Using Video Recordings of Interview or Focus Group Recordings for Transcription

by | Published on Feb 11, 2014 | Interview Transcription

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Video transcription involves the conversion of all spoken words in a video to text. Such transcription services are very useful for films and podcasts where closed captioning for the videos is necessary. However, when it comes to focus groups, interviews, meetings or round table discussions, transcribing from videos can be quite challenging. Let’s see how you can make your transcription company improve the transcripts from your video recordings.

How to Help Your Transcription Company Improve the Transcripts

  • When you are planning to make a video recording of a focus group or meeting, consider the reason for recording video rather than audio.
  • If you are making a video recording to record the body language of the people partaking in a session or meeting, transfer the video to audio before sending to the transcriptionist. As transcription machines do not play back video, it will require a significant time for the transcriptionist to transfer video to audio in order to transcribe it, which will in turn affect your turnaround time.
  • If you are sending a video recording to help the transcriptionist recognize the speakers, the transcriptionist would first have to convert the audio to text and then read through the transcript while watching the video to identify the speakers. Set up the cameras in such a way that allows the speakers to be identified easily. For instance, in the case of a focus group discussion, the solution would be to provide the seating plan along with the video recording, so that the transcriptionist can identify speakers from their positions. But, this option is also not always 100% effective as everything depends on the positioning of the camera. Even name cards placed in front of the speakers may not be visible if their bodies block the view.
  • Consider your location and that of the company you have chosen while you are sending the video. The companies based in the UK accept videos in European format (PAL) whereas American companies accept videos in NTSC format.

Analogue or Digital? Which is better?

Take interviews. It is estimated that around four hours are required to transcribe one hour of good-quality one-to-one interview from an audio tape. Obviously, more time would be needed with a poor-quality recording. An additional time of 1-2 hours would go into recording from video to audio and check back. So, a total of five to seven plus hours would be needed to transcribe a one hour analogue video recording of an interview. Add on more time for transcribing strong accents, a recording with noise in the background or performing verbatim transcription.

In contrast, digital video recordings are a much better and more cost-effective option than analogue recordings. With digital video, you are assured of better quality recording which will save a considerable amount of time in transcription. Even with digital audio transcription services, you may need to check to ensure that the voices have been identified correctly, but you would be assured of quality verbatim, intelligent verbatim and edited transcription by partnering with the right company. However, if you are sending a video, consider the location of your transcription company and make sure that the video format is acceptable there.

The bottom line is that whether analog or digital, it would definitely bring down your transcription costs if you send a digital audio recording instead of a video recording.

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