I've got a request of people in the viewing area of WTTG (channel 5) and WDCA (channel 20) who have OTA digital TV equipment, particularly if the DTV equipment was manufactured before 2008. Could you check one evening to see if you have problems getting captions on 5.1 and/or 20.1 for reruns, i.e., *syndicated* programs like "The Simpsons," "Seinfield" and "King of the Hill", which are not broadcast live by satellite? (The digital captions for reruns are created on the fly by different technology (owned by the station) compared to the digital captions from (live) programs broadcast by satellite; the former is a problem while the latter is not an issue right now.)
I've been trying to get these captioning problems addressed FOR OVER A YEAR. I'm finally in communication with the engineering department about these problems, but more help is needed from people who have different kinds of digital TV equipment.
(The captions seem to be fine for prime-time shows broadcast by satellite. Digital captions from syndicated programs on WTTG and WDCA are received intact by two 2008 DTV devices that I have, but not by my 2006 HDTV---the digital captions disappear altogether after a few minutes.)
Whether or not you see digital captions throughout the program, it would be useful to know what brand of HDTV or DTV equipment you have and approximately when it was manufactured.
My guess is that the delay in the captions that are upconverted from analog to digital by WTTG and WDCA is causing older DTV equipment to be unable to decode the captions at all once the lack on synchronization occurs, but for some unknown reason, newer DTVs can still keep decoding the delayed captions.
There are two problems: the unacceptable delay in the captions and the inability of some TVs to show any of those delayed captions at all. No one knows what changed in the manufacturing process to allow some (newer? different brands of?) TVs to decode those delayed captions and at what point that change occurred.
So if different people in this viewing area could check out the status of captions from different digital TV equipment and let me know the particulars, that could go a long way towards trying to solve these problems before thousands of people are stuck with unworkable captions on February 18th, 2009.
If you'd like to help out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with "Report on captioning for digital programs from WTTG or WDCA" in the subject line and the following information in the body of your email:
1. Manufacturer of your DTV equipment:
2. Model number (if available)
3. Date of manufacture (on back of TV) or date purchased:
4. What rerun (syndicated TV program) you watched with digital captions turned on your DTV equipment:
5. How long did you watch with the captions turned on? (Please watch at least ten minutes):
6. Did all of the captions show up, even if there was a delay? If possible, please record the time of any problems that occurred:
7. Any other observations you think might be useful or relevant:
BTW, no one is getting paid anything extra to do this troubleshooting. I'm a person with severe hearing loss who depends on captioning and who would like to get these problems figured out before people with older HDTVs are stuck not being able to watch some digital programming next February 18th.
Thanks in advance for your help!