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Evaluating Digital to Analog Converter Boxes for Users of Captioning - Page 3

post #61 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Anyway, I'm wondering how clear the FCC has been about the need to provide both types of captions after the cessation of analog broadcasts. If TV station engineers haven't been made aware that they still need to be transmitting both kinds of captions, and if equipment manufacturers and other people in the industry haven't understood this either, then many people with hearing loss with CECBs that don't decode captions could be without access to captions for a significant period of time.

Dana

Here's some links for you:

http://www.atsc.org/faq/faq_closed.html

http://ncam.wgbh.org/dtv/toolkit/gen...tvcapbrief.pdf

Ron
post #62 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

rrrroger, you brought in a quote of a message from another thread, which was out of context for this thread, ...... Please don't bring quotes from other threads here that are not directly related to evaluations of CECBs and which will bewilder everyone else here; ......

Incorrect.

I was quoting post 33 in THIS thread. Please don't make false accusations of "crimes" I did not commit. Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany_in_post33 View Post

This is very, very misleading to people who need captions, and I think all the coupon-eligible converter boxes should have been required to provide access to the digital closed caption features in the first place.

The Coupon-eligible boxes are required to provide the SAME functionality as current analog television provides. That means outputing NTSC-compatible video. S-video, digital captions, electronic guides, et cetera are all considered "optional" extras and are not mandatory.

Repeat: They are only required to provide the SAME functionality as televisions have now. Extras are not required.
post #63 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Suspect CS2 etc. are for alternate caption streams. In some territories it isn't unusual to have more than one subtitle stream on programmes (say English and Spanish in the US, English and French in Canada, English and Welsh in Wales etc.) I guess that CS1 and CS2 would let you chose between languages?

NBC's Telemundo does not have alternate languages, but it does offer dual-language subtitles. Spanish on CC1 and English on CC3. Pretty handy for watching those spanish telenovels.
post #64 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

Incorrect.

I was quoting post 33 in THIS thread. Please don't make false accusations of "crimes" I did not commit. Thank you. The Coupon-eligible boxes are required to provide the SAME functionality as current analog television provides. That means outputing NTSC-compatible video. S-video, digital captions, electronic guides, et cetera are all considered "optional" extras and are not mandatory.

Repeat: They are only required to provide the SAME functionality as televisions have now. Extras are not required.

rrrrrroger, what I should have said was that you're unnecessarily continuing an argument here from another thread that has already been discussed there. See my post from last week that had already answered your recent post here at:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post13313819

Technically, you're not correct because there are extra features required of the converter boxes that are more than what analog TVs provide (stated in the above URL); I already said this, but you're continuing to make the exact same argument with the same person in a different thread even though your point was already answered. Enough already. Let's move on to more productive discussions.
post #65 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Thanks, Ron.

From reading the second one closely, I see there's a reference to paragraph 63 of the FCC Report and Order released July 31, 2000 which states:

"We clarify, therefore, that in order for
programming distributors to count captioned digital
television programming toward their closed
captioning requirements in 47 C.F.R. Section 79.1, they also must transmit captions that can be
decoded by the decoder in that analog set."

However, that language was kind of buried in a Report and Order that was titled: "In the Matter of Closed Captioning Requirements for Digital Television Receivers" that doesn't appear specifically geared towards broadcasters----so I wonder if it might have been overlooked in view of the current problems with several TV stations in my area alone not broadcasting both types of captions.

The ATSC FAQ could have made it a lot more clear that both types of captions are required; it refers to "all captions" without being specific.

So I remain curious about what has actually been communicated to station engineers about the need to broadcast EIA-608 captions within the EIA-708 captions, or if the only communication from the FCC is an 8-year-old document that actually appears focused on digital television receivers.

Dana
post #66 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

NBC's Telemundo does not have alternate languages, but it does offer dual-language subtitles. Spanish on CC1 and English on CC3. Pretty handy for watching those spanish telenovels.

I've wondered if they ever did that but hadn't found where the English captions would be. (I wonder what the logic is for providing English captions and not English audio.)

On a CECB with digital captions, Service 3 might be the digital equivalent of CC3 for Telemundo, though the station might decide to use another Service number.
post #67 of 226
Dana - I know the Samsung DTB-H260F is not exactly a CECB, but here's my observations about it's close captioning abilities.

1. The availability of digital closed captioning features

Yes - Captioning is not available on the S-Video / composite outputs

2. The availability of a CC button on the remote control

yes

3. The usability of the menu activated by the CC button and what the choices are

on/off

4. If analog captions can be decoded by the converter box, the ease of reading the font provided
for those analog captions (if present)

N/A

5. The ease of reading the eight different fonts available for digital captions, particularly
the default font

Style 5 is very difficult to use. All the other (default Style 0-style 7 except 5) are quite usable

6. The availability of a "caption preview" of some kind when changes are made in the settings for
the digital captions

Yes- 3 sizes - not much difference

7. How large the digital captions are actually capable of becoming (useful for low-vision viewers
or for being able to watch the TV from a significant distance)

You can view the captions on my 32 inch Olevia from 13 feet away with no problems

8. How usable the optional translucent background is in providing sufficient contrast to the
characters used in the captioning

Very - 8 different colors and can be made transparent as well as translucent

9. Whether there are any bugs associated with captioning, such as a failure to detect
analog captions automatically if there are no digital captions, jerky movements of captions, cut-off
captions, unexpected changes in the background, etc.

None detected

10. Whether the remote control has an SAP or audio button, a raised dot on the 5 button, and dots
on the Power button (useful for low vision or blind users).

MTS button, Raised dot on "5", dots near power / antenna. In addition there are dots near both the
volume up/down buttons and the channel up/down buttons

11. How well the user manual explains the different digital closed caption settings.

It's there

12. Whether the CECB has crashed and what the circumstances were.
Can't answer

The Samsung's Digital Closed Captioning is superior to the Olevia's builtin DCC , IMO.
post #68 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

Dana - I know the Samsung DTB-H260F is not exactly a CECB, but here's my observations about it's close captioning abilities.

1. The availability of digital closed captioning features

Yes - Captioning is not available on the S-Video / composite outputs

Thanks for providing this evaluation, Scooper. From a look elsewhere on the forum, it looks like the Samsung DTB-H260F is an ATSC tuner that became available in 2004 (and was probably pretty expensive back then).

I'm really surprised the closed captioning isn't available through the S-video or composite outputs because the decoded captions should have been inserted into the video image and the S-video and composite outputs should then transmit all video information. I'm trying to think of why that would have happened:

a) Is it possible the DCC wasn't actually activated when you tried these outputs?

b) If you've doublechecked that, it sounds like there was a surprising design flaw in not allowing the captions to be sent out via those outputs.

What kind of cable did you use to connect the tuner to the TV? (If you used component video or HDMI, that would have made the captions look sharper as well, compared to captions from CECBs over RF, composite or S-video.)

Quote:


4. If analog captions can be decoded by the converter box, the ease of reading the font provided
for those analog captions (if present)

N/A

That's interesting, as I had thought perhaps any CECB that decoded native digital captions might also decode native analog captions. Not sure if there are requirements about that now.


Quote:


5. The ease of reading the eight different fonts available for digital captions, particularly
the default font

Style 5 is very difficult to use. All the other (default Style 0-style 7 except 5) are quite usable

Samsung doesn't make a CECB, so we can't seem to generalize from this tuner to a CECB, but perhaps the same fonts are used in Samsung TVs.

Quote:


6. The availability of a "caption preview" of some kind when changes are made in the settings for
the digital captions

Yes- 3 sizes - not much difference

Do you mean that the caption preview doesn't show the relative sizes well, or that there isn't actually much difference between the three sizes?

On the Insignia/Zenith, the preview suggests that Font 3 and Font 7 are equally large, but Font 7 is actually much larger, taking up more of the width of the screen than Font 3 does. The preview thus isn't accurate in showing the true sizes of the captions.

Quote:


10. Whether the remote control has an SAP or audio button, a raised dot on the 5 button, and dots
on the Power button (useful for low vision or blind users).

MTS button, Raised dot on "5", dots near power / antenna. In addition there are dots near both the
volume up/down buttons and the channel up/down buttons

I'm not familiar with MTS. Does the MTS button provide access to a second audio channel (necessary for descriptive video services)? Sounds like I'll need to clarify the question about SAP in any event.


Quote:


The Samsung's Digital Closed Captioning is superior to the Olevia's builtin DCC , IMO.

Do you mean the Olevia's built-in analog captions? (I'm thinking it would be rare to use an external ATSC tuner for a TV with a built-in ATSC tuner; HD monitors don't normally have built-in digital closed captions, only analog ones.) Why did you find the Samsung's captions superior? Were the caption fonts better designed from the Samsung, or was it something else?
post #69 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Thanks for providing this evaluation, Scooper. From a look elsewhere on the forum, it looks like the Samsung DTB-H260F is an ATSC tuner that became available in 2004 (and was probably pretty expensive back then).

I'm really surprised the closed captioning isn't available through the S-video or composite outputs because the decoded captions should have been inserted into the video image and the S-video and composite outputs should then transmit all video information. I'm trying to think of why that would have happened:

a) Is it possible the DCC wasn't actually activated when you tried these outputs?

b) If you've doublechecked that, it sounds like there was a surprising design flaw in not allowing the captions to be sent out via those outputs.

A - DCC WAS turned on the Samsung. so I'm sure there were no captions output on the NTSC outputs. You also must keep in mind the intended market of the Samsung - someone who already has an HD capable display, so the use of the NTSC outputs would usually be used for recording to say, a DVD recorder. In a use like this - captions are not normally desired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

What kind of cable did you use to connect the tuner to the TV? (If you used component video or HDMI, that would have made the captions look sharper as well, compared to captions from CECBs over RF, composite or S-video.)

I'm using HDMI, Samsung set to output 720p. I'd expect the same results using the component on any of 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. The TV only goes to 1368x768, so I just leave the Samsung at 720p. Besides, when I try 1080i HDMI into the TV - colors get messed up - peoples faces are blue. I don't have this problem with component from the Samsung

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

That's interesting, as I had thought perhaps any CECB that decoded native digital captions might also decode native analog captions. Not sure if there are requirements about that now.

Samsung doesn't make a CECB, so we can't seem to generalize from this tuner to a CECB, but perhaps the same fonts are used in Samsung TVs.

Do you mean that the caption preview doesn't show the relative sizes well, or that there isn't actually much difference between the three sizes?

Not much difference in the sizes. There is a difference, but it wasn't really a dramatic difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

On the Insignia/Zenith, the preview suggests that Font 3 and Font 7 are equally large, but Font 7 is actually much larger, taking up more of the width of the screen than Font 3 does. The preview thus isn't accurate in showing the true sizes of the captions.

I'm not familiar with MTS. Does the MTS button provide access to a second audio channel (necessary for descriptive video services)? Sounds like I'll need to clarify the question about SAP in any event.

Exactly. MTS is used to change between audio tracks (English, spanish, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Do you mean the Olevia's built-in analog captions? (I'm thinking it would be rare to use an external ATSC tuner for a TV with a built-in ATSC tuner; HD monitors don't normally have built-in digital closed captions, only analog ones.) Why did you find the Samsung's captions superior? Were the caption fonts better designed from the Samsung, or was it something else?

Some of us have found it to be an advantage to have more than one HDTV ATSC tuner. My TV does NOT have a digital audio output, so if I want to get the full ATSC HDTV experiance, I use my Samsung with the audio going to my Audio video receiver. The Samsung also has a signal quality meter, something that the TV lacks (and I find this feature very useful). I find the Samsung's captions to be better, and I especially like the idea that the background can be made transparent. This is not available on the TV itself.
post #70 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

A - DCC WAS turned on the Samsung. so I'm sure there were no captions output on the NTSC outputs. You also must keep in mind the intended market of the Samsung - someone who already has an HD capable display, so the use of the NTSC outputs would usually be used for recording to say, a DVD recorder. In a use like this - captions are not normally desired.

I think you are jumping to a conclusion there. Most hearing impaired people need to burn in their subtitles/captions to off-air DVD recordings for the recordings to be any use on replay. If you need subtitles to watch live TV, you'll need them to watch a recording.

(Or does the Samsung output Line 21 captioning in VBI on composite/S-video and the DVD recorder record and replay that allowing the TV to display closed captions?)

In the UK our analogue TV system had a subtitling system that didn't record well on VCRs (the data rate was too high and didn't survive on VHS - though it did on some S-VHS VCRs) - so digital TV boxes that burn in subtitles into the video have been a real plus for hearing impaired TV viewers - as recording the output of their digital set top box to VCR or DVD has allowed recordings to be made with burned in subtitles. (A few VHS VCRs had this facility - decoding analogue subtitles and burning them in - but it was not a widespread feature)

PVRs are even better - as they record the subtitle stream along with the audio (and audio description often) - allowing you to replay the recording with or without subtitles and with or without AD.
post #71 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

A - DCC WAS turned on the Samsung. so I'm sure there were no captions output on the NTSC outputs. You also must keep in mind the intended market of the Samsung - someone who already has an HD capable display, so the use of the NTSC outputs would usually be used for recording to say, a DVD recorder. In a use like this - captions are not normally desired.

Decoded captions might not be desired by most, but does the box relay native analog captions over those outputs?


Quote:


I find the Samsung's captions to be better, and I especially like the idea that the background can be made transparent. This is not available on the TV itself.

Perhaps your TV was manufactured before the requirements for enhanced digital closed captions was put in force. The FCC DTV Rule and Order published July 31, 2000, required new digital tuners to provide enhanced digital closed captioning features beyond what had originally been specified. That rule became effective for new tuners and new digital TVs exceeding a certain size on July 1, 2002.
post #72 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

A - DCC WAS turned on the Samsung. so I'm sure there were no captions output on the NTSC outputs.

FYI, I've seen both native analog and native digital captions at the same time from a CECB (the Insignia and Zenith), so I imagine it's possible for the Samsung to send 608 data over the signal even if it was set to decode digital captions.
post #73 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Most hearing impaired people need to burn in their subtitles/captions to off-air DVD recordings for the recordings to be any use on replay. If you need subtitles to watch live TV, you'll need them to watch a recording.

I haven't set up one of the "coupon boxes" yet (just bought one yesterday), but I've been feeding an S-video output from my Sony OTA HD DVR to a DVD recorder for a couple of years now. When its output is set to 480i, the Sony passes the caption data in the VBI just as with a direct analog broadcast signal, and my DVD recorder records it. I can play back the recorded DVD just like a commercial DVD that has closed captions, by enabling captions on my TV.

This works only if I have upconversion and progressive scan turned off in the DVD player, which is OK for video material anyway. To avoid the inconvenience of turning those features on and off when I switch between film and TV sourced material, I use two DVD players: a cheap one for TV stuff and a more expensive upconverting one for movies.

If I watch a broadcast live, through the Sony and the DVD recorder, I can have either the TV or the Sony, or both, decode the captions. Of course in the last case I get two sets of captions overlapping on the screen in different font styles and sizes, which isn't very pretty.
post #74 of 226
Thread Starter 
I came across a useful pdf document called "Implementing Closed Captioning for DTV," written by Graham Jones of the National Association of Broadcasters, at:

http://www.atsc.org/faq/Implementing...Captioning.pdf

(This would be a useful document to reference when there are problems receiving captions from TV stations since it would help the station to troubleshoot the problems.)

The document refers to "DTVCC captions" as "actual 708 caption data" as compared to the "608 caption data" and makes clear that both are required by the original CEA-708-B standard. As such, 708 captions don't include 608 captions; the EIA-708B standard requires that both of them are sent out but only the caption data used for advanced captioning are called 708 captions.

Nitpickers could still criticize the use of the term "digital closed captions" and perhaps even DTVCC because all the captions required by EIA-708B are sent digitally.

I don't see concise terminology to distinguish the kind of 608 data that is required within the full ATSC emission bitstream from the 608 captions broadcast over NTSC video. Both can be called 608 data.

I had erred earlier in my use of the term "native analog captions." This document says "Captions that are encoded and transmitted in the 608 or 708 format in which they were authored may be referred to as "native 608" or "native 708" captions. "Native 608 captions" can't apply to the EIA-608 captions required by the EIA-708b standard.

On page 3, under "608 Legacy Data," "the CEA-708-B standard allows for, and requires, carriage of "the 608 data in set top boxes or integrated receivers. "Some DTV receivers may use the 608 data when 708 data is not available for providing closed captioning on the DTV display, but this is not mandatory and is not implemented in many receivers." (italics added)

My Sharp HDTV may be able to decode digitized 608 data automatically when 708 data isn't available from the local PBS station WETA, but the Insignia and Zenith CECBs don't do so. (They require a manual switch to CC1 captions.) It'll be interesting to see how other CECBs with different chips behave.
post #75 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

I don't see concise terminology to distinguish the kind of 608 data that is required within the full ATSC emission bitstream from the 608 captions broadcast over NTSC video. Both can be called 608 data.

There's nothing to distinguish. It's the same data.

Ron
post #76 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

There's nothing to distinguish. It's the same data.

Ron

Though it is helpful to state how it is carried presumably.

ATSC 608 will be carried as packets in a transport stream with a PID separate to that of the video stream PID (and presumably married in the PMT) - whilst NTSC 608 will be carried embedded in the analogue video as data on Line 21 in blanking.

When received by an external STB presumably the ATSC 608 packets can either be decoded to text and this text burned into the video leaving the box (so the receiver adds the text carried over component, composite, S-video, HDMI etc.) OR it codes the ATSC 608 packets it receives into Line 21 in VBI for decoding in the TV, which means the signal has to be restricted to a 480i signal (?) over composite, S-video or 480i component (don't think HDMI would support it)
post #77 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Though it is helpful to state how it is carried presumably.

ATSC 608 will be carried as packets in a transport stream with a PID separate to that of the video stream PID (and presumably married in the PMT) - whilst NTSC 608 will be carried embedded in the analogue video as data on Line 21 in blanking.

When received by an external STB presumably the ATSC 608 packets can either be decoded to text and this text burned into the video leaving the box (so the receiver adds the text carried over component, composite, S-video, HDMI etc.) OR it codes the ATSC 608 packets it receives into Line 21 in VBI for decoding in the TV, which means the signal has to be restricted to a 480i signal (?) over composite, S-video or 480i component (don't think HDMI would support it)

Thanks for coming up with the terms "NTSC 608" and "ATSC 608"...I think that due to various problems, the ATSC 608 data can wind up being corrupted compared to the NTSC 608 data transmitted by the same broadcaster that is currently sending out digital and analog versions of the same program. It's not clear at what point this happens, but the consumer can end up not being able to see analog captions properly for the digital channel while being able to see analog captions on the analog channel.

This appeared to happen recently when I TiVo'ed part of a digitized Law and Order rerun instead of the analog program. The ATSC 608 data didn't come through completely, so I couldn't understand the rest of the program. The problem rerun was transmitted through the myNetworkTV affiliate, my20. ( That affiliate also gives my Sharp HDTV problems since the TV can't decode any digital captions on Law and Order reruns from that affiliate).

I've been able to TiVo other digitized programs fine, even recording the decoded digital captions, but still being able to decode the converted ATSC 608 data on my analog TV.

So there may be something about how the ATSC 608 data is handled for the Law and Order syndicated programs which prevents that data from showing up properly or may even corrupt it, while the NTSC 608 data is left intact. It can thus be very useful to be able to say "ATSC 608" to distinguish it from the "NTSC 608" data that's supposed to be the same, but might not end up that way in the consumer's equipment. In my case, the ATSC 608 data for the Law and Order rerun that arrived at my CECB did not provide the same results as the NTSC data of the same program.

[It's interesting that the video signal may have to be restricted to 480i for the proper delivery of 608 data; the Motorola set top box used for Verizon Fios apparently has problems providing captions unless it's set to 480i. However, we don't have to worry about this for CECBs and it shouldn't be an issue when captions are decoded by the set-top box itself.]
post #78 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Thanks for coming up with the terms "NTSC 608" and "ATSC 608"...I think that due to various problems, the ATSC 608 data can wind up being corrupted compared to the NTSC 608 data transmitted by the same broadcaster that is currently sending out digital and analog versions of the same program. It's not clear at what point this happens, but the consumer can end up not being able to see analog captions properly for the digital channel while being able to see analog captions on the analog channel.

Well analogue captions broadcast via analogue cable or analogue OTA are inserted into blanking by the broadcaster, passed untouched through the transmission and reception process, and remain embedded in the composite video received by the TV, and AIUI they are preserved by VCRs.

I'm not clear how DVD recorders preserve Line 21 data (which AIUI is outside the 480 of the 525 NTSC lines recorded by digital recorders, and which could be corrupted by MPEG2 anyway) - I assume they have to decode it to packets, record them separately in the DVD data stream and then re-insert them on replay?

Series 1 Tivos (we didn't get S2 or S3) in the UK does something similar with our subtitles - which are broadcast as teletext packets on a certain page (888 in the UK) of the text service, as we don't use the US Closed Caption standard (though some pre-recorded VHS tapes in the UK do/did). (The UK teletext spec includes a character attribute for "make this section transparent" - so you can see the background video on certain pages - not just subtitles, but sports score updates, newsflashes etc.) However the text data is a high bandwith service - so Tivo only records p888 data, which it re-inserts as teletext on replay. (This causes some TVs real problems - as they don't like an 888-only service and lock-up - so Tivo have a software version which inhibits subtitle recording in the UK)

Quote:


This appeared to happen recently when I TiVo'ed part of a digitized Law and Order rerun instead of the analog program.

How was the programme received and how was it recorded by the Tivo?

Was it from an external ATSC/QAM or satellite receiver or from an internal ATSC/QAM receiver in the Tivo?

Quote:


The ATSC 608 data didn't come through completely, so I couldn't understand the rest of the program.

If the recording was made via an external source - then presumably this box will have taken ATSC 608 data packets and re-inserted them as analogue NTSC 608 in blanking, which the Tivo will then have detected and recorded.

If the digital broadcast ATSC 608 packets were dodgy, or the STB insertion was not well implemented, that could have caused the problem?

If the recording was made via an internal tuner in the Tivo - similar questions apply.

Quote:


The problem rerun was transmitted through the myNetworkTV affiliate, my20. ( That affiliate also gives my Sharp HDTV problems since the TV can't decode any digital captions on Law and Order reruns from that affiliate).

Presumably those are 708 captions you are talking about, not 608 ATSC packets?

Quote:


I've been able to TiVo other digitized programs fine, even recording the decoded digital captions, but still being able to decode the converted ATSC 608 data on my analog TV.

Recording the digital captions "in vision" suggests you are using an external set top box into your Tivo. That suggests then that when recording a digital TV broadcast you are using an external source - and relying on the Tivo to preserve 608 NTSC captions - and the STB to correctly receive the ASTC 608 packets and re-insert them as NTSC 608 in blanking?

Quote:


So there may be something about how the ATSC 608 data is handled for the Law and Order syndicated programs which prevents that data from showing up properly or may even corrupt it, while the NTSC 608 data is left intact.

Presumably the NTSC 608 data is present on the analogue service and the ATSC 608 data is present on the digital service. I would expect both are derived from the same source - which I would expect to be embedded in data recorded and replayed by the source VTR? (DVTRs allow for some areas of blanking data to be recorded intact without compression to allow for SDI "data in blanking" to be recorded and replayed)

It is thus the ATSC 608 chain - from broadcaster, via your set top box, via your Tivo, that has a weak link?

Quote:


It can thus be very useful to be able to say "ATSC 608" to distinguish it from the "NTSC 608" data that's supposed to be the same, but might not end up that way in the consumer's equipment. In my case, the ATSC 608 data for the Law and Order rerun that arrived at my CECB did not provide the same results as the NTSC data of the same program.

But they were not from the same broadcast source were they? One was from a digital ATSC/QAM/Satellite transmission, the other via an analogue chain?

By the sound of it the path for both is 480i in your case though?

Quote:


[It's interesting that the video signal may have to be restricted to 480i for the proper delivery of 608 data; the Motorola set top box used for Verizon Fios apparently has problems providing captions unless it's set to 480i. However, we don't have to worry about this for CECBs and it shouldn't be an issue when captions are decoded by the set-top box itself.]

AIUI when 608 caption data is embedded in Line 21 it has to be in the 480i format to make sense...
post #79 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Well analogue captions broadcast via analogue cable or analogue OTA are inserted into blanking by the broadcaster, passed untouched through the transmission and reception process, and remain embedded in the composite video received by the TV, and AIUI they are preserved by VCRs.

I'm not clear how DVD recorders preserve Line 21 data (which AIUI is outside the 480 of the 525 NTSC lines recorded by digital recorders, and which could be corrupted by MPEG2 anyway) - I assume they have to decode it to packets, record them separately in the DVD data stream and then re-insert them on replay?

I don't know how TV stations get the recordings of programs that have both types of captions. I've been told there's no mechanism within DVDs to record 708 captions, however. Hard drives are usually considered to be able to capture HD programming intact but I don't personally know if they can capture EIA-708 data or if there's another way to do that.

Quote:


How was the programme received and how was it recorded by the Tivo?

Perhaps you missed my earlier posting in this thread on how I've set up my Series 2 TiVo to record from either the antenna or a converter box; it's at:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...o#post13364905

My analog Series 2 TiVo is thus set up to receive analog channels through the antenna input and to receive digital channels via the CECB through the composite input (but I presently have to change the digital channels through the CECB). This setup allows me to TiVo programs on multicast channels, including programs that look much better on the digital channel than on the analog channel. I can also then TiVo-record open-captioned programs if I wish, which I can then choose to transfer to my computer, although the guide information will be incorrect much of the time.

Quote:


If the recording was made via an external source - then presumably this box will have taken ATSC 608 data packets and re-inserted them as analogue NTSC 608 in blanking, which the Tivo will then have detected and recorded.

The TiVo itself does the recording of the analog output from the converter box, and has done them perfectly for programs from other stations. The 608 data has come through intact for recordings of programs on digital channels through the CECB.

Quote:


If the digital broadcast ATSC 608 packets were dodgy, or the STB insertion was not well implemented, that could have caused the problem?

Since other recordings from other channels have been fine, something appears amiss with the myNetworkTV affiliate's transmission or their recording of the Law and Order rerun. These reruns are of somewhat recent programs that probably had digital captions. I wonder if their equipment detects and treats differently the reruns of programs that have only 608 captions versus 708 and 608 captions. If there's no such detection, there could be a problem caused by using a mechanism to upconvert 608 captions to 708 captions when there are already 708 captions available, for example.

To clarify further, the NTSC 608 data was fine on channel 20; the 608 data did not come through intact for channel 20.1 from the same station, which is what I had recorded. I haven't noticed the problem with captions on 20.1 at other times, but I don't usually watch that channel at prime time hours and will need to doublecheck whether similar problems are happening with first-run programming (which would help isolate the problem further).

At any rate, the CECB with digital closed captions can help diagnose current problems with the captioning that is being provided over digital channels.
post #80 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

I don't know how TV stations get the recordings of programs that have both types of captions.

I think that it is the TV station that decides whether the captions are 608, 708 or both, rather than the source of the show. In other words the delivered video tape of the show (or the file if it has been syndicated by a non-tape method?) contains the captions in a format that can be coded as 608 or 708 - or both?

Quote:


I've been told there's no mechanism within DVDs to record 708 captions, however.

That would make sense - AIUI there is no standard to carry 708 captions via a non-broadcast method. Other than burning them in as open captions there is no method to carry 708 data via a composite/HDMI/Component/S-video connection AIUI. (But I'm a Brit so don't claim to know everything about anything!)

Quote:


Hard drives are usually considered to be able to capture HD programming intact but I don't personally know if they can capture EIA-708 data or if there's another way to do that.

HD recorders integrated into boxes with ATSC tuners can presumably just record the entire transport stream associated with a channel - including secondary audio and ATSC 608 and 708 data streams?

Quote:


Perhaps you missed my earlier posting in this thread on how I've set up my Series 2 TiVo to record from either the antenna or a converter box; it's at:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...o#post13364905

Yep...

Quote:


My analog Series 2 TiVo is thus set up to receive analog channels through the antenna input and to receive digital channels via the CECB through the composite input (but I presently have to change the digital channels through the CECB). This setup allows me to TiVo programs on multicast channels, including programs that look much better on the digital channel than on the analog channel. I can also then TiVo-record open-captioned programs if I wish, which I can then choose to transfer to my computer, although the guide information will be incorrect much of the time.

So your CECB burns in captions as open captions, rather than inserting them into blanking for your TV to decode?

Quote:


The TiVo itself does the recording of the analog output from the converter box, and has done them perfectly for programs from other stations. The 608 data has come through intact for recordings of programs on digital channels through the CECB.

So your 708 captions are open-captioned and burned into the recordings, but ATSC 608 captions are not burned in and carried in blanking, recorded, and decoded by your TV and not your CECB?

Quote:


Since other recordings from other channels have been fine, something appears amiss with the myNetworkTV affiliate's transmission or their recording of the Law and Order rerun. These reruns are of somewhat recent programs that probably had digital captions.

I'm not clear that the programme source defines whether a show has 708 "digital" captions or ATSC 608 captions. My understanding is that the captions are coded in a format that would allow a station to encode the captions in either format? I'm not an expert on US subtitle delivery though.

Quote:


I wonder if their equipment detects and treats differently the reruns of programs that have only 608 captions versus 708 and 608 captions. If there's no such detection, there could be a problem caused by using a mechanism to upconvert 608 captions to 708 captions when there are already 708 captions available, for example.

I'm not clear that the source differentiates between 608 and 708 captions.

Is the channel a networked or locally derived service? If a networked service then it could depend on how the network distributes their signal I guess?

Quote:


To clarify further, the NTSC 608 data was fine on channel 20;

Is that NTSC analogue channel 20 tuned using an analogue source - or digital channel 20 tuned using a CECB?

Quote:


the 608 data did not come through intact for channel 20.1 from the same station, which is what I had recorded.

That is a recording made from a CECB tuned to 20.1 connected to the Tivo?

Quote:


I haven't noticed the problem with captions on 20.1 at other times, but I don't usually watch that channel at prime time hours and will need to doublecheck whether similar problems are happening with first-run programming (which would help isolate the problem further).

Yep - could be that a local station timeshifting isn't timeshifting the caption data and just the video?
post #81 of 226
> HD recorders integrated into boxes with ATSC tuners can presumably
> just record the entire transport stream associated with a channel
> - including secondary audio and ATSC 608 and 708 data streams?

An ATSC tuner with a computer interface (PCI card, Ethernet, Firewire, USB, ...)
can deliver the entire transport stream. Some tuners allow filtering
just the PIDs you want, reducing the amount of disk space required.
Or you can filter it later with a utility such as dtvstream.

I don't know if any of the popular software (mplayer, xine, ffmpeg, etc.)
can decode the closed captions?
post #82 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

ATSC 608 will be carried as packets in a transport stream with a PID separate to that of the video stream PID (and presumably married in the PMT) - whilst NTSC 608 will be carried embedded in the analogue video as data on Line 21 in blanking.

A correction. Closed caption data (either EIA-608 or EIA-708) is carried in the picture user data of every MPEG-2 video frame and not on a separate PID (like teletext). Picture user data works better with inverse telecine, since you can match the number of line 21 cc_data items to the number of repeated fields in the MPEG-2 video frame.

There's been many Closed caption picture user data formats over the years. Before ATSC and digital cable, encoder companies just made up there own format. There was a C-Cube, Divicom and Minerva format. Cable head-ends have their own specification, SCTE 20.

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/ANSISCTE202004.pdf

To make cable even more confusing, there's another specification for EIA-708 captions, SCTE 21.

http://www.scte.org/documents/standa...12001R2006.pdf

The SCTE 21 specification is identical to the ATSC specification for EIA-708 closed captioning, but extends the user data to include other VBI waveforms like Nielsen ratings and even Gemstar/TV Guide EPG download.

For backwards compatibility, both SCTE 20 and SCTE 21 user data in sent on cable head-end bitstreams. This means that there's two copies of the EIA-608 data. One in the SCTE 20 user data and one in the SCTE 21 user data.

Ron
post #83 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad2 View Post

> HD recorders integrated into boxes with ATSC tuners can presumably
> just record the entire transport stream associated with a channel
> - including secondary audio and ATSC 608 and 708 data streams?

An ATSC tuner with a computer interface (PCI card, Ethernet, Firewire, USB, ...)
can deliver the entire transport stream. Some tuners allow filtering
just the PIDs you want, reducing the amount of disk space required.
Or you can filter it later with a utility such as dtvstream.

I don't know if any of the popular software (mplayer, xine, ffmpeg, etc.)
can decode the closed captions?

Think Sage and MythTV can.

Elgato's stuff decodes both WST and DVB subtitles in Europe.
post #84 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

A correction. Closed caption data (either EIA-608 or EIA-708) is carried in the picture user data of every MPEG-2 video frame and not on a separate PID (like teletext). Picture user data works better with inverse telecine, since you can match the number of line 21 cc_data items to the number of repeated fields in the MPEG-2 video frame.

There's been many Closed caption picture user data formats over the years. Before ATSC and digital cable, encoder companies just made up there own format. There was a C-Cube, Divicom and Minerva format. Cable head-ends have their own specification, SCTE 20.

http://www.scte.org/documents/pdf/ANSISCTE202004.pdf

To make cable even more confusing, there's another specification for EIA-708 captions, SCTE 21.

http://www.scte.org/documents/standa...12001R2006.pdf

The SCTE 21 specification is identical to the ATSC specification for EIA-708 closed captioning, but extends the user data to include other VBI waveforms like Nielsen ratings and even Gemstar/TV Guide EPG download.

For backwards compatibility, both SCTE 20 and SCTE 21 user data in sent on cable head-end bitstreams. This means that there's two copies of the EIA-608 data. One in the SCTE 20 user data and one in the SCTE 21 user data.

Ron

Apologies and thanks for the clarification - I jumped to the conclusion that 608 and 708 were carried in the same way as WST and DVB Subtitles are in the DVB spec. I was plainly wrong! This explains the ease of conversion but also the limited data rate and the lack of bitmapped broadcast (where the broadcaster sends a graphic overlay not text for the receiver to render)
post #85 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

I think that it is the TV station that decides whether the captions are 608, 708 or both, rather than the source of the show. In other words the delivered video tape of the show (or the file if it has been syndicated by a non-tape method?) contains the captions in a format that can be coded as 608 or 708 - or both?

The broadcaster remains responsible for the captioning, but both types of captions are required. I'd think that syndicated shows would come with at least the native captions that had been generated for the program, and possibly both might be present.

Page 4 of "Implementing Closed Captions" (mentioned earlier) discusses recording DTVCC data. It sounds that it's possible to record and playback DTVCCs by using video servers and separate files for the captions. (However, since I don't have sufficient background in this area, I don't understand the terminology and thus the document fully.)

Here's a question for the engineers on this thread:

The "Law and Order" series were created for one network, NBC, but are frequently syndicated to other networks. "Stargate Atlantis" was produced for the Sci-Fi HD channel but is being shown now on Fox channels. Both seem to have a problem with standard digital captions on my local channels since my Sharp HDTV can't display captions for those reruns on the digital channel, although the CECBs *are* able to display captions. Why would the Sharp HDTV have problems displaying any captions for such programs on the digital channels, while the CECB can display digital captions?

(If I were to complain to the stations involved that my HDTV can't see captions from their digital broadcasts even though a CECB can, they're likely just to tell me I have a problem with my HDTV, even though it can decode digital captions for prime-time programming from most channels. It's curious that the inexpensive but newer CECB can do a better job deciphering some digital captions than my 2006 HDTV can---but it seems the TV stations ought to be broadcasting digital captions in a way that's compatible with all HDTVs manufactured after July 1, 2002.)

Quote:


So your 708 captions are open-captioned and burned into the recordings, but ATSC 608 captions are not burned in and carried in blanking, recorded, and decoded by your TV and not your CECB?

I don't have to turn on the 708 captions from the CECB, but if I want open-captioned recordings, I'll activate the 708 captions so the video images of them will be recorded. (There's a completely separate process to burn in open captions for films used in movie theaters that really does burn in the captions, creating openings for white light from the projector to shine through, so I think it's best to avoid using the term "burning" for 708 captions created by CECBs.)

I could choose to burn in the ATSC 608 captions if I wanted to, because the CECBs I've tested so far can decode ATSC 608 data as well as 708 data. (I don't like the look of the 608 captions decoded by the CECBs I've tested, however, so I'd choose better 708 captions instead.)

Now here's a kicker....

I can see two kinds of 608 captions at once via the CECB (the ones decoded by the CECB and the ones decoded by the TV.) The decoding of the ATSC 608 data by the CECB clearly doesn't prevent the same data from being converted into Line 21 captions and getting decoded by the analog TV.

Likewise, decoding the 708 captions on the CECB doesn't prevent my analog TV from decoding the line 21 captions that are still being transmitted by the CECB. At times, this phenomenon allows me to see that the 708 captions are significantly out of sync with the 608 captions; I've seen this with reruns of "The Simpsons" and the syndicated "Law and Order" reruns. (The digital captions can be so delayed as to make the program too confusing to watch.)

It's very useful to have a TV that has a CC button on the remote so that it's easier to turn the TV's CCs on or off. Unfortunately, the older TVs don't tend to have that feature.

Quote:


Is that NTSC analogue channel 20 tuned using an analogue source - or digital channel 20 tuned using a CECB?

In the USA at this time, before the digital transition has taken place, all the analog channels are using the integers, and all the digital channels are represented with decimal points or sometimes dashes. If you see someone talking about 4.1, for example, that's a digital channel. On some remote controls, a button is marked with a dash instead of a period, and to go to a channel directly, one pushes 20 dash 1 to go to channel 20.1.

So at this time in the USA, channel 20 is automatically an analog channel, and 20.1 is automatically a digital channel. After the transition on February 17, 2009, I'd guess that the basic channel number will presumably be used for either the HD digital channel or an SD channel (but I don't know much about that process).

The CECBs are designed to tune only the digital channels (except for the few that can pass through analog channels).

Quote:


That is a recording made from a CECB tuned to 20.1 connected to the Tivo?

Yes

Quote:


Yep - could be that a local station timeshifting isn't timeshifting the caption data and just the video?

I have no idea! Seems to me there could be problems occuring at a variety of points along the way.
post #86 of 226
I also have a Samsung DTB-H260F, which is not a CECB. It is billed as a terrestrial HDTV receiver and “by-the-way” it receives clear QAM. It has HDMI, component, two sets of composite, digital audio, S-Video and RF out. The RF out appears to be a copy of the RF in, unaltered by the box. The signal level of RF out is reduced when the box is turned off.

Interestingly, it does not provide CC data on the composite and S-Video outputs, neither as graphics overlaid on the video image, nor as data in line 21 of the VBI. It also does not support the menu function nor the OSD on the composite and S-Video outputs. I wonder why Samsung even bothered to include those outputs since they are so limited in function.

The lack of caption data and/or caption graphics on the composite and S-Video interfaces means that recording to a DVD or VCR would not produce open or closed captions. No captions at all!

If the box were connected to a DVD recorder with the component or HDMI interfaces, then open captions could be recorded. The result would be a DVD with captions that are always there and the caption settings can not be changed. This would be the same if you were using a cable or dish STB connected to a “tuner-less” DVD recorder with component or HDMI cables. I do not yet have a DVD recorder with component or HDMI inputs, so I can’t test this paragraph, but it seems logical to predict what would happen.

1. The availability of digital closed captioning features.

Analog and digital captions are decoded and displayed on the component and HDMI interfaces. With CC1 set for analog captions and Serv 1 set for digital captions, as I channel surf, if the channel is transmitting both kinds of captions, I see the digital. If the channel is transmitting only analog captions, I see the analog. For testing purposes, I set the color of digital captions to yellow so I could know which I am viewing. Analog is always white.

2. The availability of a CC button on the remote control

yes

3. The usability of the menu activated by the CC button and what the choices are

The remote control has a CC button, which only turns captions on or off. To change captions settings, the menu must be used.

4. If analog captions can be decoded by the converter box, the ease of reading the font provided for those analog captions (if present).

The analog caption font looks just like the font provided by my TV. It is very clear and sharp.

5. The ease of reading the eight different fonts available for digital captions, particularly
the default font

Default – OK
0 – Looks like Courier – OK
1 – Too thin
2 – OK
3 – Bold. I like this one the best
4 – Small
5 – It tries to be a script. Not good.
6 – All Caps – big caps & small caps
7 - Thin


6. The availability of a "caption preview" of some kind when changes are made in the settings for the digital captions

It has a caption preview, and the differences in fonts can be seen. However, differences in opacity is not seen very well and I have to view actual captions on a program to judge the difference.

7. How large the digital captions are actually capable of becoming (useful for low-vision viewers or for being able to watch the TV from a significant distance)

There is not much difference in the three sizes. I think the biggest size is not very big on a 26 inch screen, but it is OK on a larger screen.

8. How usable the optional translucent background is in providing sufficient contrast to the characters used in the captioning.

My preferred viewing mode is solid foreground and solid background. However, some people may like various combinations of translucent, transparent, and colors. It can be set up for a particular type of program, then changed for another type of program. I suppose it is OK, but I would never use it. There is even a flashing mode! The box does not have any edge treatment of the font. Edge treatment may be good when a light background is used, or is present on the picture. It would make the font readable and I have seen some subtitles done that way.

9. Whether there are any bugs associated with captioning, such as a failure to detect
analog captions automatically if there are no digital captions, jerky movements of captions, cut-off captions, unexpected changes in the background, etc.

No problems that I can attribute to the box.

10. Whether the remote control has an SAP or audio button, a raised dot on the 5 button, and dots on the Power button (useful for low vision or blind users).

MTS button, Raised dot on "5", dots near power / antenna. In addition there are dots near both the volume up/down buttons and the channel up/down buttons

11. How well the user manual explains the different digital closed caption settings.

The manual has information, but not much. It is rather skimpy in other areas too.

12. Whether the CECB has crashed and what the circumstances were.

No problems.
post #87 of 226
Thread Starter 
FWIW, I've been using a Zenith DTT900 CECB for a week (after I wasn't able to get a DigitalStream CECB at a local Radio Shack). It is just like the Insignia but hasn't crashed.

The only other difference that I've noticed between the Zenith and the Insignia is that the documentation is written differently.

The Zenith user manual's table of contents is skimpy and says nothing about captioning.

The way the Zenith user manual (UM) describes the menu for the CCD button is:

"Selects caption mode if available
(Service 1-6 -->CC 1-4 -->Text 1-4 -->Off)"

The Insignia's UM only said of the CCD button: "Press to select the closed caption mode, if available," but it behaves just like the Zenith's CCD button.

The Zenith UM describes the settings available under the "Options" menu and states:

"Caption

"Allows you to select an option for displaying Caption Data from the unit."

Neither UM explains that the CECB will automatically send line 21 data to the analog TV, and only the Zenith UM indicates the CECB's caption settings are for captions displayed (i.e. decoded) by the unit. (People whose analog TVs were already displaying captions aren't instructed to turn off those captions at any time.)

I've seen other user manuals do a better job of guiding the user through the process of setting up the captions. Neither CECB's UM suggests using Service 1 or CC1 or how to find out which one to choose.

The Zenith UM uses less than half of a small page to describe the caption features, but describes the "Digital Option" that controls setting up the customized features, while the Insignia UM gives partial instructions that don't explain how to set up the custom features of the digital captions. I'd rate both UMs as being poor with respect to helping people set up advanced closed captioning features.

More people may get confused with the Insignia if they follow the partial instructions there very literally because they won't understand how to adjust the settings for the captions. The Zenith explains how to navigate the entire menu system early on and leaves it up to the user to figure out how to get around the menu.

By the way, I'm realizing that I'd moved ahead too fast in my own evaluation of the CECBs. I had never looked at the digital captions set by each program; I had gone ahead and changed the 708 captions pretty quickly. The default 708 captions provided for "NCIS," for example, are very small. People who don't realize they have the option of using larger font sizes could be rather dismayed by what they see. (Perhaps that's what happened with the two people who tried the DigitalStream.)
post #88 of 226
I also have a Samsung DTB-H260F, which is not a CECB. It is billed as a terrestrial HDTV receiver and by-the-way it receives clear QAM. It has HDMI, component, two sets of composite, digital audio, S-Video and RF out.

Interestingly, it does not provide CC data on the composite and S-Video outputs, neither as graphics overlaid on the video image, nor as data in line 21 of the VBI. It also does not support the menu function and OSD on the composite and S-Video outputs. I wonder why Samsung even bothered to include those outputs since they are so limited in function.

1. The availability of digital closed captioning features.

Analog and digital captions are decoded and displayed on the component and HDMI interfaces. As I channel surf, with CC1 set for analog captions and Service 1 set for digital captions, if the channel is transmitting both kinds of captions, I see the digital. If the channel is transmitting only analog captions, I see the analog. For testing purposes, I set the color of digital captions to yellow so I could know which I am viewing. Analog is always white.

2. The availability of a CC button on the remote control

yes

3. The usability of the menu activated by the CC button and what the choices are

The remote control has a CC button, which only turns captions on or off. To change captions settings, the menu must be used.

4. If analog captions can be decoded by the converter box, the ease of reading the font provided for those analog captions (if present).

The analog caption font looks just like the font provided by my TV. It is very clear and sharp.

5. The ease of reading the eight different fonts available for digital captions, particularly
the default font

Default - OK
0 - Looks like Courier - OK
1 - Too thin
2 - OK
3 - Bold. I like this one the best
4 - Small
5 - It tries to be a script. Not good.
6 - All Caps - big caps & small caps
7 - Thin


6. The availability of a "caption preview" of some kind when changes are made in the settings for the digital captions

It has a caption preview, and the differences in fonts can be seen. However, differences in opacity is not seen very well and I have to view actual captions on a program to judge the difference.

7. How large the digital captions are actually capable of becoming (useful for low-vision viewers or for being able to watch the TV from a significant distance)

There is not much different in the three sizes. The biggest size is not very big on a 26 inch screen, but it is OK on a larger screen.

8. How usable the optional translucent background is in providing sufficient contrast to the characters used in the captioning.

My preferred viewing mode is solid foreground and solid background. However, some people may like various combinations of translucent, transparent, and colors. It can be set up for a particular type of program, then changed for another type of program. I suppose it is OK, but I would never use it. There is even a flashing mode! The box does not have any edge treatment of the font. Edge treatment would be good when a light background is used, or is present on the picture. It would make the font readable and I have seen some subtitles done that way.

9. Whether there are any bugs associated with captioning, such as a failure to detect
analog captions automatically if there are no digital captions, jerky movements of captions, cut-off captions, unexpected changes in the background, etc.

No problems that I can attribute to the box.

10. Whether the remote control has an SAP or audio button, a raised dot on the 5 button, and dots on the Power button (useful for low vision or blind users).

MTS button, Raised dot on "5", dots near power / antenna. In addition there are dots near both the volume up/down buttons and the channel up/down buttons

11. How well the user manual explains the different digital closed caption settings.

The manual has information, but not much. It is rather skimpy in other areas too.

12. Whether the CECB has crashed and what the circumstances were.

No problems.
post #89 of 226
I also have a Samsung DTB-H260F, which is not a CECB. It is billed as a terrestrial HDTV receiver and by-the-way it receives clear QAM. It has HDMI, component, two sets of composite, digital audio, S-Video and RF out.

Interestingly, it does not provide CC data on the composite and S-Video outputs, neither as graphics overlaid on the video image, nor as data in line 21 of the VBI. It also does not support the menu function and OSD on the composite and S-Video outputs. I wonder why Samsung even bothered to include those outputs since they are so limited in function.

1. The availability of digital closed captioning features.

Analog and digital captions are decoded and displayed on the component and HDMI interfaces. As I channel surf, with CC1 set for analog captions and Service 1 set for digital captions, if the channel is transmitting both kinds of captions, I see the digital. If the channel is transmitting only analog captions, I see the analog. For testing purposes, I set the color of digital captions to yellow so I could know which I am viewing. Analog is always white.

2. The availability of a CC button on the remote control

yes

3. The usability of the menu activated by the CC button and what the choices are

The remote control has a CC button, which only turns captions on or off. To change captions settings, the menu must be used.

4. If analog captions can be decoded by the converter box, the ease of reading the font provided for those analog captions (if present).

The analog caption font looks just like the font provided by my TV. It is very clear and sharp.

5. The ease of reading the eight different fonts available for digital captions, particularly
the default font

Default - OK
0 - Looks like Courier - OK
1 - Too thin
2 - OK
3 - Bold. I like this one the best
4 - Small
5 - It tries to be a script. Not good.
6 - All Caps - big caps & small caps
7 - Thin


6. The availability of a "caption preview" of some kind when changes are made in the settings for the digital captions

It has a caption preview, and the differences in fonts can be seen. However, differences in opacity is not seen very well and I have to view actual captions on a program to judge the difference.

7. How large the digital captions are actually capable of becoming (useful for low-vision viewers or for being able to watch the TV from a significant distance)

There is not much different in the three sizes. The biggest size is not very big on a 26 inch screen, but it is OK on a larger screen.

8. How usable the optional translucent background is in providing sufficient contrast to the characters used in the captioning.

My preferred viewing mode is solid foreground and solid background. However, some people may like various combinations of translucent, transparent, and colors. It can be set up for a particular type of program, then changed for another type of program. I suppose it is OK, but I would never use it. There is even a flashing mode! The box does not have any edge treatment of the font. Edge treatment would be good when a light background is used, or is present on the picture. It would make the font readable and I have seen some subtitles done that way.

9. Whether there are any bugs associated with captioning, such as a failure to detect
analog captions automatically if there are no digital captions, jerky movements of captions, cut-off captions, unexpected changes in the background, etc.

No problems that I can attribute to the box.

10. Whether the remote control has an SAP or audio button, a raised dot on the 5 button, and dots on the Power button (useful for low vision or blind users).

MTS button, Raised dot on "5", dots near power / antenna. In addition there are dots near both the volume up/down buttons and the channel up/down buttons

11. How well the user manual explains the different digital closed caption settings.

The manual has information, but not much. It is rather skimpy in other areas too.

12. Whether the CECB has crashed and what the circumstances were.

No problems.
post #90 of 226
I decided to return RCA DTA800 and bought Insignia. I used to have caption problems on RCA DTA800 on PBS. The problem is gone after I switch to Insignia.
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