To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to complain about ability to receive closed captioning on a new television set. At my house, I use an old, analog set and have used the closed captioning option for years. I am currently visiting my father who purchased a new Samsung HDTV set recently. When I tried to enable closed captions on his set it told me that captions "were not available in this mode" and would not let me turn them on (I was watching Comcast digital cable programming at the time, but this was a TV-level menu rather than a cable box menu denying me access so I see no reason to bother the cable company about it).
I was unable to turn on the closed captioning even after much button-pressing, menu-navigating, and instruction-reading. The option is simply grayed-out and cannot be enabled. I have been enabling captions on a wide variety of analog sets over the years while traveling or teaching and this is the first time that I have had access to both a TV set that was manufactured recently enough to have captions and its original remote yet still been unable to eventually turn them on. I tell you this so you'll realize that this is not a simple case of me needing someone to walk me through the menus.
After some additional research, I learned that many other people are also unable to receive closed captions when watching HDTV through the HDMI connection, which I am led to believe is the main HD connection currently available. According to several internet sources, the HDMI specification does not allow for proper encoding of closed captioning information. I am very concerned about this both as a consumer of captioned television at home and as an educator who utilizes captioned programming whenever possible in my classroom.
I find your online complaint form confusing and telephone-issue-centric and I would like detailed instructions on how to file a formal complaint on this issue. I also want to know what steps your agency is taking to resolve this issue before we lose analog television in 2009 and many Americans will apparently be reduced to watching the pretty pictures and trying to guess what is going on. I particularly want to know how the issue will be mended for those who, like my father, have purchased HD sets already.
I look forward to your response.
[contact information redacted before posting to journal]
Does anyone know of any way I can do some additional stink-raising on this issue?