Digital TV and Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning (CC)
allows people with hearing disabilities to have access to television programming by displaying the audio portion of a television program as text on the television screen.

CC provides a critical link to news, entertainment, and information for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The term "closed" means that not all viewers see the captions, you must activate that feature. You can turn on CC through your remote control or on-screen menu.

The Federal Communications Commission has required CC display capability in digital television receivers and digital to analog converter boxes.

The digital to analog converter box receives closed caption signals and passes those closed caption signals to your TV automatically. In addition, many converter boxes will generate captions through the converter box itself, thus enabling you to change the way your captions look.

FCC Consumer Advisory concerning CC and Digital TV Converters

This will ensure that CC services will continue to be available after the analog to digital transition.

The FCC does not regulate captioning of home videos, DVDs, or video games.

Digital Television Closed Captioning (DTVCC) is a continuation of the CC concepts and capabilities developed in the 1970's.

One of the benefits of DTV captioning is that the display of captioning information can be customized. Features such as altering the size, color, and font will be available with digital systems.

The FCC is concerned that consumers may experience difficulty viewing DTVCC on some digital television (DTV) programming, including high definition television (HDTV), provided by cable or satellite providers.

These difficulties could be from two causes:

1) the set-top box and/or DTV are not properly set to allow DTVCC to be viewed.

2) there are technical problems with the cable or satellite provider’s system that prevent DTVCC from being received and decoded by the set-top box and/or DTV.

If you have difficulties viewing DTVCC you should:

  • consult your manual on CC for DTV programming provided by your cable or satellite provider.
  • make sure that the captioning function on your set-top box or DTV is turned on.
  • Contact your cable or satellite company for assistance.
  • If your provider is unable to help, you can contact the FCC’s Consumer Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC.


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