Open Caption

Posted on Monday 6 November 2006

For my metadata “sketch” I have been looking at using the closed caption information embedded in line 21 of the video sigal. My goal is to use the captions as they appear in two news channels and compare and contrast the overall word gestalt for each network based on a set of rules on how often words are used and possible how they are used together.

It is no secret that language is tied closely to how we perceive the world. The present administration in Washington has been busy associated words like Freedom, War, Terror, Democracy, Security etc. In every new campaign there is some catch phrase that smacks of policy branding.

So as we hear words being thrown around in the media in staccato sound bites as peppy as an AK-47 we need to have some sort of filtering. What do they words mean used in, and out of context and what methods do we have to discriminate between what we are hearing and what is closer to the truth.

They hardware part of my project starts with Closed Caption Decoders. I have looked around and there seems to be just a few possibilities for sending out the captions:

Build your own from the nifty info on this page:
http://www.brouhaha.com/~eric/pic/caption/

The collection of information on Closed Caption specifications, parts lists including Mouser and Digikey part numbers as well as a schematic and assembly code for the pic make for a pretty good start. I have sent off to mouser and am awaiting my parts. The thing on the site I didn’t see was a picture of the authors prototype.

Buy a Close Caption Decoder box:

These boxes take the signals from line 21 of the video picture that have to do with the caption data and send it out a serial port to a computer. Two that I investigated were the Link Electronics PDR-80, the Text Grabber, and the Soft Touch “MagHubCap”. All are external boxes with serial ports on the back that will send the data out to a computer.

PDR870.jpg
http://www.linkelectronics.com/products/CC/index.htm

textgrabber_2.gif
http://www.textgrabber.com/
Unfortunately this devise was “out of stock” and correspondence went unanswered.

mhc.jpg
http://www.softtouch-inc.com/hubcap.htm


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