It's live, it's genuine and it really does work

Posted on 29.4.2019

‘We should do a genuine, live demo of Automatic Captioning’. That’s what our Head of Technology, Hewson Maxwell, and I said to each other at NAB, the world’s biggest broadcast and media trade show last year. ‘Why on earth did we say that?’ is what we’ve said a few times since. But now, NAB 2019 has been and gone, the dust has settled, and we can look back on successfully presenting a genuinely live demonstration on our booth. The Real Time Automatic Captioning demo proved to be an incredibly useful and rewarding thing to do.


We were lucky to work with some great partners to make it happen. The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) gave us the opportunity. Speechmatics provided the means, and our fantastic Automatic Captioning team at Red Bee Media delivered the end product. The Opportunity The ABC: The ABC is looking at ways of expanding the amount of accessibility they can provide across their programmes and content, in a way that also meets the requirement for responsible spending. They were aware that Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) has been getting better and better. So, they wanted us to provide a responsible and transparent implementation and evaluation of the technology. This would enable them to engage with their stakeholders with real world evidence. Working with a broadcaster willing to encourage and provide a platform for innovation in this way is incredibly valuable.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of my top tips that I’ve learnt throughout this process. Focus: I strongly recommend all Product Managers spend as much time in front of the product as possible. Focused attention before and during the show meant we were able to resolve a lot of issues, and fine-tune presentation, delivery and integration, to get the best possible outcome. You learn a lot.


Red Bee Media’s OTT services include live transcoding of 233 channels for broadcasters and 119 standalone channels provided to 1.7 million subscribers. The company’s content discovery portfolio spans more than 10 million movies and program titles, covering over 25 languages, and includes an image database with over 90 percent of all programming available across traditional TV, VOD and SVOD. Red Bee Media also provides over 200,000 hours of captioning each year – more than 70,000 hours of which is live. Red Bee Media is an equal opportunity employer, with a clear focus on embracing diversity and creating an inclusive workplace throughout the entire organization. For more information visit

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