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Report Closed Caption Issues Here

Discussion in 'ViP612/622/722/722K DVR Support Forum' started by Ron Barry, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Ron Barry

    Ron Barry 622 Tips & Trick Keeper

    Dec 10, 2002
    The purpose of this thread is to report CC related issues in an attempt to build a list of what works and what does not. People that are using CC, please feel free to report what is working and what is not and I will attempt to keep a list running at the top of this thread.

    This thread is for reporting purposes only. Any discussion will be moved to the general threads. Also if something is not working and starts working. Report that back also.. Goal here is to keep a running tab of what works and does not work.

    Reported Working Channels

    Reported Channels with issues

    Reported Channels with No CC
  2. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007
    Based on a quick random test, CCs seem greatly improved this morning, although I have not had time to go through all HD channels, especially all the various HD movie channels to see if all of them are working (a fairly time consuming process). My longtime ABC HD problem, however, is still not fixed. Dish really needs to add testing of CCs as part of their routine protocol before putting out these software releases -- they are clearly not currently doing so.
  3. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2006
    Thanks for starting this Ron. Yesterday I recorded 3 episodes of Skyview on Smithsonian. CC did not work on any of them. I went to Smithsonian live and no CC. And it was all new programming, by the way. I checked several other channels at that time to make sure my 622 wasn't going goofy again and they all worked.
  4. DAG

    DAG Legend

    Feb 7, 2006

    Please add some more info per Ron's suggestion in the first posting like your DVR model, software version, what channel was skyview on, etc.
  5. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Software 6.14

    I have issues with CC on all my Atlanta local channels. Missing words, garbled words, special characters in the text, etc. Also, if I happen to skip back the CC often times takes several minutes to start again. A few times it was necessary to skip back then forward to get it back. Sometimes only a commercial break will bring it back if at all. I haven't taken the time to see which are the worst but I'll pay more attention to see if the 720p stations are better/worse than the 1080i stations.
  6. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2006
    Yeah, shoulda done that.

    622 with 6.14

    Smithsonian on 374

    And a bit more info after playing around a while this morning. Neither Smithsonian on 374 nor MGM on 385 had CC live this morning.

    I checked about 12 or so recorded programs still on my 622. All were fine except the 3 Smithsonian programs and the movie Serenity recorded off SciFi 122 on 1/03 and last night's Stargate Atlantis off 122. The CC was there but words were missing and it wasn't exactly synced. Fixed that by doing a power off/on with the remote.

    I did the power off/on because I was surfing and went to an OTA local that doesn't have a good signal and won't lock. It dropped out and when it came back it had no CC and should have. Kept surfing and none of the channels , both OTA and off Dish that I tried had CC. I tried some of the recordings that had worked previously and they had no CC. Did the power off/on and they all came back except the recordings off 374, 374 live and 385 live. Even Serenity and SA were now fine.
  7. moman19

    moman19 Icon

    Oct 22, 2004
    I have a 622 and a 722 running L6.16. CC has always been spotty on the local ABC affiliate. It's usually present every morning during GMA but almost always absent during ABC Prime Time events. (Gray's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, etc.). Occasionally, CC will resume midway through a Prime Time event but then suddenly cut out again. I have only seen this issue on ABC. I reported this to the Chief Engineer of the local station, who claims that he has monitored CC both OTA and via a D* receiver and has never seen this happen. So he obviously feels the issue must lie with the E* hardware.

    Interestingly, when CC is absent on both the OTA and sat HD channels, the SD sat channel never loses CC. Also, it can always be viewed via OTA when it is decoded by the television's internal ATSC tuner. Again, I have only observed this on the ABC affiliate, so there must be some unique incompatibility between the station's encoder and the DVR's decoder.
  8. Henry

    Henry Retired Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Pine, CO
    CCs are a hit and miss proposition. If they work today, just wait a while. I've always had one kind of issue or another with CCs, both pre- and post VIP era.

    The latest is on HD channels. When I turn CCs on, I sometimes have to wait a minute or two before they start working, albeit in synch.

    Other channels (mostly SD) I don't even bother due to the lack of synch.
  9. shortspark

    shortspark Legend

    Oct 25, 2006
    I have a 622 with version 16.6. HBO HD channels show captions but they are way too fast to read. SD HBO is fine. Sometimes, the local FOX HD (OTA, not DISH) has the same problem.
  10. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007
    This is fascinating! I have the EXACT OPPOSITE problem with ABC HD here in Wash. DC! I generally have no problems with the primetime shows (Housewives, etc), instead my problems are with GMA, etc! I have had this problem since June of last year when L510 or L511 downloaded. To the best of my recollection, those releases came just a few days apart and addressed pixilation issues with ABC HD. Before that it was all good, but whatever they did to tinker with the pixilation problems screwed up the CCs. This problem is 100% consistent, and the distinction seems to be in the differences in captions that are done for scripted (primetime type shows) and non-scripted/realtime captioning done for shows like GMA, etc. In that latter category, for me CCs are messed up on all news type programming (both local and national, 20/20, etc), talk shows (Regis, Oprah, etc), award shows -- anything that is generally captioned live.

    I spent months (literally) trying with good evidence to convince Dish it was the VIP 722 software. They blamed it on everything from my TV to the local affiliate (it is NOT the local affiliate!), despite the fact that it was clearly the 722 screwing things up. Here is the proof -- for the same program airing at the same time in SD, CCs are fine. A Comcast feed connected to the same TV of the same show airing at the same time -- also fine. An OTA (antenna) feed connected directly to the TV of the same program, etc is fine. BUT if I take the SAME OTA cable and switch it to the 722, the CCs are then messed up!

    I finally filed a complaint about this with the FCC sometime around September of last year. Dish has still not fixed the problem, but they finally acknowledge that it is a problem with the 722 software awaiting a "vendor fix" . . . .

    Running 616 as of yesterday (problem goes way back to 510/511)
    Washington, DC Metro Area
  11. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007
    Yesterday, my first day with L616 was a captioning nightmare. Early this morning things looked pretty good, but as noted above, it is an ever moving target and this evening I am finding problems again although not as bad as yesterday. Here in the Wash DC area, I am not having any problems with locals (dish and ota) except the long running ABC HD problem noted in my previous post. The problems are all with satellite/cable channels, in particular the premium HD movie channels. The problems with CCs on the HD movie channels started shortly after they launched the additional HBO and Starz feeds last fall. Before that, I rarely had problems. I believe it is a signal issue vs. software (but I'm just guessing). I do know that whenever I have reported, say, HBO to have no or messed up CCs, they would make an adjustment and then it would be OK, but then at the same time one of the other HD movie feeds would go out. Seems like if they tinker with one, it is at the expense of another. At one point, they managed to get them all working for me (at the same time!) but that was very short lived. Around Thanksgiving I started having major problems with the movie channels that continue to today. As of today: (these are all HD problems -- all SD CCs are fine)

    HBO - OK
    HBO2E - Messed Up (garbled, skittish, etc Unwatchable)
    HBOSG - Messed Up
    HBOW - Messed Up
    HBOFM - Messed Up
    HBOCY - Messed Up
    HBOZ - Messed Up

    MAX - OK
    MAXW - Intially messed up, but eventually straightens out, at least until you hit pause, cancel or any other remote button
    ACMAX - Initially messed up (as above)
    5-MAX - OK

    STARZ - OK (today, for the first time since November!!)
    SEDGE - OK
    STZC - No CCs
    SK&FM - OK

    SHO-E - OK

    Additionally, I currently have no CCs for HGTV (which was working just this morning, but not yesterday), TWC, or DISCOVERY Channel (do not get the Smithsonian Channel, so can't comment on that one).

    Tomorrow, the list could be quite different . . .
  12. shortspark

    shortspark Legend

    Oct 25, 2006
    The CC problem does not seem to be a high priority. The Gov't requires it (I think) but if so does not police it. That leaves no one to enforce standards which are fairly simple: accurate captions that are easily read - that's all, no more or less. Some slack should be cut for live broadcasts but the technology is there even then to do better than we see today. The HOH are a relative minority and all their fussing won't have any impact on outfits like HBO. It will take government rules, standards and enforcement to get them to address caption problems.
  13. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007

    I agree that it is a low priority -- Dish is always in the midst of some crisis/deadlilne that takes precedence over fixing CCs. It is a problem that affects a relative minority and there is no money in it. There are however laws to protect access to captioned TV and they are enforced through the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). I strongly urge that you file a complaint with them about your CC issues. You can easily and quickly do so online at www.fcc.gov. They do expect that you make reasonable attempts to report problems to the carrier first, but if you are getting nowhere, file a complaint. The FCC can impose fines on the sat/cable or whatever company for failing to comply with the law. I will say it is not a quick process. I filed my complaint back in Sept and am still waiting for a resolution (Dish got an extension). The benefit however is that it does raise the priority level, and you can also ask to be given a direct contact in Engineering to report/update problems to. That is what I did after going nearly insane dealing with CSRs. Even after contacting the Dish quality people, I was still getting emails telling me that not all programs are captioned and/or I should reboot my receiver. Might as well be talking to a wall.

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil -- so speak up and complain about the quality of CCs. If no one complains and just waits for the other guy to deal with it, nothing will happen! The more people who complain, there will be more attention and resources focused on CC problem fixes.
  14. olguy

    olguy Hall Of Fame

    Jan 9, 2006
    I will follow your advice. Maybe if enough of us do that the problem will get a high enough priority to get solved. Maybe.
  15. shortspark

    shortspark Legend

    Oct 25, 2006
    I'll do the same thing - good advice.
  16. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Be sure to complain to dishquality@echostar.com with a carefully worded polite descriptive email. These are the folks who can deal with Echostar Engineering, the uplink center and Technical Support coordinating work and responses to a widespread problem.
  17. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007
    I sent a very polite, and detailed account of my ABC HD problem (as per above with the various cable connections pointing clearly to the 722 as the problem) to dishquality@echostar.com. Also sent it to dish executive. All I got back was canned responses to reboot, and explaining that not all shows have CCs. It was painfully clear that no one bothered to read the email. That was the final straw for me and what prompted my complaint to the FCC. I agree, however, that sending an email to dishquality@echostar.com is a very good idea (actually one I got from this forum--thanks!). Maybe you will get a better response than I got. At a minimum, it makes for excellent documentation for your FCC complaint.
  18. dschneider

    dschneider Mentor

    Aug 23, 2007
    CCs on HGTV HD are completely gone

    ViP722, L616, Wash DC Area
  19. dhclaypool

    dhclaypool Mentor

    Oct 29, 2005
    ViP 622 L6.16 Operating in Dual mode. Sony SXRD connected via HDMI.

    CC works on any and all channels, however, it has a tendency to stop working on any and all channels and requires a reboot to bring back. The only consistent thing I've observed related to this is if I go to bed leaving CC on, when I wake the recorder up, CC doesn't work, although it is still toggled on. Cycling the setting off and then back on again does not re-enable it. I also have tried to disable it, snooze the receiver, wake it back up and then enable it and that doesn't work, either.

    Separately, I was playing with other display settings for CC. I usually use SmallCaps, Large, Green Foreground, Translucent Background. I changed the Font and Edge settings, didn't like it and changed back to my normal. Odd thing is, when starting back up after pausing, it would startup CC with the Font and Edge settings I didn't like, and after a few scenes would revert to showing as set. Only way I stopped this behavior was setting all CC to default.
  20. rexa

    rexa AllStar

    Aug 7, 2008
    I almost never use CC, but I thought I'd look at the situation. I have a Vip622 with 6.16. I've never seen a more horribly bug-riddled implementation in any product that made it out the door. Clearly they never tested or just don't care.

    Last night I looked at a few assorted channels. Some were ok but many had various problems that made the captions useless. The most common problem is captions that flash up and immediately disappear.

    This afternoon I looked at one case that seemed the easiest to get a handle on. On local OTA the ABC channel, KGO 7, has several digital feeds. 7-1 is the main OTA with 7-2 a different content feed.

    This afternoon I checked a soap opera on 7-1. The captions were ok. I think they came from the network.

    I also checked the satellite SD and HD versions that had the same broadcast as 7-1. They were ok too.

    I flipped to 7-2 which had a locally produced show. The captions appeared to be a very simple version and were broken. The CC text appeared in a box at the bottom, and the width of this box was determined by the longest line displayed so far. The problem was that there was only ever one line shown on the screen and as a new line of text appeared it wrote over the previous line, but if the new line was shorter, the end of the previous line was still there. This looks like a classic terminal display that is treating CR literally and not as CR LF.

    I also have a digital receiver in my TV so I looked at the same 7-2 channel on the other TV tuner and the captions were working as they should. The display showed a two-line text box and the text in this box would scroll up as a new line was added.

    After a bit I switched back to the DVR 7-2. Strangely, the CC was working properly -- scrolling just like with the TV tuner. I displayed Info to be sure I was looking at the right channel and source. I was, but when the info display box cleared, the CC was broken again.

    To shorten the story a bit, I eventually figured out that if I stayed on the 7-2 channel on my DVR until it went through a period of commercials, the CC would work again when the show resumed. If I did anything to break out, display info, or swap channels, the CC on 7-2 would be broken again when it came back.

    Apparently the DVR CC is figuring out something about the nature of the CC format when the CC stream begins, but never again after. I went back to my TV tuner and did all manner of switching (Info, menus, channel changes). The CC on TV's 7-2 never got broken. Apparently the CC stream can be deduced ok by a piece of software that is not brain dead.

    I suspect that the common problem on the various "cable" channels (everything other than locals) where the text pops up but then disappears is similar to this terminal-style problem. The format on these channels is usually more complicated, with the CC stream (apparently) specifying separate boxes and their location, but I'd bet something like mishandling this CR vs. CR/LF issue is making the boxes disappear.

    The CC menus for the DVR have lots of display options. I thought maybe if I picked some fixed setting, maybe I could block the problem. For my first attempt I tried changing the "Captioning Service". This is a number 1-6, with 1 as the default. I set it to 2. After that there was no captioning at all. OK, I set it back to 1. Still nothing. I tried lots of things. The only way I was able to get CC working at all again, was to power cycle the DVR!

    I tried various other CC options in the menus. They change the look of the captions, but I never found anything that made the CR overlay problem better.

    So the software seems to have many problems. One is that it sometimes figures out the CC formatting, but forgets it at the slightest provocation and is unable to detect proper formatting for the stream except at occasional points in the algorithm that it rarely gets back to.

    The list has had a lot of discussion about which channels are bad. I think that is probably a waste of time. Various channels work sometimes and not at others. It did seem that HD versions of the channels were a bit more likely to be broken. The problem seems to be determined (I think) by the type of formatting the CC source is providing and the DVR software is not able to handle basic deductions about the formatting. Also there is the rare, but big, issue of the code getting itself trapped, like the time I had to power cycle to get unstuck.

    Very buggy. I suspect broken in more than one place in the software.

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