Posted Dec 7, 2011
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Closed Captions freezing and then disappearing

Howdy all-- I am at wits end with my problem. I sent the following to ATT Closed Captioning e-mail and got an autobot reply to use the online tech service. I did so, and they walked me through a "disaster recovery" reset (not using the reset button, but dowloading and flashing the operating system software for the box) with them finally referring me to ATT ICU (what the heck is ICU, Intensive Care Unit?) Any Ideas from forum people appreciated greatly.

 

Hello: I am profoundly deaf and must use closed captioning on my televisions. I have had and currently have a serious and annoying problem with one of the set top boxes (Motorola HD DVR). The closed captioning begins and runs for any where from 1-10 minutes, then freezes (sometimes in mid-sentence) and does not pick up again. The Philips HD TV is connected to the set-top box by means of a HDMI cable. The only way to regain the closed captions are to either switch channels and then switch back to the channel I was watching; or do a quick (7-second) backspace of the program, then captions will be there for the part that was not captioned. It will then run captions for a while, then freeze again. I can record a few minutes of a program and then replay it. However, the recorded closed captions will eventually freeze and disappear even in recorded programs. As I said, I know the captions are being sent by the programmers and by the U-verse system because they are being recorded. I also checked some local channels using my antenna when the U-Verse captions disappear and they are being sent and read by the over-the-air television HDTV tuner.

 

The following have not solved the problem -- - turning on both digital (high definition) and analog (standard definition). - turning captioning to digital off and analog on and vice versa. - re-setting the set-top box. - restarting the set-top top box by disconnecting and reconnecting power. - resenting/restarting U-verse 3800HGV-8 modem. - calling ATT help line and re-performing the above steps several times. - having a service call by ATT U-verse technician, xxxxxx xxxx who again performed the above steps.

 

He then did the following -- - determined that there could be a low signal problem with the Time Warner Cable installation which was used when the system was installed over a year ago. - replaced the RG television cable connected the set top box that was having problems with a direct connection to the modem by means of an Ethernet CAT-5 cable ($55 service installation charge) and replaced the second set top box (Motorola) (which was not having problems) with a Cisco, wireless set top box (which works well) with the Cisco transmitter connected directly to the modem. - returned the next day, when notified that all his work on the system was for naught, and personally saw the problems for himself. He then obtained a new work order from his supervisor and replaced the Motorola HD DVR. We then watched and waited until the same freezing and drop out again. We check the over-the-air signal and found that the captions were being transmitted by the station and could be seen on the U-verse system if the program was re-wound 7-seconds. We both then agreed there was nothing more he could do to solve the problem and that he would report it to ATT. I said I would also report it, which I am doing in this e-mail.

 

I really know little about how the system works, but offer the follow information and suggestions -- - the problem appears to only occur on the one set top box (Motorola VIP1225/297; (Current Serial No. Mxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, bootstrap ROM 1.1027, TV2 Client Version 2.1.2295.10), not on the second SDTV installation using the Cisco box. - because the captioning signal is present on the U-Verse feed, the problem appears to be in the hardware software/firmware in the set top box that uses the signal and is probably present in all boxes of the same Motorola model available to ATT service in this area. With my very limited knowledge of digital electronics, hardware, software/firmware, programming, etc., I suggest it could be a glitch not allowing the used captioning to be dumped and thus loads up the buffer until it can store no more captioning data. I am very anxious to have this problem solved ASAP.

 

Please forward this e-mail to the appropriated department for resolution.

 

Thank you very much, in advance, for your prompt attention to this problem.

 

-PHOnos

 

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Oct 26, 2012 6:33:11 PM
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Edited by PHOnos on Oct 26, 2012 at 6:41:16 PM

Well, it is almost Halloween and closed captioning is still working on "live" and recorded programming on both STBs. 

 

About a quarter-mile from us somebody ran into one of the large  ATT installations where the conversion from optical to copper takes place and took out the whole thing.  There is a second installation about a block south of that one that must feed us as we never lost service but had a lot more resets on the Cisco that is no longer wireless but  Cat-5 cabled to the modem.  The enclosure that was taken out was finally replaced with a much larger enclosure and a second new one one was added about 5 feet from this new one.  Everything is working a whole lot better now, including the internet.

 

Guess this CC problem is solved, at least for me.

 

(Edited for speling).

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Dec 13, 2011 4:50:50 PM
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YW PHOnos and that's an easy slip to make, component vs composite, most of us have done before.

 

Just curious why you are watching the HD channels, where you're having CC problems, on a SD set and not the SD channels? Especially when using an analog video connection with a composite cable? Video connected by component cables is also analog but carries a HD signal where composite video won't.

 

I know all sets are different and I use a SD set in my basement. Seems like the picture quality of the SD channels is just as good as the HD channels. Maybe you're watching HD programming which is not available in SD?

 

I'm not trying to get around you're having problems with the CC's cutting out/freezing on the HD channels with your Philips HDTV. Are you still noticing this more on the local HD channels rather than all of them?

 

Hopefully you sent David an email on this problem as suggested. He, or a member of his team, will get back to you on this CC problem if you sent him an email.

 

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Dec 13, 2011 8:06:19 PM
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Uniblurb3 wrote:

YW PHOnos and that's an easy slip to make, component vs composite, most of us have done before.

 

Just curious why you are watching the HD channels, where you're having CC problems, on a SD set and not the SD channels? Especially when using an analog video connection with a composite cable? Video connected by component cables is also analog but carries a HD signal where composite video won't.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It was just an experiment.  Wanted to see what would happen when the CC failed on he receiver, because as some one said (maybe it was you) it could be a possible HDMI cable problem on the HDTV.  Just think I proved something by feeding the signal to the CC on the SDTV and seeing the drop out, but I'm not sure what other than that.  BTW the SD is a Toshiba with built in VHS recorder

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I know all sets are different and I use a SD set in my basement. Seems like the picture quality of the SD channels is just as good as the HD channels. Maybe you're watching HD programming which is not available in SD?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I agree quality is just as good on SD, but yes, my wife likes to have both SD and HD channels available on both TV's because the programming, for example,The Food Channel,  are not always the same programming at the same time SD and HD.  Also, as you say, some HD channels, i.e.. HDnet is not available on SD.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I'm not trying to get around you're having problems with the CC's cutting out/freezing on the HD channels with your Philips HDTV. Are you still noticing this more on the local HD channels rather than all of them?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If it was just the locals, I could get around it by using my antenna.  However, it occurs on all HD channels, i.e.. Food Network; HGTV, all the ESPN channels that broadcast in HD; Fox Sports West; Fox Sports Prime Ticket.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Hopefully you sent David an email on this problem as suggested. He, or a member of his team, will get back to you on this CC problem if you sent him an email.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

No, I have not.  Christmas preps, baby sitting the grandkids and their birthdays, going to the doctor(s) and dentist has kept me pretty busy (I don't know how I ever had time to work before I retired).  Going to Las Vegas tomorrow with the neighbors for a couple of days (I don't know why my wife sets these things up this time of the year).  Maybe get around to it this weekend, 

 

So, I take it you have not be able to recreate my CC drop-out problem on HD channels?

 

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Dec 17, 2011 5:15:21 AM
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I've been forcing myself to go non-Premium for a few days :smileyvery-happy:  and have to report this issue is rampant.  I watched a lot of DYI channel, and it acted just like the major networks.

 

If I change the channel, or go to LAST and then back, CC comes up again.

 

I'm stumped and no idea why or how this is happening, and haven't noticed it on the Premiums I watch.

 

Also, some channels use all caps, then a mix, or just a mix; no consistent formula--if that even makes a difference.  Don't even get me started on the errors and misspellings. :smileysad:

 

FYI, all HDMI here.

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Dec 17, 2011 9:41:37 AM
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So, you have seen the same thing. At least I know I'm not nuts.. Case changes have no effect here. It seems some programmig uses the case change to show change in the person that is speaking, others when they go from reporters in the field to people they are interviewing. Misspelllings are OK with me, at least I can get the idea of what is happening.

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Dec 17, 2011 12:45:50 PM
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Yep, I too have seen the closed captions freezing/shutting down on many channels. Without a doubt the local ABC channel (WSYX ABC6) in the Columbus, OH, market is the worst in my area. After shutting down, you can go to another channel, right back again, and the CC's start back up again but not for very long. The one exception to this on channel 6 are reruns of "30 Rock" where the CC's have no problem at all. I did some searching and I'm not sure why the closed captioning through "CaptionMax" work so well but it does.

 

I have an email drafted to "6 On Your Side" pointing out the cumbersome method in accessing CC's through U-verse TV service. I said not only has AT&T/U-verse not resolved this issue but they made the closed captioning even worse through their latest upgrade. This thread and the specific problem on their network is mentioned. Hopefully they will take note of the email/CC problems since they are good about bringing this type of issue to the publics attention. I'll finish and send the email this weekend.

 

 

It's obvious this is a nationwide problem since U-verse users in Irving, CA, Houston, TX and Columbus, OH, are seeing the same CC freezing/shut-down problems.

 

PHOnos, thanks for answering the questions I asked. I kind of figured there was HD programming not available on the SD channels you are watching. You may want to try and send an email to David since his team would be aware if this is a known closed caption issue and if they are working on a fix. If they don't know at least you would be making them aware of it and point them towards this thread.

 

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Dec 17, 2011 5:07:47 PM
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I'm guessing this isn't considered a problem since the majority of viewers don't use CC.  I keep it on all the time here.

 

Another thought, maybe it has something to do with channels who run commercials?  Different feed for local vs. national markets?  MOST commercials don't seem to do CC.  But when a commercial is coming, the CC does NOT complete for the program, it cuts off the last few sentences of dialog.  Is it a computer problem?

 

The Premiums don't have CC on their breaks during programming (pseudo-commercials for their own programs), but maybe all of their feeds are coming from the same place?

 

All I know is this is VERY annoying, and I feel for anyone who is hard-of-hearing. :smileysad:

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Dec 17, 2011 5:10:19 PM
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I thought I read somewhere that an update or something was rolled out to resolve the CC issue.  I read something last week, I think thats when it was.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Dec 17, 2011 10:27:02 PM
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RCSMG wrote:

I thought I read somewhere that an update or something was rolled out to resolve the CC issue.  I read something last week, I think thats when it was.


 

Now that's something I'd like to read/see. Can you see if you can find it RC since you've gotten our hopes up?

 

I do searches all the time for "closed caption" posts/threads and haven't seen one which said a fix was already rolled out. Besides my remote works exactly like it did before in the long drawn out process in accessing closed captions.

 

The latest thread, other than this one, is the below thread which was posted a month ago. I hope you aren't referring to my post which said they are supposed to send out an update in 2012 for easier CC access. It's anybody's guess if and when that will happen.

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/Closed-Captioning/m-p/2965397#M20776

 

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Dec 21, 2011 9:44:52 PM
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Edited by PHOnos on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:48:24 PM

Made a new discovery -- If I turn off both HD and SD captioning on the DVR, the SD TV using the composite video input will continue to show the captioning on all channels (including HD channels) without disappearing.  Turn on the SD or HD captioning on the DVR, and the HD channel captioning on both the DVR and the TV fails at the same time and does not start up. 

 

So, it definitely is a problem in the DVR closed captioning reader not outputting the captions and blocking the captioning input to the TV on HD channels.

 

As long as I don't replace the SDTV I guess I'm A-OK.

 

This sucks . . . ! ! !

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Dec 21, 2011 10:04:49 PM
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I keep them both turned on and use HDMI, but this was not a consistent problem in the past; so something happened, and I'm guessing it was after/during Phase 3. :smileysad:

 

Mostly watch HD, but not all SD channels have HD counterparts.

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Dec 21, 2011 10:25:39 PM
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My father and I both experience the same problem with the CC dropping out. We're in the San Francisco Bay Area, have the Motorola DVRs/STBs, run an HDMI connector to the TV, and have CC on all the time. I've had U-Verse since 2009 and have never had this problem before - it just appeared recently. HD ABC (1007 in our area) is the worst offender, but we've seen it in on Fox (1002) and other channels as well.

 

Keep this thread alive and let's get AT&T to fix this!

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Dec 30, 2011 6:54:45 PM
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Sorta the same problem in Houston, the CC goes off and will come back for a short while if you press replay. but does go off again, until you press replay again. has been doing this for several weeks now.

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Dec 30, 2011 7:00:58 PM
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It's really getting annoying!  I'm still seeing it on the 4 big networks, and tired of going to another or last channel to get it back. :smileymad:

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Dec 30, 2011 7:02:59 PM
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I have read reports that they promised to fix the 22 stroke CC problem, but could not prove it by me. Think the only one who reads these commments are the ones with the problem.

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Jan 4, 2012 6:09:44 PM
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bwhou wrote:

 

. . . Think the only one who reads these commments are the ones with the problem.


There are a few good people who try to help, including the service techs, but ATT engineers, I don't think so

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Jan 5, 2012 1:17:48 AM
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It's probably not in the Job Description. :smileyhappy:

 

Something else I noticed today when playing a Network recording, the CC is on at first, but disappears after about 5 min. into the show.  That happens even before a commercial comes on.  Some of the Twilight Zone Marathon shows I recorded (SyFy Channel) had no problem keeping the CC on live or recorded.

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Jan 5, 2012 8:21:45 AM
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PHOnos wrote:

bwhou wrote:

 

. . . Think the only one who reads these commments are the ones with the problem.


There are a few good people who try to help, including the service techs, but ATT engineers, I don't think so


 

Actually there are some very good/helpful AT&T engineers working for/with U-verse. When there were CC problems (garbled/unreadable text) with the MTV Networks (Viacom) I worked with some of these engineers and had a chance to see them working behind the scenes. Sam, an ex-engineer and member of David's team along with Social Media, always kept me abreast of their progress. The engineering staff did an excellent job in fixing these problems.

 

But unfortunately the engineers can only work on problems/fixes where the management staff sets the priorities. Who knows how important it is to management to fix the problems with the closed captions freezing/shutting off along with finding an easier CC access? It currently doesn't seem very high on their list of priorities.

 

BTW PHOnos, you may be interested this CC freezing/disappearing problem was brought up in the CC access thread. You're the "someone" from Irving, CA, in the below post. :smileywink:

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/Closed-Caption-Access-Formal-Complaint/m-p/3016185#M213...

 

Spd, your recordings sound just like what I'm seeing where the CC's disappear on the local networks after about 3-5 minutes when watching them live. Believe shows like the Twilight Zone have a private company install the CC's where there may not be any problems. Same is true for most movies on the U-verse HD channels where the CC's are installed ahead of time. And as I mentioned before shows like "30 Rock" use a very good private CC company where I didn't see any of these CC freezing/shutting off problems.

 

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Jan 5, 2012 8:36:48 AM
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Edited by spd2demun on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:37:17 AM

TZs were all done by the DOE.

 

I was thinking it was more of a live thing, too, but when I watched House the other night (re-runs), it was happening there as well.  I didn't catch who the company was.

 

As noted before, I don't watch that much non-Premium TV; and it's probably why I didn't notice this new issue until it was brought up. :smileysad:

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Jan 5, 2012 3:14:05 PM
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Edited by PHOnos on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:22:27 PM

bwhou wrote:

 

. . . Think the only one who reads these commments are the ones with the problem.


There are a few good people who try to help, including the service techs, but ATT engineers, I don't think so


 

But unfortunately the engineers can only work on problems/fixes where the management staff sets the priorities. Who knows how important it is to management to fix the problems with the closed captions freezing/shutting off along with finding an easier CC access? It currently doesn't seem very high on their list of priorities.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Yea, it is always management who performs the triage.  I guess none of them are deaf or they don't watch HD.  They could make me real happy by just sending me an e-mail saying they are aware of the problem and are working on it or it's in the cue.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

 

BTW PHOnos, you may be interested this CC freezing/disappearing problem was brought up in the CC access thread. You're the "someone" from Irving, CA, in the below post. :smileywink:

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/Closed-Caption-Access-Formal-Complaint/m-p/3016185#M213...

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Yep, that's me.  Actually I'm in Orange, CA.  The guide says it is version IRV-2 which I assumed is Irvine, showing the L.A.-Orange County locals.

 


 

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Jan 5, 2012 5:20:47 PM
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Edited by spd2demun on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:24:11 PM

I was watching each of the 4 (incl. Fox) big networks yesterday earlier today, and the CC was on and stayed on!  It even came back after commercials and didn't drop off.  Even some of the commercials had CCs!

 

Maybe this means they're working on it, or it was a fluke.

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Jan 6, 2012 12:17:36 PM
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spd2demun wrote:

I was watching each of the 4 (incl. Fox) big networks yesterday earlier today, and the CC was on and stayed on!  It even came back after commercials and didn't drop off.  Even some of the commercials had CCs!

 

Maybe this means they're working on it, or it was a fluke.


I thought your were right for about an hour this morning.  Watching GMA on KABC - 7HD (1007).  But then I tried recording it and the live captioning failed in about a minute.  Tried watching the recording and captioning failed in about 5-minutes (the captioning had been there when I was watching the live (on-tape on the West coast) broadcast.  After the failure I stopped the recording and went back to live-on-tape of Kelly and the captioning would not stay up.

 

No joy in The O.C., fluke here.

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Jan 6, 2012 3:49:50 PM
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This morning, it was just like before, but seemed to stay on a bit longer.  I give up on trying to figure this one out. :smileysad:

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Jan 6, 2012 4:44:05 PM
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Edited by PHOnos on Jan 6, 2012 at 5:04:02 PM

Well, the wireless Cisco 7500 can keep the captioning up, but . . . it has a bad habit of suddenly going black screen (twice today) and then reboots (or at least trys to) itself.  Sometime it can, sometimes it cannot  and we get the message that we do not have U-verse TV and to call ATT service.  That has already been tried and all they can do is replace the STB with one that acts the same way.  We can do a manual reset and get the video back but then there is no audio (According to the last tech this is a problem with no resolution for Sharp and Philips HDTV's).  Audio can be restored by power cycling the STB.  Others have reported the same black screen failure

 

So, at this point, after 4 service calls with 3 different techs over the last 5 or 6 weeks and no resolution we have decided that, in our opinion, ATT has released onto the public a system that should have remained experimental until it was fully developed.  We will be arraging for some TV service (and probably internet DSL access) other than ATT U-verse next week.

 

"There is never enough time to do something right the first time, but there is always enough time to do it over."

 

See ya'

 

edit: summarize issues

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Jan 6, 2012 9:10:03 PM
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Master

Well, leaving U-verse service doesn't seem like much of a solution but understand your frustration and good luck.

 

Since I'm still seeing the CC's freezing, but mostly shutting off altogether, I'll consider this issue/problem unresolved from my viewpoint.

 

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Jan 16, 2012 1:43:48 PM
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:smileysad:

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Jan 23, 2012 4:55:30 PM
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Edited by PHOnos on Jan 23, 2012 at 5:01:24 PM

:smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:   :smileyfrustrated:

 

OK, Time Warner Sucks (TWS) so still here. 

 

Questions -- If I disconnect HDMI cable and use component cables will I still get 1080i and/or 720p video output from the STB?  If I do, can I use audio cables, turn off all STB captioning and turn on the HDTV captioning?  Could this be the solution to the captioning being dropped by the DVR (it works on the SDTV using AV cables), and a fast way to access captioning?  What d' ya' all think?

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Jan 23, 2012 6:31:43 PM
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Master

Believe we discussed this same connection your are suggesting in this post. You may want to read the post by SomeJoe over at UU which was included as a link in my post.

 

While component cables will carry the HD signal, just like HDMI, neither will allow CC pass-through when a STB/DVR is turned off. You can pass through the signal to a SDTV on most programming, with the box off, in using composite cables (red/white audio, yellow-video). Believe you already discovered this but you can't do this on a HDTV with component or HDMI video connections. Sorry.

 

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Jan 23, 2012 7:08:23 PM
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ACE - Master
PHOnos - You can almost do what you are saying - You can connect the STB/TV with component cables & have the TV display the analog CC on a widescreen. The trick is to change the STB aspect setting to widescreen SD. Try it to see if the picture is good enough.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Feb 5, 2012 9:16:29 PM
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aviewer wrote:
Try it to see if the picture is good enough.


It sure ain't the HD I'm paying for!

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Feb 15, 2012 1:15:47 PM
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May want to read the below thread as an update to this same problem with the CC's stopping/disappearing.

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/Disappearing-Captioning/m-p/3057665#M21886

 

Re: Closed Captions freezing and then disappearing

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