Many video production and dubbing studios offer services of closed captioning, subtitles and so on. Their audience is generally big broadcast networks.

I was wondering, what kind of software this professionals do they use and which is their workflow?

I don't think they use programs like premiere with this weird interface:

Do they use even common free prosumer software like the ones used by subbers who create srt files like Subtitle Edit ?

Subtitle Edit

Given they have to produce this for many series episodes, do they use custom heavy automatition tools, or is possible use also manual tools?

How is possible learn something about the topic?

Where I can start if tomorrow someone would ask me to work inside a company that have some big networks as customer and need to produce for them closed captioning and subtitles ?

  • Products like Telestream's
    – Gyan
    Feb 27, 2016 at 19:52
  • @Mulvya Thanks for the hint, I will give a look. But for the sake of learning I'm still in wait for a long written answer however to mark the topic answered :) Feb 27, 2016 at 20:56
  • Everywhere I have worked uses proprietary software, but many professionals use Swift: grassvalley.com/products/swift_create Mar 7, 2016 at 9:55
  • The link provided in this answer is not longer actvie. Swift Create is now listed as "Discontinued" with "LTPS" support. Dec 25, 2017 at 17:43
  • Since AI is not in the picture I have been using some tools in last few months. I run several channels on youtube. I use wavel.ai which could be useful for you too. It works best for my short videos but I have tried for videos up to the length of 5 min. Does my job pretty much. Sometimes I do need to dabble with their editor to correct a few things. Hope it was helpful. Dec 27, 2023 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


Most episodic (network and cable) TV is captioned by service bureaus who use proprietary software. Some of the big players are VITAC, NCI, and WGBH, and there are several more. They all provide various levels of service, and some rely more heavily on automation / voice recognition etc than others. This is all offline captioning and the goal is accuracy in copy, placement and timing.

The other main thread (and skill) is live writing or real-time captioning, which is done with stenowriters (chord typing) as used by court reporters. These are always delayed by some time because of the need to hear, interpret and input. It's almost always done remotely, with the caption writer networked into a local encoder. The same bureaus usually offer both live and offline.

To learn more, check out the links above -- and google for more -- then maybe contact the providers that look interesting to you.

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