Thread Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Television and DTV
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From: Larry Goldberg
Date: Sat, Nov 18 2006 2:40 PM
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Nice stream of consciousness, Jim. Almost coherent :-)
In fact, you ask a series of very relevant questions - many of which
actually have answers. You also expand the discussion beyond Braille access
to caption decoder requirements, so readers, even if you weren't interested
in that Braille discussion - read on. This now begins to address Â§ 1194.24
(a) Video and multimedia products which needs to be updated somewhat (even
though DTV references were inserted back in 1999 when the first 508 regs
Here's an attempt at some answers:
The TeleBrailler was developed by an engineer at SAIC who had a deaf-blind
son - his name is Daniel Hinton and the TeleBrailler consisted of a
TeleCaption 2 closed caption decoder outfitted with a serial port, which fed
the caption data to a PC which reformatted the caption data for appropriate
display on a refreshable Braille display. The enclosed article, written in
1989, describes the invention as having been invented 6 years before - 1983!
Analog sets of today rarely if ever include data ports and when they do,
they're mostly for command and control, not access to the caption data.
Ditto for DTV sets, except more forms of data and signals can be pumped out
of data ports on HDTVs. It's doubtful that any ports on DTV sets or set-top
boxes would be dedicated solely to caption data output, though it is
possible that a small peripheral device might be able to parse the caption
data for re-use in other environments.
On the other hand, DTV tuner cards are now available for PCs and I have seen
such tuner cards in the analog world give access to the caption data, so
that might be one way to retrieve caption data for use by people who can
neither see nor hear. Again, it would take some development and I don't
think would be feasible to make such a feature a requirement in the new 508
Analog TV sets of 13" size in diameter or larger are required to have
built-in caption decoding circuitry. The requirement applied to "receivers"
which consisted of a display with built-in tuner. Hence, VCRs, video
projectors, DVD players were and are not covered under the original rules.
The DTV rules are different, recognizing that some DTVs have built-in tuners
and some have outboard tuners and some consumers use their cable boxes as
their tuner. So FCC rules now change the screen size requirements to adjust
for 16:9 displays and then go on to eliminate the screen size tie-in for
outboard devices with tuners - they are now required to decode caption data
I have enclosed relevant portions of the FCC DTV decoder rules to save space
in this e-mail - this information will need to be included in our new regs -
probably in some shorter reference to FCC DTV CC rules. Note the FCC's
reference to "EIA-708B", now updated as "CEA-708C" soon to be updated again
Jim Allan wrote:
> Re: [teitac-video] Braille Displays for televisions...Way back when...I
> believe...there was one caption decoder box that had a serial port, and you
> could attach a Braille display with a serial port to 'read' the stream,
> whether you lost data was dependent on the size of the buffer in the Braille
> the following is end of the day brainstorming...lots of questions
> With the caption decoding built into the televisions...getting the
> information out of the television is a matter of ports. Do analog
> televisions come with ports?
> Then there is HDTV and other digital media players (TIVO, cable boxes, etc.)
> I know 'televisions' over a certain size are required to have caption
> decoding built in.
> Are cable boxes required to have caption decoding built-in?
> What is a 'television'? A single component with tuner (channel selection),
> video display, and speakers? or an assembly of separate components: cable
> box (channel selector) plus video display (lcd, plasma, projector, etc.)
> plus stereo boosted surround sound?
> Will people who use captions be required to purchase a "television" with a
> tuner (which cost more) to get the decoding functionality rather that using
> the cable box as the tuner and purchasing a much less expensive 'monitor'
> (with no tuner)?
> Will any of the digital ports allow the splitting off (redirecting) of the
> caption data from the video/audio data to be sent to some intermediary
> interface between the television and the braille display?
> Jim Allan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]On Behalf Of Brett, Thomas F
> Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:09 PM
> To: TEITAC Audio/Video Subcommittee; TEITAC Audio/Video Subcommittee
> Subject: Re: [teitac-video] Braille Displays
> yes, I do believe that there would need to be software changes made to
> Braille Display software. But I would see more significant changes being
> required to the real time captioning since the current captioning does not
> work well with screen readers. When I have tested this using FEDRCC I found
> that every time the screen refreshed my Jaws would do nothing.
> I also see the need to address the captioning done for DVDs. How can that
> text be delivered to a Braille display?
> Tom Brett
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = on behalf of Victor Tsaran
> Sent: Thu 11/16/2006 3:01 PM
> To: TEITAC Audio/Video Subcommittee
> Subject: Re: [teitac-video] Braille Displays
> Hi all,
> This is very interesting topic and Tom's suggestion in
> particular. I think that Larry's comment was a legitimate one as
> Availability of text transcript cannot be equated to reading
> captions in realtime with Braille display. In addition, not
> every Braille display user will be able to keep up with the text
> refresh rate. Thus, some kind of protocol would need to be
> developed in order to establish synchronization between the AT
> that serves the Braille display and the player. But then we are
> not talking about real-time captions, do we?
> I do think though that something will need to be done
> --- Larry Goldberg < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>> I may be behind the times on this, but is there a refreshable
>> display that can handle the display of caption text at the
>> speed the text is
>> sent out? I would think the text of the descriptions would be
>> needed to,
>> I would suggest that there would need to be some software
>> development in the
>> field of timed-text to enable the extraction of the caption
>> text in a form
>> that is compatible with refreshable Braille displays. Short
>> of that, I
>> would think the availability of transcript becomes even more
>> important for
>> this audience.
>> - Larry
>> Brett, Thomas F wrote:
>>>>> We can certainly make the recommendation that transcript
>> versions of
>>>>> captions and descriptions are always available.
>>> I would think that a Deaf/Blind person should be able to
>> access the
>>> captioning in a real time mode.
>>> Tom Brett,
>>> Section 508 Coordinator
>>> US Office of Personnel Management
>>> Rm 6H34A
>>> 2026061206 (v)
>>> 2026062582 (tty)
>>> Disabled does not mean Unable
>>> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of
>>> Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 10:51 AM
>>> To: TEITAC Audio/Video Subcommittee
>>> Subject: Re: [teitac-video] Braille Displays
>>> Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote:
>>> "> Shouldn't there be a provision to insure that this
>> information is
>>>> available to the Deaf/Blind thru Braille Display?
>>> We can certainly make the recommendation that transcript
>> versions of
>>> captions and descriptions are always available. That is not
>> part of the
>>> current standard, but we should raise it.
>>> Do you want to add your comment to the wiki?
>>> I agree that this is a good idea, it just changes the
>> 1194.31 functional
>>> requirements. Someone should bring that up, or we should
>> cross talk
>>> with that group on this topic.
>>> Allen Hoffman -- 202-447-0303