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Old 05-30-08, 01:51 PM   #1
FrostyPosts
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Closed-Captioning DVDs on HDTV in 1080p mode?

Hi everyone,

I'd like to bring up this subject because of my being deaf.

There are some DVDs that only come with closed-captions (CC) and no subtitles. For those who don't know the difference between CCs and subtitles, CCs are separate signals that need to be decoded by another device (TVs for the most part) in order to read what's being said/heard whereas subtitles are basically overlaid letterings which the DVD player itself would display for you. I'm sure there are better explanations but I think you get the idea.

Unfortunately, HDMI cables can only carry video/audio signals and cannot carry any other signals including CC signals. Logic would say that CC signals need to be decoded prior to going through the HDMI cable so DVD players need to have a built-in CC decoder, right? Again, unfortunately most DVD players do not have such a decoder built-in but I managed to find out the newer upconverting Philips DVD players (eg., DVP5990) do have such decoders. I went to Best Buy and had the salesman take out the DVP5990 and test it on a Sony Bravia HDTV via HDMI.

He was able to turn the CC on in the DVD player menu but the CCs still don't show up on the HDTV. He tried all different modes (480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p) with or without progressive mode. Nothing. It makes me think the CC decoders were designed to deal with analog connections (composite, S-Video, etc), not digital (HDMI, DVI, component).

I want to make absolutely sure that there's indeed no way to bring up a DVD movie's CCs onto a HDTV using HDMI (or at least component). I'm asking anyone who has an upconverting Philips DVD player to please try and experiment with all DVD player and HDTV settings to see if CC would turn up or not. I'm just hoping there's a way to do it somehow.

If I'm not clear on any part of the above, please let me know and I'll try to clarify it further. Please remember I'm talking about CCs, not subtitles, so do not bother with the subtitle button. Try any DVD that has a "CC" symbol on the packaging.

Any solutions? *fingers crossed* I can still view them CCed via composite but want to try and get the best picture (HDMI) with CCs still intact.

Thank you for your time and any efforts in advance,

Frosty

Last edited by FrostyPosts; 05-30-08 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 05-30-08, 02:06 PM   #2
Randy Miller III
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Frosty,

It's doubtful, especially since the problem isn't even limited to HDMI. For example, if you've ever attempted 480p playback using component cables (which are actually analong, not digital), CCs can't be displayed. I first noticed this when watching HBO's Band of Brothers, which does not include English subtitles or Captions (only CCs). This is probably due to the progressive signal, though, which you've already mentioned.

Assuming you're playing back HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs and not regular DVDs (since upconverting is only available via HDMI, I believe), have you tried a 1080i connection with component cables? You'll get a great picture and still might be able to turn on CCs, since it's an interlaced signal.

I'm not deaf or hard of hearing myself, but I've got a habit of turning on CCs or subtitles anyway...especially since I make sure to list what's available when reviewing a title.
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Last edited by Randy Miller III; 05-30-08 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 05-30-08, 04:02 PM   #3
Jay G.
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The manual available online for the Philips DVP5990 mentions that the CC option will show CC "if your TV supports it," which to me means it doesn't do the decoding itself.

The AVS forums have a few threads about CC over progressive, and mentions some DVD players that can decode CC before sending the video signal.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=778037
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=846346

I guess newer DVD recorders with ATSC tuners built in have a good chance of being able to decode and display CC from DVDs, since they need to do it for ATSC signals anyway.
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Old 05-30-08, 04:29 PM   #4
FrostyPosts
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Randy,

Thanks for the reply. I stand corrected on "component." I never used component cables before and always thought they were digital. D'oh.

I haven't bought a Blu-Ray player yet (waiting for the prices to drop further) so I'm still watching regular DVDs at the moment. I do check for Blu-Ray versions of anything new I want and see if they are subtitled...and if they are, I'd just skip buying the regular DVD version and wait until I get a Blu-Ray player.

Still, I have so many CC-only (regular) DVDs and hate to think I'd have to buy Blu-Ray versions (if they end up with subtitles)...that'd be costly.

Anyways, you may be right about progressive scan. Maybe the upconverting/upscaling process also screws up the CC part as well.

It's a real shame that the makers of DVI/HDMI technology didn't think about us hearing-impaired folk. There are at least 30 million of us in this country alone...that's a huge portion of the population.

I guess I'd just watch CC-only DVDs via composite/S-Video and the rest via HDMI until someone fixes this problem.

Regards,

Jamison
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Old 05-31-08, 05:50 AM   #5
Alan Smithee
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When you have a Captions On or Off setting in the setup menu, the only thing it does is turn off the caption signal being sent to the TV, in case you wanted to do that for some reason.

I have a Philips DVD recorder with a digital TV tuner and it has its own decoder for TV broadcasts but it doesn't work with DVDs. Strangely the captions on digital TV also work through my TV's caption decoder; don't know if that's part of the broadcast or if the unit is re-encoding the digital stations' captions as a regular caption signal.

I hope they fix the HDMI problem soon; I want to upgrade to a new TV as soon as I can afford it and will be pissed if I have to keep a DVD player hooked up through both HDMI and S-Video just so I can see the captions when I want to- I'm not hard of hearing but I've always found them interesting.

[ANNOYED GRUNT]
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Old 06-02-08, 04:51 PM   #6
tjw1973
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A solution to the closed caption via HDMI is purchasing the Panasonic DMR-EZ28. This unit has setting for closed captions in analog and digital since it is a recorder and I am watching actual CC via hdmi using Stargate season 1 disc 1 which does not contain subtitles. Hope this helps everyone. Be sure to write panasonic thanking them for including this feature as you never know if their next model will do this. It seems only recorders not regular players have this option.
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Old 06-03-08, 06:13 AM   #7
Alan Smithee
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Panasonic makes Blu-Ray players so hopefully they'll make one of those that has it. Blu-Ray discs don't have any TV-decoded captions as far as I know, just subtitle tracks.
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Old 06-03-08, 07:43 PM   #8
tjw1973
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No CC for blu-ray hdmi at present

The Panasonic Blu-Ray players to my knowledge do not have the CC capability that their DVD recorders have. Yes all Blu Ray is subtitled for Deaf, but that leaves any collection of Dvd you may own that only have CC requiring you to get one of the few DVD recorders (has anyone found a player) that contain decoders in order to use the hdmi cable otherwise you will have to use composite or s-video which make owning a hdtv or blu-ray player pointless. It seems they thought everyone would throw out their dvd and go to blu-ray so there would be no issue with captions if they offered subtitles. The manufactuers really seem to have no clue about the needs of their customers. I have written to Panasonic about their blu-ray players having closed caption decoders so people can watch older dvds upconverted with hdmi and still get closed captions, but have not recieved a response yet.
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Old 10-01-08, 10:51 AM   #9
CCBluRay
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No CC for Blue-ray Disc Player Panasonic DMP-BD30

I may return a Blue-ray Disc Player Panasonic DMP-BD30 today to Best Buy because it will only let me watch subtitles via HDMI in either 1080i or 1080p on the "88 Minutes" DVD rental movie.

Tech support said that even their newer DMP-BD50 model does not have CC.

I am concerned that the price tag of $400 for the DMP-BD30 model would mean that I may have to pay a higher dollar amount for something that may work?

Anyway, let's keep this thread going until someone reports success. I will check with the National Captioning Institute to find out what is going on and report back to you all.

Last edited by CCBluRay; 10-01-08 at 12:15 PM. Reason: change of mind
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Old 10-01-08, 10:55 AM   #10
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By the way, CC has descriptive audio such as (door slams), (telephone rings), (heavy breathing), (distant siren wail), and the like.

Also it sometimes would caption on the correct side of the TV where the actor is positioned at. This way I will know who is talking.

Whereas most subtitles just prints what is spoken. And often prints in the center of the screen, making it hard for me to know which words are attributed to which actress.
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Old 10-01-08, 12:06 PM   #11
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this website, toward the end, goes to mention that Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) is distinctively different from just regular subtitling.

So I am thinking this question "Does some packaged media (Blu Ray Disc) have 'SDH' instead of 'CC' printed on the DVD box itself?"

see this page webaim.org/teitac/wiki/Audio_Video_CEA_CC_FAQ.php
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Old 10-01-08, 12:13 PM   #12
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I was surprised to see Wikipedia had a section on SDH at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtitle_(captioning)
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Old 10-01-08, 12:19 PM   #13
CCBluRay
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a letter was written by CEA (Consumers Electronics Association) and can be found at ce.org/PDF/CEA_Closed_Caption_FAQs_April_2007.pdf

it outlines in graphics the way CC and SDH works on digital tv
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Old 10-01-08, 12:24 PM   #14
CCBluRay
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If you are looking for titles with SDH or Subtitles, there is a Blog that says Disney, DreamWorks, Paramount, Genius Products, New Line Cinema has SDH on the digital movies.

banjosworld.com/2008/04/ps3-blu-ray-players-why-closed.html

Last edited by CCBluRay; 10-01-08 at 12:25 PM. Reason: clarification
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