Remote vs. On-Site Captioning: What's the Difference?

Do you need live captioning at your event, meeting, lecture or class but not sure where to start?

Remote vs. On-Site Captioning: What’s the Difference?

Do you need live captioning at your event, meeting, lecture or class but not sure where to start? Perhaps you’ve previously booked an interpreter or note-taker and assume that the live captioner will be physically in attendance.

Live captioning can be provided by a captioner remotely, and below we set out the differences between on-site and remote live captioning, and the advantages and disadvantages of both.

What are they?

On-site captioning

A captioner (typically a stenographer) travels to the relevant venue of the event, lecture or meeting. The captioner comes prepared with their stenotype machine and computer. The captioner listens to the audio at the venue and captions everything they hear. The captions are then either sent to the individual user (usually being someone who is deaf or hard of hearing) or displayed on a screen, projector or computer for captions being delivered to a wider audience.

Remote captioning

Remote captioning involves the audio from the relevant speaker being sent to a captioner in a remote location (usually through the internet or telephone), and then the captions are sent back (through the Internet) to the individual or venue via a web-enabled device (such as mobile or laptop). For events the device can be connected to a screen or projector.

Diagram of remote captioning. Audio from speaker goes to remote captioner, and then text is sent to user

 What are the differences?

Remote On-Site
  • Less expensive as you only pay for the actual duration captioning is required.
  • Minimum booking duration of half an hour
  • Captioners can be interchanged seamlessly to provide rest periods and cover for unexpected events, such as sickness or delays.
  • Captioners can work in teams to edit each others work.
  • Captioning can be booked at relatively short notice.
  • Captioning is less intrusive on the event as no captioners are physically present.
  • More expensive as the travel costs of the captioner must be covered as well as their break times.
  • Usually a minimum booking duration of half a day.
  • Less flexibility to deal with unexpected events.
  • No co-captioner to edit captioning output.
  • Captioning needs to be booked further in advance to ensure someone is available in the location of the event.
  • Can be intrusive having a captioner at the venue.

What We Provide

At Ai-Media, we provide the vast majority of our live captioning remotely, and through our own captioning platform Ai-Live.  Through our remote captioning services, you can enjoy the following features:

  • sessions are accessible on any smartphone, tablet or laptop (including where connected to a projector) without needing any software to be downloaded;
  • we are able to receive video or audio through a number of means, including by internet videoconferencing or video casting and telephone;
  • we have a large pool of experienced captioners, which enables us to call on a stable pool of live captioning resources, even at short notice;
  • each live captioning session we deliver has a coordinator on shift at all times (who are also captioners), ensuring technical issues may be promptly resolve;
  • users can chat with captioners within our Ai-Live platform, allowing for correction of any terms and also troubleshooting audio issues;
  • we have a sales team that are experienced in liaising with AV teams at venues to devise the best audio solution for a session.

If you have any questions about your upcoming event or organize a quote for live remote captioning, get in touch at .

Accessibility Event Captions Live Captions On-site Captions Remote Captions

Start a conversation

Step 1 of 4
Which of the following best describes your business?
Please select one from the following options
Technical Support
Need technical assistance? Access technical support, product updates and upgrades, warranty details and more.
Go to the Support page

Become a partner

We’re collecting your details so we can respond to your query and send you relevant content. You can unsubscribe at any time by using the link at the bottom of our emails or writing to . In our Privacy Policy, you can learn more about how we handle your personal information, including about your rights and how to make a complaint.

Download Request Form