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 the descriptions:
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.
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 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.