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TiVo Closed Captioning

Written By: Gary on December 15, 2005 4 Comments

I wish TiVo made it possible to turn on Closed Captioned (which would make it have subtitles). I use a TiVo and a Data/Video Projector so I don’t have an actual television that I can turn the captioning on. This is annoying in that when I can’t hear something clearly (and “rewinding” doesn’t help) there’s nothing I can do. We really need this as a feature.

There’s other reasons to have this:

  • For your little kids to have the text while they watch TV to help with the connections between the audible and written words.
  • Language reinforcement for those with literacy issues. This was just covered by Google with the phrase of (SLS) Same-Language Subtitling (which I’ve never heard it referred to as that before).
  • And of course one of the main reasons (it’s original purpose, I believe) for the Hearing Impaired.
  • Having the TV on when there is company over (which I generally don’t do unless there is a holiday themed movie on) to mute it and just have the text. (It always suprises me how many people haven’t seen “A Christmas Story”.)


    I can turn it on when watching a DVD but it might still be an issue when using the DVD Player in my TiVo, I may still have to go to the main menu of a movie (I’ll have to check that when I get home).

    I’m sure there are some hacks to make this happen on the TiVo but it should easily do it. It really needs it since you can control the speed of the TiVo it can affect when the actual captions appear.

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    4 Responses to “TiVo Closed Captioning”

    1. Dave2 says on: 15 December 2005 at 10:05 pm

      TiVo does record the CC data, so if your television has an option for displaying CC info, you’re set. Most modern televisions have this for accessibility concerns.

    2. Gary LaPointe says on: 15 December 2005 at 11:27 pm

      Yeah but I need to see it. My projector doesn’t show it and with the way TiVo can (if you FF or REW) goof up the timing it really should display it on it’s own to get it to match the timing (and to work with my projector)….

    3. Info says on: 16 December 2005 at 2:47 am

      I would not be surprised if displaying the CC data requires a licence, so that this feature would cost the makers of TiVo too much to implement.

    4. Joe Clark says on: 24 December 2005 at 3:35 pm

      You needn’t be surprised if displaying captions requires a license because it doesn’t. (A ridiculous idea.)

      Until TiVo updates its software, which it may never do, and, if it does so, they’ll probably select really shitty fonts anyway, you will need to use an external decoder. There are very few of those left. The TVGuardian in pass-through mode might be barely adequate. Note that I’ve never seen a home decoder withi anything fancier than S-Video jacks.

      If you’re trying to watch HDTV, any device with a tuner has to decode captions (with limited exceptions). I don’t think there’s any such thing as an external HDTV caption decoder for home use.

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