Originally Posted by bicker1
I think I understand that you wish things worked differently. What I explained was how things actually work, to help you understand how to gain access to closed captions. Again: Outputs that support HD are not
specified to carry closed captions. Closed caption decoding is to take place at the tuner or playback device. If closed captions are important to you, avoid video recorders and disc players that do not decode closed captions.
It's important for people to know that the FCC never ruled that outputs that support HD should not deliver closed caption data. Rather, the HDMI Coalition erred in not providing this capability, as has been pointed out above. Thus the fact that HD outputs don't support the transmission of caption data is an undesirable mistake rather than anything the FCC wanted to happen.
Avoiding "video recorders and disc players that do not decode closed captions" sound easy to do, but it's not. At this time, most video recorders and DVD players do not decode captions. A few combination devices that have a built-in ATSC tuner and NTSC tuner happen to decode Line 21 captions from the DVDs and videocassettes, like the Panasonic DMR-EZ48 devices. These cost over $240 compared to much less expensive DVD players that cost less than $50. It's not equitable for deaf and hard of hearing people to be forced by the HDMI coalition's failure to buy those expensive devices just to be able to decode captions and get HD quality at the same time. If HDMI cables had been designed long ago to pass through caption data to the HDTV's decoder, caption viewers would have been able to enjoy all upconverting DVD players and set top boxes equally and without hassle.
One important choice that caption viewers actually have now is to make sure that their HDTV has the ability to decode Line 21 (NTSC) captions on the component video inputs. (Many HDTVs still do have this capability, but Samsung is on record as saying that at least some of their HDTVs don't.) They should also check their DVD players to make sure that they will transmit CC data on the component video outputs after progressive scanning and upconversion has been turned off; only 480i will work for the captions to show up on the TV.
It's been learned that some set top boxes may not transmit caption data over component video outputs, perhaps because the resolution has been set to higher than 480i, so it the settings can't be adjusted, those set top boxes won't be able to transmit caption data in a way that can be decoded by the HDTV. That's probably yet another violation of the Television Decoder Circuitry Act as that law was supposed to ensure continued, equal access to captioning services and the television medium to the fullest extent made available by technology.
In the 2000 DTV captioning order, the FCC had actually written that it expected external devices to continue to pass through caption data to the TV's decoder. Bicker1 had written above: "Closed caption decoding is to take place at the tuner or playback device," but that statement is actually his personal opinion rather than anything that the FCC said, and is the result of the HDMI coalition failing to create an HDMI standard that would pass through caption data to the TV's decoder.
In my opinion, consumers whose TV equipment don't provide equal access to captioning services on all the video inputs should complain about this deficit to the FCC and point out that the FCC needs to strengthen its rules and regulations so that all new TVs will indeed provide equal access to the television medium to the "fullest extent made available by technology."
HDTVs that have both an NTSC and an ATSC tuner will be more likely to be able to support decoding of captions on the analog inputs. Some HDTVs on the market don't have an NTSC tuner and thus might not have the capability of decoding NTSC captions even through the RF input. That'll need to be doublechecked as soon as possible. In general, I'd recommend that caption users look for DTVs with both kinds of tuners to lock in the ability to decode both types of captions (unless one happens to know that an HDTV without an NTSC tuner will still be able to decode NTSC caption data).