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How can I get closed captioning subtitles to appear when using my projector, plasma or LCD monitor?

In almost all cases, you will need to purchase an external closed caption device to accomplish this. These are generally sold by organizations established for the hearing impaired. With the increasing number of home video projectors and flat screen monitors, the availability of these devices might improve. Either that, or the manufacturer's of projectors and flat screens may address the issue themselves in their equipment. However, based on past history that will only occur if the FCC passes regulations similar to the one they passed in 1993 which insisted that closed-caption circuitry be included in all television sets sold in the United States.

Why doesn't closed captioning work with most projectors and flat screen monitors? To understand this, you need to know a little about closed-captioning. Closed-captioning provides important benefits primarily for individuals with hearing disabilities by displaying the audio portion of a television signal as printed words on the television screen. Closed-captions are hidden as data within the television signal and they must be decoded by circuitry within the television tuner to be displayed overlaid on the image you are watching. And there is the key to the problem. Most projectors and flat panel displays do not contain television tuners. To watch TV on them you must connect the video output of a VCR, satellite receiver or cable receiver to your display. What that means is that the closed-caption circuitry must be built-in to the tuner of the device you connect. But alas, the FCC never made any regulations requiring that circuitry for VCRs, cable tuners or satellite receivers so to save money, the manufacturer's of these devices didn't bother to include it.

The only way around this is to install a device in between the VCR, or other tuner that can decode closed-captioning and overlay it on the video signal being sent to your projector of flat screen. These external closed-caption devices are available for many different applications depending on the video signal and input used on your display. For more information on your specific application please call or email United Visual and we can assist in helping you find the best device to meet your needs.

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