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    Closed Caption on LG VUDU HD Movie Service


    This is a discussion on Closed Caption on LG VUDU HD Movie Service within the Internet TV forums, part of the Streaming TV Discussion category.

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    1. #1
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      We really need to get some regulation in place on this stuff, and very soon. Currently, unlike with traditional distribution mechanisms, there are no measures in place to ensure such services comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. So effectively, disabled folks are deprived of any advantages these new distribution mechanisms offer.

    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by bicker View Post
      We really need to get some regulation in place on this stuff, and very soon. Currently, unlike with traditional distribution mechanisms, there are no measures in place to ensure such services comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. So effectively, disabled folks are deprived of any advantages these new distribution mechanisms offer.
      which doesn't make sense to me. If television sets intended for American audiences must have a system for closed captioning, then what makes it ok to avoid having to do something for streaming television content from the internet? i'm far from being tech savvy, but it can't be that difficult to distribute text data along with TV streams for computers or broadband TVs to decode.

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by bicker View Post
      We really need to get some regulation in place on this stuff, and very soon. Currently, unlike with traditional distribution mechanisms, there are no measures in place to ensure such services comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. So effectively, disabled folks are deprived of any advantages these new distribution mechanisms offer.
      I don't see that additional regulation is the answer. Competition would be all that's needed. Distribution would have no affect on service to the disabled. Companies distributing programming are looking for viewership numbers, not alienating groups. Or do you think they would tend cherry pick subscribers rather than use available technologies?

      What is currently mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act in regards to OTA?

      I found this
      The title III regulation, section 36.307, p. 35598, does not
      require that video-tape rental establishments stock closed-
      captioned video tapes, although the most recent titles in the
      establishments are, in fact, close-captioned. Further
      discussion of this point can be found on p. 35571 of the title
      III regulation. Neither are movie theaters required by title III
      to present open-captioned films. However, other public
      accommodations that impart verbal information through soundtracks
      on films, video tapes, or slide shows are required to make such
      information accessible to persons with hearing impairments.
      Captioning is one means to make the information accessible to
      individuals with disabilities. Page 35567 of the title III
      regulation explains this concept.

      Title IV of the ADA requires that any public service
      announcements that are wholly or partially funded by the Federal
      government include closed captioning of the verbal content of the
      announcement. Individual television stations will not be
      required to supply the closed captioning for any announcements
      that do not include closed captioning. For more information on
      this requirement, please contact the Federal Communications
      Commission, which is responsible for implementing and enforcing
      title IV.
      http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/tal183.txt

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by HTNut View Post
      which doesn't make sense to me. If television sets intended for American audiences must have a system for closed captioning, then what makes it ok to avoid having to do something for streaming television content from the internet?
      The specificity in the regulation, unfortunately. There are numerous other exceptions as well, including an exception that exempts broadcasters from having to provide closed captioning for the first four years that they're operating. Theoretically, to side-step their responsibility to the disabled, broadcasters can simply become "reborn" every four years. (Yes, it goes by the life of network, not by the life of its parent company. That's why Universal HD didn't have to provide closed captioning until just a couple of years ago. Luckily, no channel has seen fit to exploit that loop-hole.) Another exception (though I'm not sure if this one is still in place) was for Spanish-language programming: If you were hearing impaired and Latino, you were basically out of luck.

      Quote Originally Posted by HTNut View Post
      i'm far from being tech savvy, but it can't be that difficult to distribute text data along with TV streams for computers or broadband TVs to decode.
      It's actually a lot more difficult than it seems. It isn't a separate transmission. It must be integrated into your ATSC signal, following ATSC specifications. Beyond that, the actual captioning process itself is more costly than many distributors would like (I suppose especially since they get comparatively little ROI from that expense). The captioning services are also pretty ruthless in their licensing -- they actually maintain rights over the captions, so it isn't like the distributor could have EIA-608 (analog) captions applied, and then programmatically extract those captions and apply them as EIA-708 (digital) captions.

      I've seen someone post the numbers in another thread. I'll try to remember where and see if I can find them.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by 1inxs View Post
      I don't see that additional regulation is the answer. Competition would be all that's needed. Distribution would have no affect on service to the disabled. Companies distributing programming are looking for viewership numbers, not alienating groups. Or do you think they would tend cherry pick subscribers rather than use available technologies?

      What is currently mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act in regards to OTA?

      I found this


      http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/foia/tal183.txt
      I think they would cherry pick. Companies will do the least amount of work to generate the most profit.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by 1inxs View Post
      I don't see that additional regulation is the answer. Competition would be all that's needed.
      I wish that was the case, but from what I recall of the numbers (as I mentioned above), there simply isn't a value proposition for distributors. If it wasn't for the regulations already in place, we likely wouldn't have the captions we have today. Most of the problem is that there are fewer people demanding closed captions than would be necessary to foster closed captions from a demand perspective. Even among the hearing impaired, I'm often shocked about how many of those who arguably need closed captions still refuse to use them (because they find the captions distracting, and I suppose they'd rather miss the dialog then have to read the dialog -- if you don't understand that then you're not alone: I don't understand their logic either).

      Quote Originally Posted by 1inxs View Post
      What is currently mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act in regards to OTA?
      Here is a fact sheet regarding the regulations that actually enforce the laws that the letter your link referred to.

      Closed Captioning of Video Programming Fact Sheet

      (By the way, as you can see, Spanish-language programming now has to be closed captioning, but by extension, programming in other languages does not.)

      The essential issue is that despite numerous complaints from the hearing impaired community (including dozens from my wife personally), the FCC refuses to even entertain complaints against Netflix (Watch Instantly service), Hulu, or any network websites that stream episodes.

      And time is of the essence because even after the regulations are changed, that'll give these services four years to come into compliance.
      Last edited by bicker; 07-30-2009 at 02:45 PM.

    7. #7
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      The government may end up helping this along:

      Senate Commerce To Mark Up Accessibility Bill - 2010-07-12 18:47:38 | Multichannel News

      The bills ... would apply captitioning [sic] requirements to online video
      Let's hope that that is included in the Mark Up, and it stays in the bill long enough to reach the President's desk.

     

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