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#349734 - 09/01/2012 16:41 Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
HDMI has no support for old-school closed captioning. Blu-Ray discs deal with this by having English subtitles. Many DVDs do as well. However, many DVDs, especially of TV shows, especially British TV shows, just have old-school closed captioning encoded in the NTSC signal.

That means that if I want to watch those discs with closed captioning, I either have to use a player connected to my TV via RCA cables or my player has to decode the closed captioning itself. I would rather watch my Blu-Rays via HDMI, which pretty much means having separate Blu-Ray and DVD players, which I'd rather not have.

So I really want to find a Blu-Ray player that has a closed captioning decoder built in. This information is even harder to find than you'd think.

Anyone have any ideas if such a thing exists, or a better idea on how to find one?
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Bitt Faulk

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#349735 - 09/01/2012 17:00 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4096
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
HDMI has no support for old-school closed captioning. Blu-Ray discs deal with this by having English subtitles. Many DVDs do as well. However, many DVDs, especially of TV shows, especially British TV shows, just have old-school closed captioning encoded in the NTSC signal.

That's not really right, I think. DVDs in every case carry the subtitles/closed-captions digitally, outside the video stream. Your DVD player muxes them into the NTSC output. Does your BD player not do so?

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So I really want to find a Blu-Ray player that has a closed captioning decoder built in. This information is even harder to find than you'd think.

One reason that could possibly occur, is if in fact all BD players can do it. Are you certain that's not the case? (Admittedly the makers of the BD player would have to go out of their way to do that, and include a rasteriser and a font, but surely the consumer expectation is that a BD player is a strict superset of a DVD player?)

Peter

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#349736 - 09/01/2012 17:44 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: peter
That's not really right, I think. DVDs in every case carry the subtitles/closed-captions digitally, outside the video stream. Your DVD player muxes them into the NTSC output. Does your BD player not do so?

I'm pretty sure that's not right. I don't know how it works elsewhere in the world, but in the US, there is a definite distinction between DVDs that are closed captioned and DVDs that are subtitled. Subtitles are the DVD-specific out-of-band data that it overlays onto the video and is enabled via the DVD player. Closed captioning works exactly like it does when attached to an NTSC source, meaning that you have to tell the TV to decode the captions.

It would be nice if DVDs were all subtitled instead of closed-captioned, but this is not always the case, happening, as I said, more often with TV shows on DVD, and especially, for whatever reason, on British TV shows.

Originally Posted By: peter
One reason that could possibly occur, is if in fact all BD players can do it. Are you certain that's not the case?

100%. I've already bought and returned one, and got a definitive answer from their support.

Originally Posted By: peter
(Admittedly the makers of the BD player would have to go out of their way to do that, and include a rasteriser and a font, but surely the consumer expectation is that a BD player is a strict superset of a DVD player?)

Well, they already have to include a rasterizer and a font for subtitles, right?

Technically, I suppose, it is a strict superset, with the exception that the connection is generally HDMI instead of an analog connection typical of NTSC signals. I bet that DVD players that are connected via HDMI have the same problem.

But, again, I'd really rather have my Blu-Ray player connected via HDMI. I suppose it might be possible for it to work properly via a component connection, but I haven't tried, and I'm not really sure that there's a Blu-Ray player that has component connections on it, at least for an amount I'm willing to pay.
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Bitt Faulk

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#349737 - 09/01/2012 18:16 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: wfaulk]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4096
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: wfaulk
I'm pretty sure that's not right. I don't know how it works elsewhere in the world, but in the US, there is a definite distinction between DVDs that are closed captioned and DVDs that are subtitled. Subtitles are the DVD-specific out-of-band data that it overlays onto the video and is enabled via the DVD player. Closed captioning works exactly like it does when attached to an NTSC source, meaning that you have to tell the TV to decode the captions.

OK, sounds like that's the US wording for the difference between DVD subtitles (stored on the DVD as bitmaps, composited onto the video stream by the DVD player) and teletext subtitles (stored on the DVD as text, sent as text in the NTSC/PAL blanking region by the DVD player, composited onto the video by the TV which has the rasteriser and font).

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100%. I've already bought and returned one, and got a definitive answer from their support.

Fair enough. You might be out of luck then.

Quote:
But, again, I'd really rather have my Blu-Ray player connected via HDMI. I suppose it might be possible for it to work properly via a component connection, but I haven't tried, and I'm not really sure that there's a Blu-Ray player that has component connections on it, at least for an amount I'm willing to pay.

Can you get BD players that have both hi-def and standard-def outputs? If so, you could connect it to your TV with both cables, and just remember to switch inputs when playing a DVD. (In the UK, BD players with SCART seem to be hard to come by, but maybe that's an issue with connector bulk rather than functionality.)

Peter

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#349738 - 09/01/2012 18:24 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: peter]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3322
Another solution, albeit not particularly pleasant, might be to rip the videos and then route them through something like VLC, which allegedly knows how to deal with subtitles of various sorts.

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#349739 - 09/01/2012 18:56 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: peter]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Yeah, "closed captioning", unfortunately, is pretty much the definitive term for that in the US. (Technically, I think it would be called EIA-608, but no one would know what I was talking about if I called it that.) It's encoded on a line in the blanking interval of the NTSC video. ATSC has a backwards-compatible version of it. But my understanding is that HDMI basically doesn't transmit data in a way that allows for a blanking interval.
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Bitt Faulk

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#349740 - 09/01/2012 18:58 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: DWallach]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Another solution, albeit not particularly pleasant, might be to rip the videos and then route them through something like VLC, which allegedly knows how to deal with subtitles of various sorts.

Yep, I'm keeping that in mind, but then I'd have to shore up my half-assed XBMC installation and then rip all of my wife's DVDs.
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Bitt Faulk

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#349755 - 10/01/2012 03:12 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: wfaulk]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3245
Loc: South Carolina
Turn up the volume

Yeah, I'm full of useful suggestions.
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~ John

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#349761 - 10/01/2012 13:32 Re: Blu-Ray player with built-in Closed Captioning decoder [Re: JBjorgen]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I tried that, but the letters still didn't show up on the screen. Am I doing something wrong?
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Bitt Faulk

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