Monday, October 13, 2008

Closed Caption for Yesterday's News

We've all been there. Busy loud public place with big screen TV's within an eye shot of your seat or perhaps you are home and having a hard time hearing the audio on your own TV. Capitalizing on the Closed Caption (CC) on the bottom of the screen is a perfect solution to ignore the rest of the world and still get your media fix.

But we seem to settle for this mediocre technology as cutting edge. This was designed to help the hearing impaired, right? But I know I'd be insulted if I was hearing impaired and the CC assumed I can't read faster than 5 words per minute (wpm). Why am I watching a story on a dying manatee on way to Florida, but reading about Palin's campaign snafu? (um...that didn't come out right)

I see the 5-day forecast is up on CNN this morning but the (cc) is telling me the Dodgers and Phillies have no love lost between each other in the NLCS. Can someone speed this scrolling version of INFORMATION KARAOKE up to at least a 4th grade reading level?

I can ignore the misspellings of hard to pronounce proper nouns. It is a machine, not an interpreter. Gee, I thought it was Sen. Joe Bitemen for a little while too until I saw his name in print. Yes, Lithuania does sound like Robin Meade has a lisp, but when she is talking about a fuzzy fruit and I'm reading about last night's talk show banter on George Bush, I get a little confused. CC is supposed to assist the comprehension of the story, not cause apprehension.

Let's settle for the opposite, shall we? Have the words scroll one news story in advance so we can decide if we want to stay and watch about a father and son in West Virgina rescued from a river or ignore it all together knowing in advance from the CC they were trying to see if a toilet seat would work as a rescue ring.

It's all about choice, options and decisions on TV and I don't want to see a headline that says, "The world to end at 7:30 today" to only see a Dancing with Stars Promo for 8:00 on my screen. I deserve a better way to die. Don't you?

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