed out to the station and broadcasts on a later date.  This type of captioning is used mainly for extremely tight turnarounds and to reduce cost to the client.  The accuracy rate is much lower than post-production captioning.

Post-Production Captioning

Post-production captions typically get transcribed by a transcriber using a video and audio file that has been digitized.  Many transcribers work remotely (from home) or on location. Typically, a caption editor close captions this type of captioning.  Within post-production captioning, most companies will offer different levels of quality to meet the needs of their clients.