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BoxCast Features + Updates, Live Streaming Software

How to Add Automated Captions to Your Live Stream

This post explores the wider range of options for adding captions to your broadcast. It's part of our series on BoxCast Features.

Captioning your live video is an important step in making your content more accessible to your viewers. It also may be important to meet compliance standards for your organization.

More than 30 million Americans live with a form of hearing loss. Millions of others are illiterate, learning to read, or use English as a second language. More likely than not, some of these people are your viewers. 

In this post, we'll address your options for adding captions to your broadcast. Then we'll talk about how we do it at BoxCast.

First, let's define captions. Captions is the overarching term referring to the time-stamped transcript of a video. They are often presented in the form of closed captions, which can be be turned on or off by the viewer. The term, 'subtitle,' while often used interchangeably, actually only refers to captions that translate dialogue.


Automated vs. Manual Captioning


Think back to closed captions you've seen on broadcast television. In those situations, the captions often lagged behind the actual audio. The reason for that is that there is usually a human rapidly transcribing the audio as it occurs.

Recently, AI and machine learning developments have finally delivered an automated alternative. Software can now interpret live streamed audio and deliver live captions perfectly in sync with the audio. 

Do they work? Yes.

Are they perfect? No.

The first few versions of automated live captions were pretty inaccurate, actually. Since then, they've improved drastically-- enough so that they should be seriously considered in comparison to other forms of live captions. As is the case with anything built on machine learning, this technology will continue to improve over time.

Many of the captions you see today are still captured manually. However, more and more organizations are switching over to automated captioning systems.


Other Considerations

When considering adding live captioning to your video, you should consider affordability, editability, and compliance.


The price range for live captioning is very expensive. Ultimately, affordability ends up being one of the top benefits of automated live captioning.

With a manual caption process, captioning can get pricey fast. Whether you have an in-house solution or turn to an external service, people's time is expensive. At the very least, you'll be looking at least $1/ per broadcast minute for an external service or up to $50,000 in equipment (not including staff time) for an in-house manual solution.

If price is a big factor for you, manual captioning won't be an option. You should look to a service that provides automated captioning.



If you do opt for an automated caption option, you will want the ability to edit the transcript after the live stream is complete. When you choose a service, ensure that the process for editing is easy and that the solution helps you avoid potential errors quickly. You don't want to be forced to read the entire transcript in review. You'll also want to ability to proactively submit important terms, like your organization's name, so that it doesn't get misinterpreted and spelled incorrectly by the system's AI.


Your Compliance Standards

Organizations of all kinds (especially schools and governments) often have overarching standards for compliance. It will be worthwhile for you to check in to see if you have any captioning requirements.


How to Add Automated live Captions with BoxCast

At BoxCast, our core goal is to make people part of experiences that matter to them. We are committed ensuring that everyone can enjoy that experience. 

BoxCast Automated Live Captioning allows you to add live captions to your broadcasts. Broadcasters can create unlimited captions for their live streams with the simple click of a button. 

Before you go live, you can submit key terms and phrases that you want automated captions to display correctly every time. After the broadcast is complete, broadcasters can edit the captions to correct the language and timing. The process is seamless and quick.

Here's how it works:


Final Thoughts + Further Reading

Like live streaming, captioning can be easy. Here's more on the little things that can take your live stream to the next level.

If you're interesting in using BoxCast's automated live captions, get in touch with our team here. 

Happy Streaming 😃!