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I am deaf. I depend on Closed Captioning at all times.

I purchased TiVO so I can stop using tapes from VCR .

Anyway, I got my TiVo To Go working on my computer.
After I transferred a show ( That has captions) to my desktop, I noticed there wasn't captioning when it played on my computer. I had " captioned" set on.

I burned the show to DVD and was hoping it would have captions when I play that DVD on my DVD player, but it didn't.

I tried to call TiVo tech support and they kept saying they can fix that problem but I kept getting disconnected!!! I have called back about 8 times. :eek:

Anyway--do any of you know how to solve this?? It has to do with compression..

Any help would be great and appreciated!! :)
John
 

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The answer depends on the model Tivo you own. If you own a 240 model, then extracting/viewing the CC information on your computer requires one additional step. You can visit http://shinnyo.com/t2sami for all of the tools and information you will need to accomplish this. If you own a newer 540 model, you are currently out of luck. Tivo redesigned the series 2 (presumably to reduce manufacturing costs) but there were some side effects : network transfer rates where cut in half, the CC information could no longer be accessed in the TivoToGo files. Until Tivo addresses this latter problem in the 540 Tivo side software, there is nothing that can be done on the PC side.

With respect to DVD’s, we need to distinguish between “Closed Captions” and “Subtitles”. There is no standard for storing CC information on the DVD. Each manufacturer works out their own mechanism. As a result, a DVD burned in a stand alone DVD burner will typically display CC information from its own disks only. The same disk played on another manufacturer’s player will typically be unable to display CC. For the same reason, none of the DVD authoring programs that I know of will allow you to put the CC information onto a disk for use with any DVD player.

It is possible to create subtitles from the CC information and save that to the DVD however. Since this is an extension of using the CC information on the computer, it is subject to the above limitation – you have to have the 240 model to retrieve the information first.

I have developed two paths for converting Series 240 CC information to DVD subtitles. One uses DVD-Lab Pro, a somewhat more expensive authoring program, that directly supports subtitle streams. The other uses My DVD and some freeware tools. Because these freeware tools are not integrated, the latter requires a more complicated set of steps to achieve the result. I worked out the details of these processes because I wanted to ensure that it was possible but I have not put together a guide for either because I haven’t seen sufficient demand. If the demand occurs, I will post guides to my site.
 

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NF2 Guy
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Or you could just do what I did (I'm deaf as well). Pick up a External Caption Decoder off ebay, I got mine for $15. install it between the Cable Box and the Tivo.

Everything is now Open Captioned. So if you burn it to DVD, transfer it to your PDA or whatever the Captions are always there.

I did this originally because the External CC Decoder seems to do a better job of Decoding CC on noisy signals than the TiVo decoder.
 

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PeteEMT said:
Or you could just do what I did (I'm deaf as well). Pick up a External Caption Decoder off ebay, I got mine for $15. install it between the Cable Box and the Tivo.

Everything is now Open Captioned. So if you burn it to DVD, transfer it to your PDA or whatever the Captions are always there.

I did this originally because the External CC Decoder seems to do a better job of Decoding CC on noisy signals than the TiVo decoder.
Hi, Pete, this is great news. Do you also happen to know if this open caption can be burned to DVD as well? Thanks. :)
 

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jushen1 said:
Hi, Pete, this is great news. Do you also happen to know if this open caption can be burned to DVD as well? Thanks. :)
By doing it that way the decoded caption display is part of the video being recorded, so it's part of everything you do with the video.

So yes, if you burn the video to DVD it retains the displayed captioning since that's what is recorded.
 

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dswallow said:
By doing it that way the decoded caption display is part of the video being recorded, so it's part of everything you do with the video.

So yes, if you burn the video to DVD it retains the displayed captioning since that's what is recorded.
Good to know that. Thanks, Doug! :up:
 

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jushen1 said:
Hi, Pete, this is great news. Do you also happen to know if this open caption can be burned to DVD as well? Thanks. :)
Open captions will transfer to a DVD with no special action required. They have become part of the recorded picture.

This is a very good solution as long as you will never want to view the show without captioning because open captions cannot be removed. That is the fundemental difference between open and closed captioning.
 

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Depending on your hardware, your cable box might have captioning ability as well as your TV set. I have a Scientific Atlanta 3250HD box, and it can do its own captioning, which becomes an integral part of the TiVo recording.

I'm not sure if it's technically "closed" or "open," and only really discovered their recordability by accident (just started using the cable box for captioning because it seemed to more reliably use small fonts than my HDTV set), but whatever it is, it transfers over with TiVo recording.
 

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NF2 Guy
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Closed - Requires a Decoder
Open - Always present

So what you describe Starts out as closed, your cable box decodes it, inserts it into the Video Stream. Your TiVo records it as part of the Video so now it is open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PeteEMT said:
Or you could just do what I did (I'm deaf as well). Pick up a External Caption Decoder off ebay, I got mine for $15. install it between the Cable Box and the Tivo.

Everything is now Open Captioned. So if you burn it to DVD, transfer it to your PDA or whatever the Captions are always there.

I did this originally because the External CC Decoder seems to do a better job of Decoding CC on noisy signals than the TiVo decoder.
That is the problem I do not use Cable Box. :mad: I use this TIVO as my Cable box.

I called the tech support and they told me that new version of TIVO that will come out Spring 2006, will have closed caption data while transfer to TIVOGOTO due to huge complaints from deaf community.
 

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jtlytle said:
That is the problem I do not use Cable Box. :mad: I use this TIVO as my Cable box.

I called the tech support and they told me that new version of TIVO that will come out Spring 2006, will have closed caption data while transfer to TIVOGOTO due to huge complaints from deaf community.
Two questions:

1. TiVo Inc. will survive into year 2006?? :eek: :D

2. What did the tech support say exactly? Did he mean a new TiVoToGo, software, will be released later that enables the caption transfer, or a new *hardware* will be needed to achieve this purpose? Either way, as a naive and helpless end user, I am not very happy that TiVo won't be able to give us a solution sooner ... :(
 

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I just got a Series 2, with 7.2.2 and the latest TiVo Desktop. This one seems to be off the radar but it still isn't working for me. The t2sami tool outtput file tells me the Video has no cc data in it.

Is this something TiVo is still working on? (oor since the complaining has subsided they moved on)

(my solution above still works but it'd be nice if TiVo fixed this)
 

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PeteEMT said:
Is this something TiVo is still working on? (oor since the complaining has subsided they moved on)
“moved on” is being generous. Unlike T2G for the Mac, which they have not delivered but have always maintained the will; closed captioning in T2G is something they have never even committed to deliver. The most I have seen was to commit to “exploring ways of enabling that functionality in future versions”.

My interpretation of this is that we will never see a Tivo version of closed captioning for T2G in the Series 2 PVR’s. The fact that T2Sami is able to extract the information from the 240 Series 2 machines was a lucky accident. When Tivo switched to the Broadcom BCM7317 chip in the 540’s, the mechanism for storing all VBI data changed to conform to that chip and the CC data was not longer accessible on the PC. I doubt that Tivo believes there is enough market share to be gained or PR noise to be avoided to make the non-trivial investment needed to change the situation. Rather I think they will “explore” (with Broadcom) changes in future version of the processor to make the CC data more accessible once it is transferred to the PC. If that happens, then it will appear in T2G for that generation of the hardware.
 

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jmemmott said:
The answer depends on the model Tivo you own. If you own a 240 model, then extracting/viewing the CC information on your computer requires one additional step. You can visit for all of the tools and information you will need to accomplish this. If you own a newer 540 model, you are currently out of luck. Tivo redesigned the series 2 (presumably to reduce manufacturing costs) but there were some side effects : network transfer rates where cut in half, the CC information could no longer be accessed in the TivoToGo files. Until Tivo addresses this latter problem in the 540 Tivo side software, there is nothing that can be done on the PC side.

With respect to DVD’s, we need to distinguish between “Closed Captions” and “Subtitles”. There is no standard for storing CC information on the DVD. Each manufacturer works out their own mechanism. As a result, a DVD burned in a stand alone DVD burner will typically display CC information from its own disks only. The same disk played on another manufacturer’s player will typically be unable to display CC. For the same reason, none of the DVD authoring programs that I know of will allow you to put the CC information onto a disk for use with any DVD player.

It is possible to create subtitles from the CC information and save that to the DVD however. Since this is an extension of using the CC information on the computer, it is subject to the above limitation – you have to have the 240 model to retrieve the information first.

I have developed two paths for converting Series 240 CC information to DVD subtitles. One uses DVD-Lab Pro, a somewhat more expensive authoring program, that directly supports subtitle streams. The other uses My DVD and some freeware tools. Because these freeware tools are not integrated, the latter requires a more complicated set of steps to achieve the result. I worked out the details of these processes because I wanted to ensure that it was possible but I have not put together a guide for either because I haven’t seen sufficient demand. If the demand occurs, I will post guides to my site.
series 2 Tivos *DO* have close captioning in the .tivo file, somewhere.

I've proven this by transfering the file to my computer, tried to convert it with your smil converter.. it failed.

Then I tried transfering back to my tivo, after the show was deleted by tivo. The show then had captions on the tivo. I don't know why you don't think the .tivo doesn't have cc but it seems to me it does, it just may be in a different place perhaps? I still haven't gotten any method to be able to get cc out of the .tivo file so far.
 

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Rainsforth said:
series 2 Tivos *DO* have close captioning in the .tivo file, somewhere.

I've proven this by transfering the file to my computer, tried to convert it with your smil converter.. it failed.

Then I tried transfering back to my tivo, after the show was deleted by tivo. The show then had captions on the tivo. I don't know why you don't think the .tivo doesn't have cc but it seems to me it does, it just may be in a different place perhaps? I still haven't gotten any method to be able to get cc out of the .tivo file so far.
I didn't say it wasn't there, only that it was not accessible.

In the case of the 240, the CC information is stored in the user data element of the MPEG2 program stream so I can access and translate it.

In the case of the 540, the CC information is encoded in VBI data left in the P and B picture elements. P and B picture elements are encrypted. In fact, encrypting the P and B pictures is the basis of the Tivo DRM. To get to the information, I would have to break the DRM and reverse engineer the Tivo/BroadCom VBI storage mechanism.

That would take more time and expose me to more DMCA issues than I can justify. I own a 240 and this started as a way of providing T2G CC access for a family member. I have put what I have created out for free for use by those that can use it. I have also asked Tivo for the information I need to expand my program to work with other models. I would even be willing to sign an NDA to gain access to the information. They have chosen to ignore me so I take that as a no. If I find a reasonable way to move forward, I will take it further. Until then, I am waiting for Tivo to do something for the hearing impaired themselves - they have the information needed.
 

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Thank goodness for those external converter boxes then! Hopefully Tivo will add this back in to future hardware itterations. To be fair to them, the 540s were designed well before Tivo2Go was released, and it might just be incredibly hard to do it (and the companies making these chips should think these issues through also).
 

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I have a 540 and a 264 (Toshiba SDH400 DVD Player, released before TiVoToGo) and the program doesn't work with correctly. It gets some of the text, every few letters or so. It would be nice if it was built into TiVo Desktop, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Durfman said:
I have a 540 and a 264 (Toshiba SDH400 DVD Player, released before TiVoToGo) and the program doesn't work with correctly. It gets some of the text, every few letters or so. It would be nice if it was built into TiVo Desktop, but I'm not holding my breath.
Most likely there is nothing I can do for the 540 - none of the 540 video I have seen has been usable. On the other hand, the 264 is not one I remember looking at so there is a chance. I would need a short .tivo segment with closed captioning to examine to make that judgement. If you want me to try, PM me and we can go offline to figure out the best way to get me a sample.
 

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Hello,


I, too, am disappointed to find that Windows Media Player or other software on the computer are unable to deliver Closed Captioning for all transferred shows through TiVoToGo desktop software. I was looking around on TiVo's Customer Services website and here and I am surprised to see the issue unresolved after so long.

Wouldn't filing a complaint with FCC push TiVo developers to address the problem if they are indeed putting this off? I am not quite sure what FCC's policy is with Closed Captioning, but if the video processing can not be displayed with CC after January 1, 2006 then it violates the CC regulation set by FCC since they require all English programming to be included with CC and suppose you record a new television show that is first aired this year, wouldn't that be breaking the agreement?

Is there any way we could get them to take a step further and address the problem so all customers involved can take full advantage of closed captioning?

my $0.02 ...
 
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