Closed Captions on Sony Google TV?

Discussion in 'Google TV Help' started by jaybich, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. jaybich

    jaybich New Member

    Dec 16, 2010
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    My girlfriend is deaf and we've been living together for many years. She relies completely on anything we watch on TV having some sort of captions. We have been so excited to get DISH Network and our new Sony Google TV. It's all setup, and we're trying to work out the kinks. I would really appreciate any help in trying to sort out these issues so she can enjoy everything we watch the same way I do. If anyone knows anything about these subjects that could help us and you're not too busy to read the long book I'm about to write below, I'd be so grateful :)

    My Basic Question:

    So, I'm trying to figure out how to enable the "closed captions" feed on Google TV or if it's even possible?

    Where I'm confused about my own question:

    I'm not even sure if it's possible to transmit the signal of closed captions through the HDMI cable. I know most HD devices don't accept the captions feed because it's and "old-fashion" method, but not sure if it's actually "impossible" or if some HD devices do support the feed.

    I've seen Google TV promos around the Internet with closed captions playing...

    I've also seen people talk about "Google Translate", but I'm not sure where to access that or what exactly it means? And it sounds like it's more for translating captions from one language to another?

    Background Information as I understand it:

    For most of you, you probably don't have captions on your TV every day like I do, so let me explain exactly what I mean as far as Closed Captions vs Open Captions (in case I'm using the wrong terminology). So, I'll do my best to explain in the ways I understand it.

    "Closed captions" are generally something that is feed to your device (TV, Disc Player, etc), meaning you turn the captions ON with the device and you see them because the media has provided the feed. You see them usually with white text with a black box around them (thus, "closed").

    This is the opposite of "Open Captions," which are generally directly on the media you're playing. You see them as open text on the screen. For example, if you're watching a DVD on a DVD player, you would turn ON the open captions through the actual DVD menu (meaning it's a setting associated with the physical DVD you're watching, and not the player itself).

    The Big Issue:

    The issue is that not all devices display "Closed Captions" and not all media sources provide "Open Captions", and so it's important to have a device that supports closed captions in order to have all bases covered.

    What I can't figure out is how to turn on closed captions for the Google TV.

    I've seen what looks like closed captions on various showcases online and seen people mentioning it having something to do with Google Translate... but I'm not sure how to access that or what exactly it means?

    Specifically where I'm seeing the issues:

    1) Cable TV

    I have DISH network service. You can turn on "Closed captions" through the actual cable box, and they will show from the broadcast service. The problem is that the feed works for some channels, but on other channels it shows very poorly, making the tv show impossible to follow.

    However, if we switch over to actually plugging the coaxial cable from the cable box directly into the TV (and not using any HD, the HDMI cable, or the Google TV), flip the captions off on the actual cable box, you can see a different closed captions feed because the television supports closed captions and the feed can be transmitted through the coaxial cable.

    All channels are different. Sometimes the feed is better through the coaxial cable and sometimes the feed is better when being displayed directly on the cable box and switching back to the HDMI cable (which now we have running through our Sony Google TV).

    In the past, before Google TV, this is what we've always had to do in our area. We flip back and forth between HDMI and coaxial inputs, and have to turn on/off the captions on the cable box, having to re-boot the cable box every time captions go on/off... just to switch channels on the TV.

    It's a pain, and I can see it's very frustrating for her, and so that's why I'm trying to figure out if there's a better way.

    2) Sony Google TV built-in Disc Player

    This is the second big issue. We watch a lot of DVD's and I have already fell in love with how everything on Google TV integrates. I love how I can switch back and forth between disc player and Cable all with the Sony remote.

    The problem is that because Sony Google TV connects through the HDMI cable, and has no standard video/audio inputs to plug into the TV, there's no way that I know of to actually feed the closed captions to the TV?

    You would think there is a standard out there for DVD companies in Closed Captions vs Open Captions, but whether you're watching a big blockbuster movie or a little Indy, it's hit or miss whether they provided Closed Captions or Open Captions.

    If the DVD went with only Closed Captions (which many major studio DVD's being released today STILL do it this old-fashioned way... go figure?), we simply have no way to see the captions.

    So, if I we want to watch a DVD with the Sony Google TV disc player and the DVD only has closed captions provided, is there any way to still watch the movie without having to switch to a different DVD player that connects through standard AV inputs?


    Anyone that read all that, thank you so much! And thanks in advance for any advice that might help in giving my girlfriend a similar experience that we all get every day with the Google TV. :)
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
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