Closed Captions on Pace DC550D
I picked up two Pace DC550D rental boxes from the Cogeco storefront in Belleville back in March. I traded in two Motorola DCT6200s so I could take advantage of the Pace's smaller size and the HDMI connection. They self-installed with no problem, and I was able to drastically reduce the amount of cabling behind my entertainment unit. My Pace box, Blu Ray player and WDTV Live media player now all connect to my home theatre A/V receiver by HDMI, with a single HDMI cable from there to the wall-hung TV. I was also able to set up my Logitech Harmony remote to work with the Pace.
However, I'm experiencing a problem I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere. We often mute the audio of the upstairs TV and turn on closed captions if the other member of the household is sleeping. As mentioned, this is done by powering off the STB, pressing Settings on the remote, using the on-screen menu to turn Closed Captions On or Off, then pressing Power again to return to the TV channel. (I have programmed a macro into one of the coloured A-B-C-D buttons to do this with one press.)
Occasionally, when the settings menu is selected in this way, it appears as a blank blue rectangle and none of the settings, including closed captions, can be selected. If I unplug the box for a while then I plug it back in, it works OK for a few days or a few weeks, but then the same thing happens again. I tried switching the 2 boxes between TVs, but both exhibit the same problem, which suggests maybe it's a firmware problem rather than a random box fault.
Before I call in to Cogeco and try to explain the problem, I'm curious to know if anyone else who uses closed captions has experienced this problem. I don't want to drive 45 min. to Belleville to exchange the boxes if it's a known problem.
Re the aspect ratio issue mentioned earlier in this thread, I have Auto Pillarbox turned on so that HD channels display in 16:9 and SD channels in 4:3 with black sidebars. Some SD channels, including CBC News, CTV News and CNN now broadcast a letterboxed 16:9 picture, which displays on a widescreen TV as a small rectangle surrounded by black borders. To expand this to full screen, just press the #/Aspect key twice (at the bottom right of the number pad on the Cogeco remote). To return to standard SD mode for full-height 4:3, press the key once more. You can do the same thing with your TV remote, but I find using this method easier, and it doesn't affect the aspect ratio on the HD channels.
BTW - If you don't like overbright LEDs on your Pace box, or other devices, just stick a piece of black electrical tape over them.