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· AllStar
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I (and others with HR10s) have been having problems with DirecTV's closed captions on their HD channels.

Unable to have this problem resolved with DTV, I filed a complaint with the FCC in September. Long story short -- I am now working with a senior Customer Service Manager at DirecTV to resolve this problem. She has indicated that DTV's engineers did not see the problems I complained about, and has asked me to provide her with specific information about the programs I record and the problems I see. I am doing so, but thought it would be helpful if I could provide her with links to threads in which DTV subscribers with the HR10 and HR20 gave their reports on the problems they saw with a specific program.

I started a similar thread on the TiVo Forum asking other HR10 owners to record and watch a specified movie on HBOH to see if we are all seeing the same problems. We are. I thought it would be very helpful to see if HR20 owners are seeing the same problems I am seeing on my HR10.

So, here's what I'm asking:

Record the first half-hour of "Once Around" on your HR20 on Friday, 1/5 at 4:25 AM (EST) on HBOH channel 70. Then watch it and report on this thread specifically what problems you saw with the captions. I'm hoping that if I can point her to these threads DTV's engineers will be able to correct the problem.

Please limit your posts strictly to the reports requested. Please only report on the HR20 and only on the specific program referred to in the previous paragraph.

Thanks in advance for your help and input.
 

· Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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5,178 Posts
I don't have HBO, sorry. I've been quite vocal here but I've not filed a complaint with the FCC.
 

· Legend
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206 Posts
Thanks for starting this experiement. I've had lot's of CC problems and was wondernig why this issue has never made it to the Catalog of HR20 Bugs. I just set my HR20 for the chosen program and will report back next weekend on the results. Are you sure that specific film will have CC? I notice a lot of movies shown on HDNet to include pretty recent ones do not have CC in the transmission. I'm assuming that's an HDNet issue.
 

· Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
How do we contact the FCC to file our complaints about the HR20.

Please let us know the name and number you are using.

Thanks,

Craig
 

· AllStar
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
kenmoo said:
Thanks for starting this experiement. I've had lot's of CC problems and was wondernig why this issue has never made it to the Catalog of HR20 Bugs. I just set my HR20 for the chosen program and will report back next weekend on the results. Are you sure that specific film will have CC? I notice a lot of movies shown on HDNet to include pretty recent ones do not have CC in the transmission. I'm assuming that's an HDNet issue.
Ken,

The movie in question is on HBO-HD, channel 70. I hope you get HBO and can participate. I had HBO back in August and September and cancelled my sub as I didn't see any point in subscribing to a channel which was unwatchable due to unintelligible captions. I just re-added HBO (and SHO and the HD package) in order to provide DTV with the specific information regarding captioning problems they have requested.

In any event, that movie should be captioned. The listing information for HBO is usually accurate and, according to the Guide, "Once Around" is captioned.

Rick
 

· AllStar
Joined
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Milominderbinder2 said:
How do we contact the FCC to file our complaints about the HR20.

Please let us know the name and number you are using.

Thanks,

Craig
Craig,

I am not being secretive or anything, but for the time being I would prefer to give DTV an opportunity to correct this problem without additional complaints being filed with the FCC or DTV. DTV has now tacitly admitted that they are receiving good captioning data from the program providers (see link in next post) and therefore (hopefully) now realizes that there is a problem in the captions on their HD channels on their end and is apparently undertaking to correct the problem. If they fail to fix the problem, I will post all of my contact information here so that you (and anyone else who wishes to do so) can filed complaints with the FCC and/or DTV.

I don't believe this is an "HR20 problem" as such. HR10 owners are also complaining about captioning errors. You can take a look at the thread I started on the TiVo forum at the link I will provide in the next post (I cannot post links yet as I haven't posted 5 messages here yet).

I started this thread here to see if HR20 owners see the same exact captioning errors which HR10 owners do. I suspect they will and, if they do, it will confirm what I have suspected all along -- that DTV is corrupting the captioning data they receive from the program providers when they take the providers' transmissions and turn them around and beam them down to us.

Rick
 

· Lifetime Achiever
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21,244 Posts
IneedCCs,

Beautiful experiment! And well organized. I will happily do what I can to participate.

Perhaps we can have a sticky thread for test results only (short lived as sticky), leaving this thread for discussion about the test itself?

Happy New Year,
Tom
 

· Lifetime Achiever
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21,244 Posts
kenmoo said:
...I've had lot's of CC problems and was wondernig why this issue has never made it to the Catalog of HR20 Bugs.
Btmoore did the job of setting up the framework and assembling the Catalog, but relies on people who have the problems submitting the data using the format he created. If you or IneedCCs could fill out a report, I'm sure Brian would love to add this to the catalog too.

HTH,
Tom
 

· Legend
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206 Posts
IneedCCs said:
Ken,

The movie in question is on HBO-HD, channel 70. I hope you get HBO and can participate. In any event, that movie should be captioned. The listing information for HBO is usually accurate and, according to the Guide, "Once Around" is captioned.

Rick
My reply was confusing. I just meant that a lot of movies on HDNet are not transmitted with CC and hoped you had picked a movie on HBO that had CC for sure. I couldn't find anywhere that specific film was going to have CC. Your reply clarified that it will have CC. My HR20 is set for HD HBO Channel 70 on that date and time. My biggest problem usually is finding time to watch what I record but I'll make this movie a priority.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
redfiver said:
There are several ways to contact the FCC at:

http://www.fcc.gov/contacts.html
I wasn't attempting to dissuade anybody from availing themselves of their right to file a complaint. Indeed, anybody who wishes to do so should do so.

My point was that there is already a complaint at the FCC and DTV. I'm not giving DTV months to get this right. I'm giving them about two weeks. If not to fix the problem, at least identify it and undertake to have it corrected it promptly. I have been at this since early August, and my patience is just about shot.

If, in fact, DTV drags its feet and no progress is made by the middle of January, I will post the names and e-mail addresses of the person at the FCC who is handling my complaint and the Senior Manager Customer Service at DTV who I am working with.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
tibber said:
Perhaps we can have a sticky thread for test results only (short lived as sticky), leaving this thread for discussion about the test itself?
Step one was to start this thread. Step two was to ask a mod to make this a sticky thread. Hopefully, he will. I would like maximum exposure so we get maximum participation.
 

· Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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5,178 Posts
IneedCCs said:
Craig,

I am not being secretive or anything, but for the time being I would prefer to give DTV an opportunity to correct this problem without additional complaints being filed with the FCC or DTV. DTV has now tacitly admitted that they are receiving good captioning data from the program providers (see link in next post) and therefore (hopefully) now realizes that there is a problem in the captions on their HD channels on their end and is apparently undertaking to correct the problem. If they fail to fix the problem, I will post all of my contact information here so that you (and anyone else who wishes to do so) can filed complaints with the FCC and/or DTV.

I don't believe this is an "HR20 problem" as such. HR10 owners are also complaining about captioning errors. You can take a look at the thread I started on the TiVo forum at the link I will provide in the next post (I cannot post links yet as I haven't posted 5 messages here yet).

I started this thread here to see if HR20 owners see the same exact captioning errors which HR10 owners do. I suspect they will and, if they do, it will confirm what I have suspected all along -- that DTV is corrupting the captioning data they receive from the program providers when they take the providers' transmissions and turn them around and beam them down to us.

Rick
Closed captioning issues go beyond HD channels. There's timing and placement issues in SD.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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60 Posts
And while we are at it and have D*'s attention, can we please have a simple toggle (colored button) to turn captions on/off. I would leave them on all the time except that live programming captions of course can't keep up so I turn them off. Then back on for other programming. Fourteen button pushes to turn them on. Fourteen button pushes to turn them off.
 

· Legend
Joined
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145 Posts
This is weird. I just installed my HR20 2 days ago. One of the first things I checked was the closed captions, because my wife uses them, and the main place I checked was HBO HD, since that's where she uses them most.

I was very pleased with the CCs on the HR20. I saw a very low error rate on HBO and Showtime, both HD and SD channels, as well as a sampling of others. there was one SD movie channel (I forget which) where the CCs were broken into odd fragments in odd locations on the screen, but since it was only one channel, I figured it was a problem with the origination, not DTV.

With my previous tuner (the ancient RCA DTC-100) CCs were a big problem on HD channels. They would display OK if you decoded them in the receiver. But if I recorded something from HBO or Showtime HD with the captions closed, my outboard cc decoder would garble them very badly. There was no such problem with SD channels.

After a couple of hours experimenting with the HR20, we were delighted to find that programs recorded with captions closed - whether on the HR20's hard disk or my Panasonic DVD recorder - played back with clean captions, whether I was decoding them with the CC capability in the HR20 or my outboard cc decoder.

Our only complaint was the large number of keystrokes necessary with the HR20 to turn CC display on or off. (Which we solved via an 18-step macro (!) on my universal remote)

I'm curious to see what issues people report. My wife and I are thrilled with the improvement.
 

· Lifetime Achiever
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21,244 Posts
Been thinking about the experiment and look forward to doing my part and also the results. This will be interesting.

One thing that will help me, as I very rarely use CC, is what you expect to see when things are working correctly. My limited experience seems to imply that CC is often somewhat messy. Perhaps I mostly watch live programming where they are trying to keep up?

BTW, I'll also set my HR10 to record as well.

Have a very Happy New Year,
Tom
 

· ke6cdn
Joined
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424 Posts
IneedCCs said:
Record the first half-hour of "Once Around" on your HR20 on Friday, 1/5 at 4:25 AM (EST) on HBOH channel 70.
IneedCCs,

Told HR20 to record.

Hope it helps.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tom,

You're right, in that sports and news programming, which is captioned in real-time, tends to have more errors than programming like movies and TV dramas and sitcoms. In real-time captioning, an individual captions what is being said as it's said, and the captions lag behind the spoken words and are subject to transcription errors.

Things like movies, however, rarely have errors in transcription. If the captioning of a movie is working as it should, you should see very few errors. Sure, a letter or two might be missing from a word now and then, a line of captioning might be missing on occasion, a word or two might be garbled once in a while. It won't be perfect. But the kind of problems I'm talking about, the problems which make programming unwatchable, are things like almost every other line of captioning missing at times, 10, 15, 20 (and even longer at times) second stretches of dialogue missing, a line of captioning freezing on the screen for 20 seconds while the dialogue continues without new captioning appearing for that continuing dialogue.

There's a link in post #8 above. If you click on that link and read posts #23 and #29 in that thread, you'll see the kind of problems I'm talking about which make programming unwatchable.

Rick
 
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