Discreet Cosine Transform

A few thoughts on ruby, video and other things

How Can Closed Captioning Still Be This Hard?

After working with digital video for a good 6 or 7 years now, I have spent a decent amount of time with a lot of tools, and like all technologies, seen tools go from exotic and wildly expensive to common and reasonable (though good video tools are not yet cheap, and don't believe all of the freely available ones out there - you often get what you pay for, though not always).

However, the missing magic feature remains Closed Captioning, after all these years.  Want to transcode a file from same format to same format and keep CC?  Good luck.  Want to transcode from one format to another and keep CC? Forget it.  Want to convert VBI data into video auxiliary data?  That will be between $3,500 and $5,000, please.  There are some interesting OSS tools out there (look up McPoodle), but performance, reliability, and documentation are big concerns - I have not yet been able to successfully create a full chain of tools that can do any of the tasks outline above.

Did you know HDMI has no provision for CC at all?  It expects CC to be handled upstream, at the set-top box, and only passes video over its wire.  Information on standards (like EIA 608 and 708) is hard to find, and a lot of conflicting data remains in the ecosystem about how exactly CC works in different systems (this is also true of other video techniques, especially ones inherited from the analog world - like interlacing).

Are there great tools out there I am just missing?