Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: SNJ (Phillly burbs)
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Closed captioning on the 5100 has some odd limitations, and some things which just seem wrong. For me they are just annoyances, but for the hearing impaired some of these problems would be serious.
The first glaring problem with CC from the cable box is that enabling it requires you to go into the service menu. On the HDD-200, it used to be enabled by pressing a button on the front of the sidecar.
The second problem with the cable box is that the CC appears only on the YPbPr output on SD channels, unless 480i override is enabled. I suppose this is the same problem that prevents the guide from appearing except in 480i mode.
The third problem is the CC appears only on the YPbPr output on HD channels, even in 480i override mode.
The fourth thing is not a problem, but a feature request. It would be really nice if you could choose where you want the captions to appear. In particular it would be nice if you could put the captions inside the letterboxed area of a SD frame.
There are two ways to enable captioning: using the 5100, or using the TV. Using the TV is usually preferable, because the CC stays visible on the screen no matter which zoom and fill modes are in use. Unfortunately, the CC information seems to be 'swallowed' by the 5100 box unless 480i override is enabled, even on the YPbPr outputs. In 480i override mode, the TV's CC works OK in SD, but it does not work when watching a HD station.
The combination of limitations makes it impossible for me to use CC in the one situation where I want it: West Wing. It is shown on Comcast channel 181 (WCAU-DT) as an upconvert. If I switch to S-Video or antenna output, the 480i override crops the pillarboxing, and I can then use my TV's fill mode to eliminate the letterboxing. So the picture occupies the whole screen, but there is no way to see closed captioning from either the 5100 or the TV.