Closed Captioning – a Hybrid Approach

Most people believe that they must choose between using a closed captioning service or buying captioning software in order to meet their captioning needs. A third choice exists which has proven highly cost-effective for many organizations.  

This third option, known as the Hybrid Captioning Solution, is the subject of this article. 

What is the Hybrid Captioning Solution (HCS)?

The HCS lets you cherrypick the features of a captioning service and captioning software to allow you to caption in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. 

Example #1

Captioning Need: You need to caption 1 hour of video per week, have a very limited budget and do not have the manpower to both transcribe the dialogue and then synchronize the transcribed dialogue with the spoken text. 

HCS Service Segment: Outsource the transcription process to a relatively low-cost transcription service. 

HCS Software Segment: Use closed captioning software that has the capability to automatically synchronize the transcript with the spoken dialogue, and then automatically encode the captions onto whatever format your deliverable is. 

HCS Benefits: You outsource the most labor-intensive portion of the captioning process, which is transcription. You do the actual captioning in-house, but since it is mostly automated, your manpower requirements are minimal. 

Example #2

Captioning Need: You need to caption 2 hours of video per week, have a very limited budget, and have extremely limited manpower to devote to captioning, and occasionally need to make a few last-second edits. Your deliverable is a broadcast video file. 

HCS Service Segment: Outsource the transcription and caption timing process to a captioning service, who will email you a small caption file. 

HCS Software Segment: Use encoding only captioning software to encode the captions onto a broadcast video file. 

HCS Benefits: The captioning service will charge you a reduced fee since they are not doing the encoding. Encoding only captioning software is relatively inexpensive compared to full-blown captioning software. Plus you can make some last-second caption edits in house. 

Is Hybrid Captioning the best solution for everyone?

No is the short answer. HCS is a great fit for organizations with limited captioning manpower, and the specific captioning needs that meet the HCS profile. Contact a caption service provider or caption software developer to see if your organization would benefit from the HCS.