Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 47 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2012 4:20 PM by Hannahallie
Sherman Wilcox Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
I would love to buy a new $99 Apple TV. But in the past I've never been able to determine if all the content available on it is closed captioned. I have the same question about the new Apple TV -- is the content captioned for the hearing impaired? What about Netflix? Is it captioned?

This is an absolute deal killer for me -- and for LOTS of potential customers. Does anyone know the definitive answer?

And if the answer is "no" -- what can be done? How is it acceptable that ALL (or virtually all) content on broadcast TV is captioned, yet when it comes to Apple TV and Netflix, it is not. How is this acceptable in today's world?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • d0csp33d Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Same here. I have two AppleTVs since few years ago. I would love to have CC as well.
  • bobtek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    YES. Closed Caption is a must for lots of people.

    The mainstream media (Broadcast TV and DVDs) offer broad support for CC. The Internet streaming services will never become mainstream if they don't match up feature for feature nor offer the image quality of the traditional media formats.

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (88,550 points)
    It isn't the tv that determines whether closed captioning is available for a movie but the content providers willingness to include it in the media file.

    iTunes has many CC movies and they are clearly denoted as having CC on the rental/purchase pages. it's not something I look for specifically but I'd say most content doesn't have CC.
  • Sherman Wilcox Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    I understand it's the content provider, and not Apple. But Apple should be more proactive in demanding that their content is closed captioned.

    Most content (on broadcast TV, on DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.) is absolutely either closed caption or has subtitles for the hearing impaired. So these content providers are giving CC to other media, just not to Apple. Whether this means Apple is not paying extra for CC on their content, or some other issue, I don't know. But it's just not acceptable.

    Please, Apple, do the right thing for deaf people. I'm hearing, but until Apple TV content is closed captioned, I won't be buying one. And I'm sure many many other deaf and hearing people are making the same purchasing decision.
  • SakFive Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You are right!

    I have not bought an Apple TV just because most of its media doesn't come with CC!

    My mother tongue is not English, so I need at least English subtitles to understand what's going on. Some movies/tv shows are very complicated to understand or sometimes the actors' pronunciation is very hard to understand.
  • Thomas F Crawford Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't know the technical reason but my plasma tv is connected to my cable box via HDMI and it does not support the "closed caption" option. The tv operating manual indicates you have to use the 4-5 cable connection.
  • Thomas F Crawford Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    HDMI and Closed Captioning


    Scroll down to Closed Captioning

    I have not tried this yet but believe this is the reason you can't get cc even if its available.
  • Sherman Wilcox Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    When using the HDMI, closed captions have to be turned on at the cable box (cable company set-top box or TiVo), not at the TV. If you connect the cable box to the TV with composite or component cables, you can use the CC button on the TV.

    So, yes, your plasma TV will support captions through HDMI; turn them on with the cable box (which, depending on your box manufacturer, can sometimes be a royal pain -- when I had a Comcast box the power had to be recycled in order to toggle captions on/off; my TiVo box makes it much easier).
  • anpwq Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    This leads into the first big question for the new Apple TV. Do the settings include the ability to turn on/off captions. I've been looking through various photos and hands-on reviews but have yet to see if this is the case. If they do not have this setting, then you will not be able to get captions due to HDMI butchering CC data. Having said this, the AppleTV is based in iOS and CC on/off has been a setting on iPhones for a while, so it is likely to be there.

    The next question is why is there so little CC content in the iTunes store? Apple made a big deal about captioning some movies a few years ago but has basically done very little since. You can see all the CC movies by going to Store -> Search -> Movies -> checkbox for CC. You won't be impressed. As far as I can tell, no TV shows are captioned.

    This sort of problem has been going on since video sales were introduced in 2005. I have been told that at least one TV source claims to deliver shows to Apple with the CC data intact. Apple even has sample code in their Dev site for reading CC data: ction/Intro.html

    Netflix has a similar problem in that they haven't been taking CC seriously either. They got called on the carpet for this at a shareholder meeting and have made slow, feeble steps towards providing captions since then. I suspect their AppleTV content will have similar deficiencies, assuming they even pass CC data to the AppleTV.

    In short, this is a willpower thing, not a technical barrier. Until Apple, and Netflix, start importing CC by default we will continue to see very slow progress on this front.
  • Sherman Wilcox Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    Thanks for this great post anpwq. You are absolutely correct: this is a will power thing.
  • Macheads90 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    If you ***** my finger, it will bleed Apple, but until Apple fully supports closed captioning, I just don't have a choice. I know our Blockbuster-by-mail membership is dying a painful death, but I guess I'm going to have to hang on to it until hearing impaired people are completely recognized as consumers. I have hope with the new access law passed last week that perhaps internet communications will be required to step up.
  • cemills Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    APPLE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE! I do not have a hearing loss but grew up in a household with deaf family members and will not be happy until I see streaming videos WITH CC! This goes for Netflix as well.
  • JeanneC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I totally agree about the fact that Apple should put pressure on the studios to make more movies and TV programs available with CC for Apple TV.

    I am hearing impaired, just had a cochlear implant, and I cannot watch TV without CC.

    I was just about to push the « order » button for the Apple TV when I decided to check about ahow many movies were available with CC... Pffff! What a deception!

    As someone already posted earlier, this is totally unacceptable in 2010 !!!

    For that reason, I will not order Apple TV.
  • Jolly Blackburn1 Level 4 Level 4 (1,510 points)
    CC can be toggled on and off under Settings/Audio/Video/Closed Captioning.
    If it works or not currently I can't tell you. But the option is definitely there. So it's a step in the right direction.

    Message was edited by: Jolly Blackburn1
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