Comcast cable box is key to closed captioning on TV

February 26, 2012 12:00 am

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Question: For my family, closed captioning is a must for understandable television and DVD viewing. We have a Vizio HDTV with a Comcast RNG110 cable box. Closed captioning is not working, and Comcast's service personnel have advised us that this lack of closed captioning is not correctable. Can you help?

JAMES H. ANDERL
Saint Paul, Minn.

Answer: I am disappointed that Comcast's employees do not know their equipment better. The solution lies in the cable box itself, which will enable closed captioning for you.

I found a page on eHow that will explain how to activate the closed captioning on your Comcast RNG110 cable box. Go to http://tinyurl.com/7jpyswc and follow the directions you find there. Your closed captioning will be active in no time. Happy viewing!


Question: I have a problem with FM reception on my tuner. I have a Rotel RT-850 from 1986 that has given good sound and good service over many years.

FM worked fine for years, but now the signal can start off strong then degrade down to 0 or 1 indicator bars. The speakers then crackle and cut out. All of the other station buttons yield low signal indicators.

I took the tuner back to my local dealer, who said they ran it for a week without any failures. But back in my house, it isn't working right. I've considered a better antenna, but reviews seem to be all over the map. How can I diagnose and cure this problem, and do you have any suggestions for a good antenna?

MARK POWELL
Minneapolis

Answer: Though the dealer was unable to replicate the problem, it sounds like you do have a problem with the tuner. We can try to get a better signal to the device to be certain, but it may be time to replace the tuner. More on that later.

If you have cable television, call your provider and see if they transmit FM over their lines. Many people are unaware that sometimes you can get good FM just by splitting your TV cable line and connecting it to your tuner. Fewer providers do this these days, but I would contact them to find out.

One of my top low-cost and extremely effective tips is to use an ordinary $10 pair of unamplified TV rabbit ears as an FM antenna. Just go to the department store and get the lowest-priced, most basic pair they have. I cannot overstate the improvement they make over the long wire (dipole) antenna that is included with most receivers. I have found the simple rabbit ears often outperform much more expensive amplified antennas, so why pay more and have something else that needs plugged in?

If you do need a new tuner, I would try Craigslist or even thrift stores. I myself scored a really nice Kenwood tuner with an analog dial for $10 recently. Speaking of which, don't be afraid of analog tuners. Though you do not have the digital presets, you can fine-tune stations better with an analog dial. Finally, if you want to get what was probably the best tuner ever made, try and find a Sony XDR-F1HD on eBay. They were under $100 when new, but now that it is discontinued they can fetch up to $300. Sony, please bring back the XDR-F1HD!


First Published 2012-02-25 23:11:06

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