7 Best Practices for Live Auto Captioning Quality

April 22, 2020 BY SAMANTHA SAULD
Updated: March 30, 2021

people stream live videos

The demand for live online events has increased and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. More than 67% of people globally have streamed live video content and 47% say that their consumption of live streaming has increased in the past year. 

Just like pre-recorded video content, captioning live video content is a best practice when looking to make content more accessible.

There are two ways to caption live video: with a live stenographer or through the use of live auto captions. Both options have their pros and cons, but live captioning should be as close to accurate as possible. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll focus only on live auto captions. 

The accuracy of live auto captions depends on the environment, however, when following best practices with 3Play Media’s live auto captioning, you can expect an accuracy rate of 90% or higher. 

As more people and organizations shift to online platforms for live events, it’s important to keep these 7 best practices in mind in order to achieve high-quality live auto captions.


Learn How to Add Live Auto Captions to Zoom Meetings + Webinars ➡️


#1: Strong Network Connection 💻

A strong internet connection is essential for any live event. Without it, you risk interruptions to the live stream, which can negatively affect the captions, create distractions, and ultimately detract from your message. 

According to data compiled by Livestream, viewers have a low tolerance for spotty streams and will spend 90 seconds at most before calling it quits. In order to avoid a situation like this, hosts must ensure that the internet connection is reliable. 

A number of factors can impact internet connectivity, including an overcrowded network, a faulty router, or bad cabling. Before going live, we recommend testing your internet speed and equipment to ensure a strong connection. 

When in doubt, it’s recommended to hardwire your internet connection for live streams since WiFi can sometimes be unreliable. 

#2: High-Quality Audio 🎧

Just like with poor internet connection, bad audio quality can negatively affect your live event. That’s why it’s important to invest in high-quality audio equipment. 

Good audio lies in the hands of the microphone. It can literally make or break the quality. It’s worth investing in a microphone that can clearly pick up on the sound of your voice. This will ultimately help your live auto captions become more accurate. 

The type of microphone depends on how you’re recording. You should keep these questions in mind when selecting a microphone. 

  • Where will I be recording?
  • What direction will the audio come from?
  • What are the frequencies the microphone will be picking up? 

The best types of microphones for a live event are dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones. 

dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones

As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid placing the microphone directly by the speaker(s’) mouth. It should be in front of the speaker(s), either below or to the side of the mouth. 

#3: Little to No Background Noise 🗣️

Your best bet when recording live is to have little to no background noise. It’s not always easy to minimize extraneous sound, especially when things aren’t in your control. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce background noise. 

When you choose a high-quality microphone, it archives better sound quality which leads to less background noise. 

Many of us live in cities and sometimes outside noises like sirens or talking can’t be controlled. We recommend keeping your windows and doors closed during your live event in order to reduce outside noise. 

If you’re recording from home or an office, be sure to let others around you know that you’re streaming a live event. Otherwise, streaming in a location with no one else around is most ideal. 

#4: Single Speaker 🎙️

There are many live events that utilize more than one speaker. In the event of multiple speakers, be sure to minimize overlapping speech. 

When it comes to live auto captions, it can be difficult to clearly pick up on what’s being said if people are speaking over each other.  

It’s best to let each speaker speak at a time in order to ensure accurate captions. 

#5: Clear Speech and Pronunciation 💬

Similarly to recorded video content, captions are more accurate when the host is speaking clearly and annunciating each word. 

Want to ensure your live auto captions are as accurate as possible? Be sure to slow down and pronounce each word as clearly as possible. 

#6: Add Wordlists ☑️

Automatic captions have the ability to minimize deletion errors, which means the automatic speech recognition (ASR) is able to capture all words. However, ASR may create more substitution errors – or inaccurate words.

A wordlist is a custom feature unique to 3Play Media that was created to reduce the number of inaccurate words in a live stream.

Wordlists allow users to submit a glossary of terms to improve the visual accuracy of the ASR on those words. 

When users submit a wordlist for their live event, the ASR technology listens for those words detected in the live stream and captions those words exactly as given in the wordlist, with proper spelling and punctuation.

#7: Upgrade to Full Transcription 💡

As mentioned, when best practices are followed using 3Play’s live auto captioning, you can expect an accuracy rate of 90% or higher.

In order to achieve the highest quality possible, we recommend upgrading to our full transcription process after your event to ensure a fully compliant, 99% accurate recording. 

Your file will go through our full captioning process, starting with your live auto transcript: our team of editors will go through the ASR transcript and correct any errors. The transcript will then go through another round of quality assurance (QA).

3Play’s Live Automatic Captioning 

video camera

At 3Play Media, our live auto captioning solution allows you to schedule automatic captions for live streaming events. We streamline the traditional live captioning workflow by integrating with a number of video platforms including YouTube, Zoom, Brightcove, and JW Player – with Facebook coming soon.  

With best in class ASR technology and custom features, we’re able to deliver a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for captioning live events.

Our goal is to help companies and organizations by making video accessibility easy. When you caption your live events, you can make them more accessible. 

Click to learn more 👇

Learn how to add live auto captions to zoom meetings and webinars. Are you hosting an upcoming meeting or webinar on Zoom? Do you want to ensure it's live captioned? If so, these how-to guides are just for you! Learn more.





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