Originally Posted by hysteresistesla
Will analog captions go away? Or will they persist?
The FCC requires analog caption data (CEA-608) to be provided for all non-exempt digital television programming; this will ensure compatibility with analog TVs that have built-in decoding of captions.
Considering CC, is there any reason to argue with the tally at
which shows the Zenith CECB as best?
Each person needs to evaluate his or her own situation. Some people may want a converter box that will work with a smart antenna, particularly if there are transmitters from very different directions. Others may want a box that has an S-video output for the best picture quality possible from a converter box (and to feed into an analog TiVo, DVD recorder or VCR). If you are satisfied with the analog captions produced by your own analog TVs, you don't need to turn on the digital captions produced by the converter boxes. Many people have actual experience with the Zenith because it was easy to get from a store, whereas some of the other ones had to be mail-ordered.
Thanks much, Dana, for starting this informative thread. It has
now become very long, and I may have some of this wrong.
You're very welcome!
It seems none of the CECBs do a very satisfactory job of
displaying captions. I'm very reluctant to put more money into
an obsolete technology. Would I be better off buying a very
small DTV, perhaps a 7" screen?
Very small DTVs are not required by the FCC to provide closed captioning, although some TV manufacturers may offer this capability. Don't forget that if you like the captions from your own analog TV, you don't have to use the captions provided by the converter box.
It's not accurate to say none of the CECBs do a good job of displaying captions, though. The captions from the Insignia/Zenith are okay if you choose the right font and color combination, and other choices can work satisfactorily among some of the other converter boxes. There's actually not a critical need to have eight font styles if you're happy with one, two or three of the font styles and if they can get large enough to meet your needs.
Where I'm coming from:
I have a 21" Sharp TV from 1995, and no experience with DTV.
The lenses in my eyes are no longer flexible. My eyes naturally
focus about 11" or 12" in front of my nose. I don't want to
spend as much as $300 on a large 16" or 19" TV, or any size,
really. CC is important to me, including being able to shift
the captions off the image or, at least, turn them on and off.
I've seen very little about zooming. Can you zoom out and push
the CC off the image while both remain visible? Or conversely,
zoom in and see only the center of the image at the expense of
the CC (and the edges of the image)? Is there some
simple-minded way to turn the CC on and off without rotating
thru 9 or 14 button pushes?
It sounds like you WANT the zoom to make the CC invisible, but this would be a design flaw!
Some remote controls have other buttons meant for other purposes that can be used to deactivate the captioning temporarily. Pressing the Guide button, for example, might bring up a transparent guide on the top of the screen which also deactivates the captioning, allowing you to see what the captiosn had been covering up.
BTW, if you wear hearing aids with telecoils, you may be happier with an LCD TV since CRT TVs are likely to generate electromagnetic interference with telecoils. LCDs don't generally cause so much EMI. Sitting that close to the TV, you'd easily be able to use a neckloop with the LCD TV to hear as well as possible.
Another person wrote of a 7" Digital Prism LCD TV from CVS pharmacy with the following features:
Analog and Digital over the air and cable tuner.
Built in Battery
AC adapter - 9V output
Car power adapter.
"It runs for about 2 hours on the built-in battery and I think an external battery pack of six D cells would work OK. The brand name is Digital Prism but I have not been able to find a web page for it."
Don't take this as an endorsement, but since it can be hard to find a small LCD TV with closed captioning, I thought I'd mention this TV here.