On FibeTV -- is there a way to turn on closed captions? YES - through regular menus.
How are the closed captions on FibeTV? good - white on black.
How are the caption fonts? nice and clear - only one font.
Works on many channels? all channels that have CC.
Works for Video on demand? Don't know
I do not think VOD has CC, but it isn't a dealbreaker.
If one of you can do us all of us a favour and see if the free "preview" of VOD on known-captioned material (such as LOST TV episodes), let us know if captions work on VOD material. Or even be a guinea pig and try to turn on captions the next time you watch a movie on VOD...
FibeTV is installed and running. The closed captioning works great and looks better than on Rogers. It's standard black box and white lettering that's been seen for many years.
The caption fonts are in 720p, so looks good at 720p but a little bit pixellated at 1080i. So I am keeping the Bell FibeTV box at 720p as it seems most high-def FibeTV material are being broadcast at 720p anyway (I sit close enough to tell 720p and 1080p, and I do have a Blu-Ray player). Are the HD channels on FibeTV mostly 720p? Still much better than good old fashioned 480p caption fonts that are often used on many HDTV implementations in the past.
I have not had much time to explore the channels (the first month has all channels unlocked, so hundreds to explore) but the usual popular stuff is nearly universally captioned (i.e. ToonTV), with the nichemarket stuff (i.e. OasisHD) not being captioned. The CBC/CTV HD are definitely captioned, so at least local Canadian high-def is captioned. Pretty scenes.
Anyway, a definite keeper. Until FiOS (FTTH type service) comes to Canada, this is probably among the best TV Canadian's will see...
I checked with one of the Fibe TV installers and he said that the source video signal is not changed at the headend. If the source was 1080i then that gets transmitted in the MPEG-4 envelope to the STB.
I need to do more tests to see if 1080i is beneficial over 720p. But from what I see, the closed captions and TV guide renders at 540 pixels tall when I am at 1080i. The onscreen graphics (captions and TV guide) is much better looking at 720p.
That said, I need to do some tests on some recorded material to determine if there are truly 1080i material on Bell FibeTV. My belief is that Bell converts everything to 720p even BEFORE it hits the head end... So it's not the Fibe TV equipment's responsibility, as the 720p is already being done for satellite...
Yes, the 720P is done by BTV to reduce satellite transponder loadings. If Fibe gets it's signals from BTV downstream of that conversion, then everything is 720P and that would be "passed" by the head end, but the head end would not see any 1080i.
We need to understand at which point in the process Fibe gets it's signals. I've seen far too many incorrect comments by installers to place any credence there.
So, I called into Fibe TV support and asked about the source video format and whether they transcode it to 720p like their satellite signal - the guy went off to talk to a technician.
His answer was - No. They do not transcode the source video signal - they leave as it is. I asked if he was sure and he said the technician was certain.
At some point I have to believe what I'm being told.
Not that I have found.
Under the System Information folder there are screens for -
Guide info and
Network PVR info.
Lots of interesting stuff but nothing about incoming video format.
Checked a couple of forums to see if there were some shortcuts to get to diagnostic info, but no luck so far.
Nontheless, at 1080i, I walked up to the screen and recognized the typical artifacts (hard to see from 5 feet away or more) caused by 1080i->1080p->720p->1080i ..... I used to work in the home theater industry so I am familiar with dozens of different artifacts, google my name.
It may be that "along the chain", the material supplied to the Bell Fibe TV network is 720p, and Bell Fibe TV is just passing that 720p unmodified. However, that doesn't mean that at some broadcasting center isn't preconverting to 720p.
Maybe this is true only for some channels (ones that I saw so far).
Does anyone here know how the broadcast flow through Bell? Example: Entity A (i.e. TV station) supplies video to entity B (i.e. T.V. center at Bell), which supplies video to entity C (i.e. Bell Satellite TV), and then Fibe TV (Entity D) might pull into their VLAN, a mix of Entity B / Entity C video. Different entities might do different transcodes/compresses, or pass them unmodified. Entity D (Fibe TV) might for example, not be aware that Entity B might already be, for instance, converting at least some material to 720p, especially if Entity D is not getting material directly from Entity A.
And, yes seeing the omni simsub on omni and cbs's channels. However, fwiw, I believe that is somewhat new... I think I remember noticing the buffalo CBS feed coming through a few months ago. Maybe omni hadn't got their simsub paperwork in yet.
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