Busting the Myths of Human-Managed ASR Captions

April 12, 2023 BY JENA WALLACE
Updated: October 18, 2023

Tuned ASR: How 3Play is Advancing Live Automatic Speech Recognition for Closed Captions [Blog]

Have you heard the buzz about our human-managed automatic speech recognition (ASR) solution, Tuned ASR?

Tuned ASR is an exciting development in 3Play Media’s suite of live captioning services. Through Tuned ASR, 3Play offers the best of both live captioning solutions: innovative ASR technology and expert human oversight.

Tuned ASR is slated to help broadcasters and producers of live events curate relevant, accurate captions at a fraction of the cost of traditional ASR. But what kind of impact does a managed ASR solution really have on video production workflows?

Traditional ASR is sometimes known as a “set and forget it” solution for live captions. It can theoretically enable vendors to remove human captioners from the equation while handling heavy volumes of video content. 

But managed ASR has some big differences from traditional ASR in this regard.

In this blog, we’re tackling some of these differences and busting the myths that may have carried over from traditional ASR to managed ASR solutions (such as Tuned ASR.) Let’s learn why Tuned ASR isn’t your average one-and-done ASR model, how human captioners are still crucial for managed ASR, and which kinds of content are the best fit for Tuned ASR.

Myth #1: Managed ASR Captions = Set It and Forget It


When you choose a managed ASR solution, you set the parameters that work best for your content in the preparation phase. A speech model is curated specifically for your program or event, with an expert team that builds out dictionaries, vocabularies, and other important settings to get a high level of accuracy and quality. So that means when it’s done, your ASR speech model should be good to go, right?

Well, yes and no. Your managed ASR is good to go for your live content, but it’s not the end of the story. It needs that feedback and re-tuning to ensure caption relevancy. 

Managed ASR, such as Tuned ASR, is not a one-and-done, set-it-and-forget it solution. This type of ASR is always learning, and it works best when experts are fine-tuning its speech model on a continuous basis. With Tuned ASR, this comes in the form of monthly, weekly, or daily speech model updates, depending on your individual needs. 

However, this doesn’t mean that there’s extra work on your end. We handle the administrative support, expert human supervision, scalability, re-tuning, and all other hidden responsibilities on the back end. That way, even though you’re using an ASR solution that requires more oversight, it’ll feel as simple as a traditional ASR service–without the worry about live captioning accuracy.

Myth #2: No Human Captioners Needed


One of the biggest misconceptions about ASR captions revolves around human captioners, or lack thereof. But when it comes to managed ASR, human captioners and speech modeling experts are critical for successful captions.

Traditional ASR translates the spoken word into speech, but functions by simply transcribing what is being said, word for word. There’s not much opportunity to make adjustments, and it does not have context for what it’s transcribing. And it’s that context that sets managed ASR apart from its traditional iteration.

At 3Play, our professional captioners double as speech modeling experts. By having human captioners manage an ASR solution, they’re able to use their experience with translating the spoken word into captions and apply the skills to speech modeling. This results in a solution that gives ASR that much-needed context on a continuous basis. And in turn, you get accurate captions at a fraction of the cost of using only human captioners.

How 3Play is Advancing Live ASR Captions for Broadcast TV 🤖

Myth #3: Any Content Works with Managed ASR Captions


Traditional ASR captions sometimes get a bad reputation for not being able to handle all content successfully. You can feed it any video, but not all ASR captions come out the way you may expect.

Managed ASR is similar, in that you need to give it the right tools for success. One of those tools? The video content itself. When managed ASR is learning, it thrives on consistency and expert programming on a regular basis. 

For example, a live daily financial news show with the same program structure and segments on a regular basis is enabled for greater success than a breaking news program that’s being put together as it’s happening. The managed ASR knows the financial show’s hosts’ names, their usual speech patterns, and transcription preferences. It’s been tested and continuously fine-tuned.

But in a breaking event, or a non-standard program, managed ASR isn’t an ideal solution. When it comes to 3Play’s Tuned ASR, live professional human captioners are suggested for unplanned content that may need human care. To help streamline producers’ dynamic needs, we’ve built in access to our 24/7 captioning support to ensure you still have the professional captioning coverage you require in those times that Tuned ASR isn’t the right fit for your content.

Final Myth: Managed ASR is More Work for Broadcasters and Producers than Traditional ASR

After reviewing the top myths of managed ASR, you may be wondering if all of these nuances are just going to create more work and oversight for broadcasters and producers of live content.


We’re happy to share that, no, managed ASR doesn’t actually create more work for you. In the case of Tuned ASR, your peace of mind extends beyond compliance, accuracy, and quality. You have input throughout the entire process. That being said, we know how busy you are, and we take care of all the behind-the-scenes action so you don’t have to.

So what exactly are we doing for you after you schedule a program with Tuned ASR? Our experts are hard at work:

  • Booking your ASR with specific start and end times
  • Building custom dictionaries, vocabularies, and settings
  • Adjusting formatting for line positions and indents
  • Performing quality assurance on your captions
  • Troubleshooting & installing necessary updates
  • Overseeing connection methods
  • And more!

Even though managed ASR needs a little more care than traditional ASR, our team ensures that you’re still getting that streamlined workflow you love while meeting your evolving needs in the live broadcasting space.

Curious to learn more about whether Tuned ASR is right for you? Reach out to our team to get started ⭐

Tuned ASR: The best of both captioning worlds. Accurate. Low-cost. Brand-safe. Read the blog.

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