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What’s the Difference between Captioning and Transcribing?

While captioning and transcribing videos both involve converting the spoken word into text, the real difference lies in the way they are used. In the case of open and/or closed captioning, the mission is for broadcasters and podcasters to provide on-screen text that displays in sync with the spoken word. In this way, deaf and hard of hearing viewers, or those watching with the sound down or off, can follow along. 

Broadcasters are legally obligated to provide live captioning that’s as accurate, complete, and as easy to read as possible. Expectations of accuracy rise for pre-recorded and on-demand media fare. And any TV show that has aired on broadcast TV must provide captions when it subsequently streams via the internet or social media.   

Whereas with transcription, the point is to generate a verbatim written record that documents what was said in a video and by whom. Having a written record of a video’s dialogue enables people to quickly search for what they’re looking for based on specific terms or keywords. Searching transcripts can also help people quickly locate a particular video even if it resides in a large media repository.  

The insurance, medical, real estate, legal, and educational fields are key verticals that increasingly deal with A/V media. Zoom or Teams calls, legal depositions, claims investigations, online classes, webinars, and virtual home tours are just some of the video-based assets that modern enterprises might amass. It’s far easier to review the contents of videos by referring to timecoded transcripts than it is to sit there and shuttle through them. 

One thing that captions and transcripts have in common is the need to convert speech into text. Transcribing audio accurately, and with timecode, is very time-consuming and laborious, especially if there is a high-volume of media to be done. 

Whether the goal is to produce live TV captions or precise transcripts for corporate records, enCaption from ENCO Systems is ready 24/7 to automate the end-to-end speech-to-text conversion process on-premises with impressive accurately. enCaption does this speech to text conversion without human touchpoints, reducing the manhours required.  

If you’re a broadcaster, podcaster, or corporate media user, and want to learn more about how enCaption can lighten your captioning and/or transcribing load, please check out our many resources at enco.com.

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