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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Closed Captioning (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Closed Captioning
Kirk Futrell
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Nashville, TN / U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2008


 - posted 10-17-2014 12:34 PM      Profile for Kirk Futrell   Author's Homepage   Email Kirk Futrell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was wondering what everyone's general thoughts on usability, reliability, ease of installation, are for USL's UPC-28C (CCS & HI/VI-N) closed caption system vs. Doremi's fildelio and captiview?

Should I steer clear of Doremi accessories until the Dolby acquisition is finalized and I can see if Dolby is going to discontinue or mess them up?

Also cupholder caption's vs. glasses from the customer's perspective. I would imagine glasses are preferred, but I don't want to assume.

Any issues I should consider with the fact that USL's are IR?

Thanks for helping with my homework...
[Wink]

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12543
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-17-2014 01:11 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh what a can of worms this one is!

I can attest that BOTH of the systems you mention work and work as well as captions on the projector (subject to the same frailties as CineCanvas).

As a support person, I MUCH prefer the USL system because you can actually see, via their web interface, that it is working and what text it is putting out.

As for the display devices...if you ask those that want/need the captions...they almost all want open captions, period.

The problems with the glasses are that the captions move about with the head rather than stay put. And if you wear glasses, are watching 3D...it gets rather comical! The cup-holder and floor standing systems seem to be preferred. Note, problem I've seen with those, however, is that they tend to sag and are a bit bouncy.

I would not be worried about the Dolby/Doremi thing so much as what the DOJ may create as law. It is currently open for comment and I suggest all that are concerned (should be EVERY THEATRE IN THE COUNTRY) comment on it. I, for one, have taken the strong position that theatre should not have to provide ANY devices for either listening or viewing of captions...that they should only be required to provide a government protected signal for ADA use so that the patron may use their own device in not only theatres but any other like venue. The laws as they currently stand are as stupid as it would be to require theatres to provide glasses for nearsightedness. You provide the ramps, not the wheelchairs...etc. The goal of the ADA was to prevent discrimination by putting up barriers. Providing standardized signals would do that.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4137
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-17-2014 02:12 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think one of Dolbys goals with the Doremi aquisition was not to discontinue these systems, but to broaden it's own portfolio with them. HI/VI is one part of the digital cinema market which is growing, and internationally.

The Doremi Fidelio system is nice and easy to work with - but in my opinion currently has a major flaw - out of the box it can only feed dedicated HI/VI tracks to the headsets. That is, if there are no signals on those tracks, it is of little use. This may not be so important in the future if you expect basically every feature and soon maybe even all the trailers to contain these tracks in the US because of legal obligations.

However, the USL processors are able to detect the presence of dedicated HI/VI signals on these tracks and will automatically switch to a common HI/VI mix generated from L/R/C. I think this is much more useful. Think of a situation where you advertise availability of a HI/VI system to your customers, when actually the system will not output anything because there are no HI/VI tracks in the CPL. Also think about a possible foreign language program.

You can upgrade the Fidelio system to play an L/C/R mix from any processor, but it's not a standard feature that Doremi supports and you would have to build and tweak it together on your own.

- Carsten

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 858
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-17-2014 03:15 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I designed the USL system, so if there's a problem, it's my fault! If you find some equipment it does not work with or some content it does not work with, please give me a call or email. I'll make it work! I've been on the SMPTE committees that established the standards for closed captioning and am on committees that are looking at updates to the standards (for example, a meeting on the timed text file format this morning). As Steve points out, I've left a lot of debug information enabled. You can get a streaming log to see all interaction between the captioning equipment and the server. Besides helping me in development, it has helped people in the field figure out what's going wrong.

The standards allow considerable leeway in the creation and playback of captions. For example, USL supports a character set of some 50,000 characters. Other systems may support fewer. There are also differences in how long lines of text are handled, how horizontal alignment is handled, etc. Because of this, I'm working with Sony and Doremi on an authoring guideline for ISDCF. This attempts to define what is in common on all the systems from an authoring perspective so the content will display properly on all systems.

Finally, on ease of installation, Doremi is very easy to install since it's just an IEEE 802.15.4 transmitter connected to the server over USB. You stick it in the port window, plug it in, and it's installed. The USL IR panel can be mounted in the auditorium, but to make installation easier, a window bracket is now available. The panel is installed in the port window in the booth, simplifying wiring.

For an overview of all this (from my perspective) see Accesibility Best Practices.

Also, as Steve notes, the DOJ does have a comment period open on proposed rules for the US. I've summarized the more than 200 comments filed so far. My summaries are here . As Steve recommends, I also recommend filing comments. I'm still working on mine.

Thanks!

Harold

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Kirk Futrell
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Nashville, TN / U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2008


 - posted 10-17-2014 03:32 PM      Profile for Kirk Futrell   Author's Homepage   Email Kirk Futrell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Excellent info from all! My mind is made up. Thanks!

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2201
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 10-17-2014 04:05 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My theatre is using the USL system for CC, and for assisted listing and descriptive audio. Other than some studios not providing VIN (Relativity and Weinstein mainly), the system has pretty much worked flawlessly since being installed. The only hardware issue we had was a power supply going bad, but that was a very easy fix.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12543
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-17-2014 04:27 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you have preshow material or run alternative content (e.g. DVD or BluRay), you really need to consider how you integrate the Doremi system in and will need to do some D/A - A/D conversions if you want HI on everything and VI on DCPs, as Carsten points out.

However, for installation, Doremi, out of the box is the fastest...being RF...one need not aim it...plop it down or fasten it where it is convenient and you are going to be installed pretty fast. They don't include the coax cables that connect the AES to the transmitter (audio portion), for some reason.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 880
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 10-17-2014 04:32 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have CaptiView and customers really seem to like it. Haven't had much trouble with them either until lately, we've had 2 units' batteries go bad and swell so much they cracked the glass internal board and nearly the back plastic panel while unscrewing it. You had to unscrew the 3 screws on that side little by little, evenly, to prevent the panel from breaking from the battery pressing outward so hard.

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Randy Pryde
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Casper, WY, USA
Registered: Feb 2013


 - posted 10-17-2014 11:42 PM      Profile for Randy Pryde   Author's Homepage   Email Randy Pryde   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In addition to the comments above, the Doremi unit needs to be programmed to a specific auditorium before it goes to the patron. We found this to slow down service on busy nights. We sold them and installed the USL's. They work and customers appreciate that we have them.

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John Thomas
Film Handler

Posts: 67
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted 10-18-2014 02:27 AM      Profile for John Thomas   Email John Thomas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We use CaptiViews. Not a fan. For something we are letting our guests get their hands on I expect something sturdier for $450 apiece. Guests have broken two and one has gone missing in the couple years we have had these available.

We have also had issues of reliability with the transmitter interfacing with Sony systems, but that could just have been a poor installation.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8367
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 10-18-2014 02:35 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
REG uses the Sony WiFi system with just one receiver to do both.

You can use either the headset and/or the glasses that picks up the CCAP visual aid, but the cost per each unit is horrendous.

We use the USL IR system and have the dual channel, HI/DA IR headsets. It's interesting that some features do contain the DA stream.

We do get some guests that loves to use the headsets just for the DA track playback, yet the naming string for the content doesn't disclose the DA stream (unless it's another code that I'm missing..).

Thus, we have no clue if that feature has DA or not for that particular feature.

-Monte

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2201
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 10-18-2014 04:30 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Monte: The HI-VI designation on a CPL is generally what indicates it includes the descriptive audio (sometimes called Visually Impaired Narration - or VIN). Relativity and Weinstein are the main culprits in not providing the narration track.

My understanding is the HI portion designates a special audio mix for hearing impaired units which emphasizes the dialog. I assume CPLs without the HI notation probably just use the L-C-R mix to output to for hearing impaired.

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 4137
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 10-18-2014 06:48 AM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the site uses USL processors, it could be the feature I mentioned above - these can be set as to create an LCR Mix for the HI/VI system automatically if there are no HI/VI tracks present in the DCP.

- Carsten

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12543
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-18-2014 07:07 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Justin...if there isn't an HI track...then that audio channel will be silent. Only if you have a slick processor like the USL can it fallback to making its own. However, in a Doremi "factory" installation, the ADA tracks never get to the cinema sound processor.

Just about every cinema sound processor I know has some form of "HI" output that is an L-C-R mix with Center (dialog) emphasis and hopefully pre-EQ. When we set up ADA systems, we always use that output and never the "HI" from the DCP...one can't bank on it being there and it is never there for things like BluRays and home-made content.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1615
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 10-18-2014 03:17 PM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm involved with an event this weekend that's ocurring at multiple locations
and requires adding an additional 'descriptive audio track' to non DCI programming
that will require two blu-ray players running 'in sync'. (I've already rehearsed
this and 'it works'- - there is some timing drift, but neither program is
very long and since the people using this service will be blind, the slight
mis-match between descriptive audio & on screen action is not an issue)

At my screening room, I had no problem interfacing the 2nd deck into our
HI system, which is a "Listen Tech" RF system. The transmitter has built-in
provisions to easily add a 2nd balanced or unbalanced audio source and
also mixing controls on the front to balance levels between the two sources.

The "other location" called me for advice trying to do the same thing with
their "Fideleo" system, which turned out to be nightmare. I'm sure the
Fideleo system works fine for what it was designed for, but if you ever
have the need to add an extra external audio source it's pretty much
impossible without major re-engineering of the audio system.

I really like the "Listen-Tech" systems that are installed in the screening
rooms at two different locations I work at.

These are both 'single screen' locations so the fact that
they are RF/FM systems is not a problem. They sound great, the receivers
dock in a charger overnight, so you never have to worry about changing batteries,
and they have a standard headphone jack, so people can use their own ear buds
if they want. We have over a dozen receivers, but only about 6 or 8 pairs
of headphones. If we ever need more in an emergency, we can pick up
a bunch of 'cheap' headsets at a store less than a block away.

The Listen-Tech transmitter has good LED VU meters, the ability to easily add
and mix in an "auxiliary" audio source as I've already mentioned and,
(my FAVORITE feature!) - >it has a built in 1K test-tone generator which makes
it really easy to check all the receivers & headphones without having fire up
the entire cinema system to get program audio to test with.

(It's also fun to push the 1k tone button during a show and watch all
the people wearing headphones jump in their seats) [evil]

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