I realize this subject isn't of interest for most users but there are those who, like myself, must rely on captioning in order to fully enjoy movies and TV shows. My question relates to captioning from a DVD upconverter as well as from a standard DVD and VCR combo unit.

I am careful to check DVD movies I purchase and / or rent for captioning but I have found many times the caption service simply will not work no matter what I may try. Recently we moved a small 26" LCD TV into our BR to watch an old VCR movie. The player I used does not have HDMI or, for that matter, component out capabilities. The only hookup is by coaxial cable or by phono jacks. It's not the best picture but on a small screen across the room it's bearable. Incidentally, this player is a Sony combo DVD / VCR unit.

Getting to the point, It soon became apparent that captioning we could not get to work on our HD large screen with an HDMI upconverting DVD player worked fine on the smaller TV. Both TV's are the same brand (Samsung) and are both a part of the same series of TV's. The HDMI DVD player is also a Samsung. The combo unit is a Sony.

After testing both units and trying several different hookups I have pretty much come to the conclusion that certain caption formats simpy will not work with an HDMI cable. These same capiton formats will work with a coaxial cable. Evidently the reason for the newer SDH captioning is to overcome the HDMI issue.

Does anyone here have more information to add to this this subject? Is there a way to overcome this issue? I have been thinking of switching to component cables in order to test their capability of handling the older caption format. Anyone familiar with this?

We have quite a few older DVD and VCR movies and would like to learn the best options for setup in order to get the best possible picture and to eliminate, as much as possible, the captioning issue.

Any input would be very welcome.

Max H
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  1. Max, the root of the problem lies in the difference between analog and digital...or more specifically HDMI vs. analog.

    The CC function of the TV is only designed for analog CC's, meaning the input source has to be analog, for example component cables like you speculated, should allow the TV to then decode the CC's.

    With that being said, digital captions via HDMI are designed to be decoded by the source...for example a the tuner box supplied by your cable company or a Blu-Ray player etc..

    The easiest way to resolve the problem is to turn on the CC function of the upconverting DVD player which will send out the closed captions over the HDMI cable.

    Additionally, you should be turning of the CC function of the actual TV when viewing HDMI input content as the source is the supplier of the CC's, not the receiver.

    Explained in detail and probably better than I can here
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