The National Captioning Institute Uses Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) Closed Captioning Solution to Meet Growing Demand

CHANTILLY, Va., Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Closed captioning providers have been challenged to expand capacity quickly and effectively in response to a heightened demand for services. When comparing March 2020 with March 2021, the National Captioning Institute reported 160% growth in the number of real-time hours it captioned online because of sharp increases in remote educational classes, corporate meetings, government sessions, and other live streaming content. The dramatic demand for captioning precipitated by COVID-19 led NCI to once again use innovation to fulfill its mission. By deploying technology it had been developing for over a decade, NCI has managed to continue providing accurate, affordable, and accessible options at a time when captioning resources are stretched.

The Solution
NCI turned to CaptionSentry, its proprietary ASR captioning service that utilizes state-of-the-art speech-to-text technology to transform real-time audio into nearly verbatim and highly accurate closed captions. NCI was the first traditional captioning provider to introduce ASR captioning as a complement to its human service, allowing clients to choose between or combine production methods. A team of Automated Captioning Specialists was trained to monitor CaptionSentry connections 24/7 and troubleshoot in real time – a support feature unique to NCI.

The Results
CaptionSentry proved to not only meet capacity and quality demands; it also allowed an open conversation about ASR’s effectiveness at a time when curious but cautious interest was rapidly growing. Clients are now confidently using CaptionSentry for a variety of programs, including local news coverage and financial and sports talk shows. ASR has ultimately played an important role in ensuring access to all types of content.

"The dramatic surge in virtual corporate events and online educational content has saturated the market with opportunity," explains Meredith Patterson, NCI’s Senior VP for Operations and Chief Operating Officer. "The profound demand for captioning continues unabated. In addition to our ever-expanding core of human captioners, CaptionSentry has proven vital to our ability to fulfill our mission of accessibility."

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About NCI: NCI pioneered live closed captioning for television and now captions thousands of hours of programming each year. Its highly-skilled captioning staff supplies world-class captioning, subtitling and translation, and Audio Description services for TV broadcasting, Internet, Video on Demand, and educational and government institutions. Visit

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Lydy Pinzón-Dadley


SOURCE National Captioning Institute