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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FCC does not answer 2 e. mails as to why Directv is not providing Closed Captions on it's 4 new HDTV channels on SAT. C As many of us may know people who are deaf or hard of hearing, these peeople cannot watch those channels because of no captions---- it's like watching a silent movie.
 

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I've an inquiry in to SHO on what their story is on lack of CC. I'm wondering what the legalities are here. Are only 'major networks' affiliates required to transmit CC, and thus only HD locals (none on sat, of course) would be affected? Or what?


Movies seem to be a gray area. If captioned, are they required to transmit? I doubt it, but don't know the code.
 

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With analog captions they're encoded in the video stream of the signal hence if you pull up a menu on an STB that takes up the full screen the captions disapear etc.


From what I've read elsewhere there are some serious issues with captioning HD and there is no set standard for it. It's not that the providers i.e. dish,direct,comcast etc are not passing the CC they have no way of blocking it but simply that its not even in the source material to begin with.
 

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Some boxes do allow you to turn captions on yourselves. The captions are there! It's not a Showtime or HBO problem...


On my CABLE HD Motorola box (sorry, don't have the model # here but this may work for many of the boxes): When it is on, press power to turn off the box and then press the Menu key. It brings up a special menu that allows me to turn on CC and has many display options for the font/size/color etc. I make the CC background semi-transparent and they look much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RICHAV, can you access Captions on the new Sat. C programmes. I have yet to see any Captions on 73, 76, 79 or 81.
 

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Sorry - I was referring to my cable HD box. I assume that the closed captions are already there in the signal from HBO, SHO but most cable/satellite companies do not show them on their box menus. I will edit my previous post to clarify.


Try to find the manual for your specific box on the manufacturers' web site. See if it gives you the codes to enter the box's setup mode and turn on captions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RICH4AV, I normally have no problems accessing captions if the programmes say captions, but I have yet to be able to access them on the new SAT.C channels. I'm using the Zenith 520. I'm wondering if someone at DIRECTV is forgetting to push a button.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by LINDELLTOM
RICHAV, can you access Captions on the new Sat. C programmes. I have yet to see any Captions on 73, 76, 79 or 81.
I have never seen CC on HDNet. I have seen them on DHDT a few times but not consistent. (Discovery has a history of NOT providing enough CC and the FCC has fined them twice I believe it was for not having enough CC) I see them on HBO HD all the time (like last night!). I don't watch enough of ESPN HD to comment. I saw them on HDNet Movies one time.
 

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About ABC OTA ... I have seen captioning show up twice on two different shows while in HD. Funny thing was they showed up at the END of the shows (the last 15 minutes). So, here I am tripping ... and seeing how the caption is drawn onto the screen (Hughes E86) kinda slow like as if it was CPU intensive. So, while the caption is on I'm sitting there trying to make it go away and be unrecoverable and no matter what I do, the caption reappears around whenever I turn CC1 back on.


Then, the next time the same show is on, I tried to get the box to redisplay captioning by flipping switches, turning caption off and on, etc., and nothing works. By the way, I'm a firmware engineer so I'm rather gifted at trying to toggle software into working but this turned out to be a waste of time.


I contacted our local affiliate (KXLY) about captioning and the engineer who was responsive at first said they were transmitting it and it shows up fine on their monitor but when I started pressing the HD issue I've not heard back. Maybe the FCC does need to get involved!?


Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sent 2 e. mails to the FCC on NOV.19 asking why isn't Directv providing Captions on it's 4 new HD channels, no answer yet. My wife who is deaf is bugging me about this, as such she never wants to watch a show unless it has captions-----like watching a silent movie. What to do next, anyone have any ideas.
 

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LINDELLTOM


What STB are you using? I'm interested in running down this problem, too. Try this person at the FCC:


Jenifer Simpson


Last time I wrote, I got this reply. Just haven't the time to follow up on it:


------------------------------


Dear Mr. Staben,

Thank you for sending your concern about closed captioning to the

Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If you wish to proceed with

complaint service, where we contact the television provider or equipment

manufacturer on your behalf, we would need some more specifics, as

follows:


1. Date (s) and time (s) and channel number for each of the episodes of

each of the shows that you experienced the closed captioning problem and

for which you expected closed captioning. Please provide specifics.


E.g., "on Channel 123 (the XYZ channel), on Sept. 29, at 7pm, the show

called "Super Show" did not have any captioning throughout the whole

show but usually these shows are captioned" AND/OR "it was labelled as

having cc'g on the channel guide."


2. The address to which you send your monthly payment for your

satellite TV provider, what you pay and what you pay for additional

services (e.g., TiVo), please specify.


3. If you contacted the tv service company or the manufacturer of the

device involved about the problem (which we recommend you do), when did

you do this, what happened and what did they say.


4. The type of television equipment involved with your concern. E.g.,

tv make and model, satellite receiving equipment make and model, and if

it was provided to you by the tv services company or if you purchased it

on a component basis.


5. Anything else you think we should know.


Your complaint has been assigned FCC No. IC-03-N90195. Please use this

number in your reply. Thank you.




Thank you for contacting the FCC about this. I look forward to some

more details so we may provide complaint service.


Regards,


Jenifer Simpson

Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division

Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau

FCC
 

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On the SHO issue, it is SHO's problem, as I see it. My Sony 300 shows HD captions for every OTA channel that has captions. HBO-HD from D* is always fine. SHO-HD for movies marked as CC, never. My inquiry to SHO at their website got the usual idiotic response of 'what cable/sat co, what date, etc.' all things I said originally, I repeated the answer, no response since.


SHO and ABC seem to be the only ones that mark content as CC and don't do it for HD (I'm not 100% on the ABC, since I don't get a real good signal on my local ABC, but one show I watched last night was fine in SD, no CC in HD....)


The way one station Engineer explained it to me is this: There are two standards for HD CC. One is 608, analog CC reencoded into the HD stream. The other is 708, HD captions. One local channel here (Fox5) was doing 708, but that (for them) was giving a 4 second delay, so they are in the process of working on switching to 608. The other locals do 608 and HD CC is well near perfect.


AFAIK all current HD STBs do HD captions correctly.
 

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Followup on this... after several inquiries to the FCC, I got about the same response from Jenifer, above, but she included the DirecTV address and the appropriate person to direct the complaint to (the VP for Government Affairs, I believe).


I wrote that letter Monday, mailed it Tuesday, and today (Friday) SHO-HD has CC!!


Now, on the other channels, I've not seen any indications that the materials IS captioned. Showtime was a special case where the same movie was being broadcast at the same time on the SD channel and you could easily prove it was CC'd there.


If you have verifiable examples of shows that are CC'd (such as guide data) and are not getting them on a modern STB, write DirecTV a letter, attn the VP above. They do listen!
 

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My experience with OTA HD channels is this - no captioning until the HD source is gone and it's SD....THEN the captioning appears. This goes across the board in our market (NBC-HD, ABC-HD and PBS-HD) for ALL programming on DTs. Using a Sammy SIR-T151.
 

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Huh? I get captions on all locals nets in Washington DC... both HD source and local SD. For example, prime time net shows, local news, no diff.


I *have* had to call the local stations (once in a while) and tell the news folks to tell the engineers 'you aren't sending captions over digital', and that fixes it. You might try that! Although your widespread experience makes me wonder if it's the 608 vs 708 caption types.... I don't know the capabilities of the T151.
 

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Not sure about the satellite channels, but in DTV the captioning is sent into the stations' HD encoders as a separate RS-232 data stream. As far as I know, the networks are not sending any independent CC data. It is up to the stations to "transcode" the Line-21 style CC from the SDTV video and feed it in to the HDTV encoder.
 

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Our network provides its affiliates with a separate satellite receiver for HD programming which only outputs HD video and 2.0 audio (and occasionally 5.1 audio) for us to "pass through" on our DTV channel, but lacks the related closed captioning stream.


So, like Ken says, we take the closed captioning from the video of our standard definition analog channel and bridge over into the HD encoder.


(We can disable this bridge if necessary because the closed captions would be wrong if the HD channel weren't simulcasting.)


Our HD channel would lack closed captions if we lacked a closed caption HD bridge or if we were not simulcasting or if closed captions were not there on the SD analog channel.


Our DTV station also carries a SD service and its separate encoder translates closed caption from its input into the SD ATSC stream so simulcasting is not an issue.
 

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I understand how it works (from a local engineer, who's also a Fox one! :) ). They had to modify some things to get the CC to sync with the video. What I suspect is that the local affiliate (not Fox, BTW) does something different to interface the network HD feed, and they have to couple the SD CC signal differently. All I know is that once there was no CC on the DT side, and I called and it was fixed, and the next time, I waited and it was fixed after about three mins. Note that this was at the start of the prime time nighttime (and HD) period.


I don't know what D* had to do, but I was under the impression it was SHO'd fault. My bad, it turns out it was D*, and the FCC was correct in telling me to start at the bottom of the chain and complain to them (D*) first.
 

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And, to p*ss me off, tonight, D* seems to have screwed up SHO-HD. No CC on American Prez or Fatal Attraction. Sheesh. I guess I have to wait for their official response to me, which they have 45 days to give. I wish there was an engineering number to call for D* Ops (or at least like the News Desk at the network affiliiates, who can pass a message to the engineers as needed.)
 
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