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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of September 19, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter CPart 79 → Subpart B


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 79—ACCESSIBILITY OF VIDEO PROGRAMMING


Subpart B—Apparatus


Contents
§79.100   Incorporation by reference.
§79.101   Closed caption decoder requirements for analog television receivers.
§79.102   Closed caption decoder requirements for digital television receivers and converter boxes.
§79.103   Closed caption decoder requirements for apparatus.
§79.104   Closed caption decoder requirements for recording devices.
§79.105   Video description and emergency information accessibility requirements for all apparatus.
§79.106   Video description and emergency information accessibility requirements for recording devices.
§79.107   User interfaces provided by digital apparatus.
§79.108   Video programming guides and menus provided by navigation devices.
§79.109   Activating accessibility features.
§79.110   Complaint procedures for user interfaces, menus and guides, and activating accessibility features on digital apparatus and navigation devices.

Source: 78 FR 77251, Dec. 20, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

§79.100   Incorporation by reference.

(a) The materials listed in this section are incorporated by reference in this part. These incorporations by reference were approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. These materials are incorporated as they exist on the date of the approval, and notice of any change in these materials will be published in the Federal Register. The materials are available for purchase at the corresponding addresses as noted, and all are available for inspection at the Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. SW., Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270, and at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal__register/code__of__federal__regulations/ibr__locations.html.

(b) Global Engineering Documents, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112, (800) 854-7179, or at http://global.ihs.com:

(1) EIA-708-B: “Digital Television (DTV) Closed Captioning,” 1999, IBR approved for §79.102.

(2) [Reserved]

(c) Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), 3 Barker Ave., 5th Floor, White Plains, NY 10601, or at the SMPTE Web site: http://www.smpte.org/standards/:

(1) SMPTE ST 2052-1:2010: “Timed Text Format (SMPTE-TT)” 2010, IBR approved for §§79.4 and 79.103.

(2) [Reserved]

[77 FR 19518, Mar. 30, 2012]

§79.101   Closed caption decoder requirements for analog television receivers.

(a)(1) Effective July 1, 1993, all television broadcast receivers with picture screens 33 cm (13 in) or larger in diameter shipped in interstate commerce, manufactured, assembled, or imported from any foreign country into the United States shall comply with the provisions of this section.

Note to paragraph (a)(1): This paragraph places no restriction on the shipping or sale of television receivers that were manufactured before July 1, 1993.

(2) Effective January 1, 2014, all television broadcast receivers shipped in interstate commerce, manufactured, assembled, or imported from any foreign country into the United States shall comply with the provisions of this section, if technically feasible, except that television broadcast receivers that use a picture screen less than 13 inches in size must comply with the provisions of this section only if doing so is achievable pursuant to §79.103(b)(3).

Note to paragraph (a)(2): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of television receivers that were manufactured before January 1, 2014.

(b) Transmission format. Closed-caption information is transmitted on line 21 of field 1 of the vertical blanking interval of television signals, in accordance with §73.682(a)(22) of this chapter.

(c) Operating modes. The television receiver will employ customer-selectable modes of operation for TV and Caption. A third mode of operation, Text, may be included on an optional basis. The Caption and Text Modes may contain data in either of two operating channels, referred to in this document as C1 and C2. The television receiver must decode both C1 and C2 captioning, and must display the captioning for whichever channel the user selects. The TV Mode of operation allows the video to be viewed in its original form. The Caption and Text Modes define one or more areas (called “boxes”) on the screen within which caption or text characters are displayed.

Note: For more information regarding Text mode, see “Television Captioning for the Deaf: Signal and Display Specifications”, Engineering Report No. E-7709-C, Public Broadcasting Service, dated May 1980, and “TeleCaption II Decoder Module Performance Specification”, National Captioning Institute, Inc., dated November 1985. These documents are available, respectively, from the Public Broadcasting Service, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314 and from the National Captioning Institute, Inc., 5203 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.

(d) Screen format. The display area for captioning and text shall fall approximately within the safe caption area as defined in paragraph (n)(12) of this section. This display area will be further divided into 15 character rows of equal height and 32 columns of equal width, to provide accurate placement of text on the screen. Vertically, the display area begins on line 43 and is 195 lines high, ending on line 237 on an interlaced display. All captioning and text shall fall within these established columns and rows. The characters must be displayed clearly separated from the video over which they are placed. In addition, the user must have the capability to select a black background over which the captioned letters are displaced.

(1) Caption mode. In the Caption Mode, text can appear on up to 4 rows simultaneously anywhere on the screen within the defined display area. In addition, a solid space equal to one column width may be placed before the first character and after the last character of each row to enhance legibility. The caption area will be transparent anywhere that either:

(i) No standard space character or other character has been addressed and no accompanying solid space is needed; or,

(ii) An accompanying solid space is used and a “transparent space” special character has been addressed which does not immediately precede or follow a displayed character.

(2) [Reserved]

(e) Presentation format. In analyzing the presentation of characters, it is convenient to think in terms of a non-visible cursor which marks the screen position at which the next event in a given mode and data channel will occur. The receiver remembers the cursor position for each mode even when data are received for a different address in an alternate mode or data channel.

(1) Screen addressing. Two kinds of control codes are used to move the cursor to specific screen locations. In Caption Mode, these addressing codes will affect both row and column positioning. In Text Mode, the codes affect only column positioning. In both modes, the addressing codes are optional. Default positions are defined for each mode and style when no addressing code is provided.

(i) The first type of addressing code is the Preamble Address Code (PAC). It assigns a row number and one of eight “indent” figures. Each successive indent moves the cursor four columns to the right (starting from the left margin). Thus, an indent of 0 places the cursor at Column 1, an indent of 4 sets it at Column 5, etc. The PAC indent is non-destructive to displayable characters. It will not affect the display to the left of the new cursor position on the indicated row. Note that Preamble Address Codes also set initial attributes for the displayable characters which follow. See paragraph (h) of this section and the Preamble Address Code table.

(ii) The second type of addressing code is the Tab Offset, which is one of three Miscellaneous Control Codes. Tab Offset will move the cursor one, two, or three columns to the right. The character cells skipped over will be unaffected; displayable characters in these cells, if any, will remain intact while empty cells will remain empty, in the same manner that a PAC indent is non-destructive.

(2) [Reserved]

(f) Caption Mode. There are three styles of presenting text in Caption Mode: roll-up, pop-on, and paint-on. Character display varies significantly with the style used, but certain rules of character erasure are common to all styles. A character can be erased by addressing another character to the same screen location or by backspacing over the character from a subsequent location on the same row. The entire displayed memory will be erased instantly by receipt of an Erase Displayed Memory command. Both displayed memory and non-displayed memory will be entirely erased simultaneously by either: The user switching receiver channels or data channels (C1/C2) or fields (F1/F2) in decoders so equipped; the loss of valid data (see paragraph (j) of this section); or selecting non-captioning receiver functions which use the display memory of the decoder. Receipt of an End of Caption command will cause a displayed caption to become non-displayed (and vice versa) without being erased from memory. Changing the receiver to a non-captioning mode which does not require use of the decoder's display memory will leave that memory intact, and the decoder will continue to process data as if the caption display were selected.

(1) Roll-up. Roll-up style captioning is initiated by receipt of one of three Miscellaneous Control Codes that determine the maximum number of rows displayed simultaneously, either 2, 3 or 4 contiguous rows. These are the three Roll-Up Caption commands.

(i) The bottom row of the display is known as the “base row”. The cursor always remains on the base row. Rows of text roll upwards into the contiguous rows immediately above the base row to create a “window” 2 to 4 rows high.

(ii) The Roll-Up command, in normal practice, will be followed (not necessarily immediately) by a Preamble Address Code indicating the base row and the horizontal indent position. If no Preamble Address Code is received, the base row will default to Row 15 or, if a roll-up caption is currently displayed, to the same base row last received, and the cursor will be placed at Column 1. If the Preamble Address Code received contains a different base row than that of a currently displayed caption, the entire window will move intact (and without erasing) to the new base row immediately.

(iii) Each time a Carriage Return is received, the text in the top row of the window is erased from memory and from the display or scrolled off the top of the window. The remaining rows of text are each rolled up into the next highest row in the window, leaving the base row blank and ready to accept new text. This roll-up must appear smooth to the user, and must take no more than 0.433 second to complete. The cursor is automatically placed at Column 1 (pending receipt of a Preamble Address Code).

(iv) Increasing or decreasing the number of roll-up rows instantly changes the size of the active display window, appropriately turning on or off the display of the top one or two rows. A row which is turned off should also be erased from memory.

(v) Characters are always displayed immediately when received by the receiver. Once the cursor reaches the 32nd column position on any row, all subsequent characters received prior to a Carriage Return, Preamble Address Code, or Backspace will be displayed in that column replacing any previous character occupying that address.

(vi) The cursor moves automatically one column to the right after each character or Mid-Row Code received. A Backspace will move the cursor one column to the left, erasing the character or Mid-Row Code occupying that location. (A Backspace received when the cursor is in Column 1 will be ignored.)

(vii) The Delete to End of Row command will erase from memory any characters or control codes starting at the current cursor location and in all columns to its right on the same row. If no displayable characters remain on the row after the Delete to End of Row is acted upon, the solid space (if any) for that row should also be erased to conform with the following provisions.

(viii) If a solid space is used for legibility, it should appear when the first displayable character (not a transparent space) or Mid-Row Code is received on a row, not when the Preamble Address Code, if any, is given. A row on which there are no displayable characters or Mid-Row Codes will not display a solid space, even when rolled up between two rows which do display a solid space.

(ix) If the reception of data for a row is interrupted by data for the alternate data channel or for Text Mode, the display of caption text will resume from the same cursor position if a Roll-Up Caption command is received and no Preamble Address Code is given which would move the cursor.

(x) A roll-up caption remains displayed until one of the standard caption erasure techniques is applied. Receipt of a Resume Caption Loading command (for pop-on style) or a Resume Direct Captioning command (for paint-on style) will not affect a roll-up display. Receipt of a Roll-Up Caption command will cause any pop-on or paint-on caption to be erased from displayed memory and non-displayed memory.

(2) Pop-on. Pop-on style captioning is initiated by receipt of a Resume Caption Loading command. Subsequent data are loaded into a non-displayed memory and held there until an End of Caption command is received, at which point the non-displayed memory becomes the displayed memory and vice versa. (This process is often referred to as “flipping memories” and does not automatically erase memory.) An End of Caption command forces the receiver into pop-on style if no Resume Caption Loading command has been received which would do so. The display will be capable of 4 full rows, not necessarily contiguous, simultaneous anywhere on the screen.

(i) Preamble Address Codes can be used to move the cursor around the screen in random order to place captions on Rows 1 to 15. Carriage Returns have no effect on cursor location during caption loading.

(ii) The cursor moves automatically one column to the right after each character or Mid-Row Code received. Receipt of a Backspace will move the cursor one column to the left, erasing the character or Mid-Row Code occupying that location. (A Backspace received when the cursor is in Column 1 will be ignored.) Once the cursor reaches the 32nd column position on any row, all subsequent characters received prior to a Backspace, an End of Caption, or a Preamble Address Code, will replace any previous character at that location.

(iii) The Delete to End of Row command will erase from memory any characters or control codes starting at the current cursor location and in all columns to its right on the same row. If no displayable characters remain on a row after the Delete to End of Row is acted upon, the solid space (if any) for that element should also be erased.

(iv) If data reception is interrupted during caption loading by data for the alternate caption channel or for Text Mode, caption loading will resume at the same cursor position if a Resume Caption Loading command is received and no Preamble Address Code is given that would move the cursor.

(v) Characters remain in non-displayed memory until an End of Caption command flips memories. The caption will be erased without being displayed upon receipt of an Erase Non-Displayed Memory command, a Roll-Up Caption command, or if the user switches receiver channels, data channels or fields, or upon the loss of valid data (see paragraph (j) of this section).

(vi) A pop-on caption, once displayed, remains displayed until one of the standard caption erasure techniques is applied or until a Roll-Up Caption command is received. Characters within a displayed pop-on caption will be replaced by receipt of the Resume Direct Captioning command and paint-on style techniques (see below).

(3) Paint-on. Paint-on style captioning is initiated by receipt of a Resume Direct Captioning command. Subsequent data are addressed immediately to displayed memory without need for an End of Caption command.

(i) Preamble Address Codes can be used to move the cursor around the screen in random order to display captions on Rows 1 to 15. Carriage Returns have no affect on cursor location during direct captioning. The cursor moves automatically one column to the right after each character or Mid-Row Code is received. Receipt of a Backspace will move the cursor one column to the left, erasing the character or Mid-Row Code occupying that location. (A Backspace received when the cursor is in Column 1 will be ignored.) Once the cursor reaches the 32nd column position on any row, all subsequent characters received prior to a Preamble Address Code or Backspace will be displayed in that column replacing any previous character occupying that location.

(ii) The Delete to End of Row command will erase from memory any characters or control codes starting at the current cursor location and in all columns to its right on the same row. If no displayable characters remain on the row after the Delete to End of Row is acted upon, the solid space (if any) for that element should also be erased.

(iii) If the reception of data is interrupted during the direct captioning by data for the alternate caption channel or for Text Mode, the display of caption text will resume at the same cursor position if a Resume Direct Captioning command is received and no Preamble Address Code is given which would move the cursor.

(iv) Characters remain displayed until one of the standard caption erasure techniques is applied or until a Roll-Up Caption command is received. An End of Caption command leaves a paint-on caption fully intact in non-displayed memory. In other words, a paint-on style caption behaves precisely like a pop-on style caption which has been displayed.

(g) Character format. Characters are to be displayed on the screen within a character “cell” which is the height and width of a single row and column. The following codes define the displayable character set. Television receivers manufactured prior to January 1, 1996 and having a character resolution of 5 × 7 dots, or less, may display the allowable alternate characters in the character table. A statement must be in a prominent location on the box or other package in which the receiver is to be marketed, and information must be in the owner's manual, indicating the receiver displays closed captioning in upper case only.

Character Set Table

Special Characters

These require two bytes for each symbol. Each hex code as shown will be preceded by a 11h for data channel 1 or by a 19h for data channel 2. For example: 19h 37h will place a musical note in data channel 2.

HEXExampleAlternateDescription
30®See  note1Registered mark symbol
31°   Degree sign
32 12     12
33¿   Inverse query
34TMSee  note1Trademark symbol
35¢   Cents sign
36£   Pounds Sterling sign
37   Music note
38àALower-case a with grave accent
39   Transparent space
3AèELower-case e with grave accent
3BâALower-case a with circumflex
3CêELower-case e with circumflex
3DîILower-case i with circumflex
3EôOLower-case o with circumflex
3FûULower-case u with circumflex

1Note: The registered and trademark symbols are used to satisfy certain legal requirements. There are various legal ways in which these symbols may be drawn or displayed. For example, the trademark symbol may be drawn with the “T” next to the “M” or over the “M”. It is preferred that the trademark symbol be superscripted, i.e., XYZTM. It is left to each individual manufacturer to interpret these symbols in any way that meets the legal needs of the user.

Standard characters

HEXExampleAlternateDescription
20   Standard space
21!   Exclamation mark
22   Quotation mark
23#   Pounds (number) sign
24$   Dollar sign
25%   Percentage sign
26&   Ampersand
27'   Apostrophe
28(   Open parentheses
29)   Close parentheses
2AáALower-case a with acute accent
2B +    Plus sign
2C,   Comma
2D   Minus (hyphen) sign
2E.   Period
2F/   Slash
300   Zero
311   One
322   Two
333   Three
344   Four
355   Five
366   Six
377   Seven
388   Eight
399   Nine
3A:   Colon
3B;   Semi-colon
3C<   Less than sign
3D=   Equal sign
3E>   Greater than sign
3F?   Question mark
40@   At sign
41A   Upper-case A
42B   Upper-case B
43C   Upper-case C
44D   Upper-case D
45E   Upper-case E
46F   Upper-case F
47G   Upper-case G
48H   Upper-case H
49I   Upper-case I
4AJ   Upper-case J
4BK   Upper-case K
4CL   Upper-case L
4DM   Upper-case M
4EN   Upper-case N
4FO   Upper-case O
50P   Upper-case P
51Q   Upper-case Q
52R   Upper-case R
53S   Upper-case S
54T   Upper-case T
55U   Upper-case U
56V   Upper-case V
57W   Upper-case W
58X   Upper-case X
59Y   Upper-case Y
5AZ   Upper-case Z
5B[   Open bracket
5CéELower-case e with acute accent
5D]   Close bracket
5EíILower-case i with acute accent
5FóOLower-case o with acute accent
60úULower-case u with acute accent
61aALower-case a
62bBLower-case b
63cCLower-case c
64dDLower-case d
65eELower-case e
66fFLower-case f
67gGLower-case g
68hHLower-case h
69iILower-case i
6AjJLower-case j
6BkKLower-case k
6ClLLower-case l
6DmMLower-case m
6EnNLower-case n
6FoOLower-case o
70pPLower-case p
71qQLower-case q
72rRLower-case r
73sSLower-case s
74tTLower-case t
75uULower-case u
76vVLower-case v
77wWLower-case w
78xXLower-case x
79yYLower-case y
7AzZLower-case z
7BçCLower-case c with cedilla
7C ÷    Division sign
7DÑ   Upper-case N with tilde
7EñÑLower-case n with tilde
7F   Solid block

(h) Character Attributes—(1) Transmission of Attributes. A character may be transmitted with any or all of four attributes: Color, italics, underline, and flash. All of these attributes are set by control codes included in the received data. An attribute will remain in effect until changed by another control code or until the end of the row is reached. Each row begins with a control code which sets the color and underline attributes. (White non-underlined is the default display attribute if no Preamble Address Code is received before the first character on an empty row.) Attributes are not affected by transparent spaces within a row.

(i) All Mid-Row Codes and the Flash On command are spacing attributes which appear in the display just as if a standard space (20h) had been received. Preamble Address Codes are non-spacing and will not alter any attributes when used to position the cursor in the midst of a row of characters.

(ii) The color attribute has the highest priority and can only be changed by the Mid-Row Code of another color. Italics has the next highest priority. If characters with both color and italics are desired, the italics Mid-Row Code must follow the color assignment. Any color Mid-Row Code will turn off italics. If the least significant bit of a Preamble Address Code or of a color or italics Mid-Row Code is a 1 (high), underlining is turned on. If that bit is a 0 (low), underlining is off.

(iii) The flash attribute is transmitted as a Miscellaneous Control Code. The Flash On command will not alter the status of the color, italics, or underline attributes. However, any color or italics Mid-Row Code will turn off flash.

(iv) Thus, for example, if a red, italicized, underlined, flashing character is desired, the attributes must be received in the following order: a red Mid-Row or Preamble Address Code, an italics Mid-Row Code with underline bit, and the Flash On command. The character will then be preceded by three spaces (two if red was assigned via a Preamble Address Code).

(2) Display of attributes. The underline attribute will be displayed by drawing a line beneath the character in the same color as the character. The flash attribute will be displayed by causing the character to blink from the display at least once per second. The italic attribute must be capable of being displayed by either a special italic font, or by the modification of the standard font by slanting. The user may be given the option to select other methods of italic display as well. The support of the color attributes is optional. If the color attributes are supported, they will be displayed in the color they have been assigned. If color attributes are not supported, the display may be in color, but all color changes will be ignored.

(i) Control codes. There are three different types of control codes used to identify the format, location, attributes, and display of characters: Preamble Address Codes, Mid-Row Codes, and Miscellaneous Control Codes.

(1) Each control code consists of a pair of bytes which are always transmitted together in a single field of line 21 and which are normally transmitted twice in succession to help insure correct reception of the control instructions. The first of the control code bytes is a non-printing character in the range 10h to 1Fh. The second byte is always a printing character in the range 20h to 7Fh. Any such control code pair received which has not been assigned a function is ignored. If the non-printing character in the pair is in the range 00h to 0Fh, that character alone will be ignored and the second character will be treated normally.

(2) If the second byte of a control code pair does not contain odd parity (see paragraph (j) of this section), then the pair is ignored. The redundant transmission of the pair will be the instruction upon which the receiver acts.

(3) If the first byte of the first transmission of a control code pair fails the parity check, then that byte is inserted into the currently active memory as a solid block character (7Fh) followed by whatever the second byte is. Again, the redundant transmission of the pair will be the controlling instruction.

(4) If the first transmission of a control code pair passes parity, it is acted upon within one video frame. If the next frame contains a perfect repeat of the same pair, the redundant code is ignored. If, however, the next frame contains a different but also valid control code pair, this pair, too, will be acted upon (and the receiver will expect a repeat of this second pair in the next frame). If the first byte of the expected redundant control code pair fails the parity check and the second byte is identical to the second byte in the immediately preceding pair, then the expected redundant code is ignored. If there are printing characters in place of the redundant code, they will be processed normally.

(5) There is provision for decoding a second data channel. The second data channel is encoded with the same control codes and procedures already described. The first byte of every control code pair indicates the data channel (C1/C2) to which the command applies. Control codes which do not match the data channel selected by the user, and all subsequent data related to that control code, are ignored by the receiver.

Mid-Row Codes

Data channel 1Data channel 2Attribute description
11   2019   20White.
11   2119   21White Underline.
11   2219   22Green.
11   2319   23Green Underline.
11   2419   24Blue.
11   2519   25Blue Underline.
11   2619   26Cyan.
11   2719   27Cyan Underline.
11   2819   28Red.
11   2919   29Red Underline.
11   2A19   2AYellow.
11   2B19   2BYellow Underline.
11   2C19   2CMagenta.
11   2D19   2DMagenta Underline.
11   2E19   2EItalics.
11   2F19   2FItalics Underline.

Miscellaneous Control Codes

Data channel 1Data channel 2Mne-
monic
Command description
14   201C   20RCLResume caption loading.
14   211C   21BSBackspace.
14   221C   22AOFReserved (formerly Alarm Off).
14   231C   23AONReserved (formerly Alarm On).
14   241C   24DERDelete to End of Row.
14   251C   25RU2Roll-Up Captions-2 Rows.
14   261C   26RU3Roll-Up Captions-3 Rows.
14   271C   27RU4Roll-Up Captions-4 Rows.
14   281C   28FONFlash On.
14   291C   29RDCResume Direct Captioning.
14   2A1C   2ATRText Restart.
14   2B1C   2BRTDResume Text Display.
14   2C1C   2CEDMErase Displayed Memory.
14   2D1C   2DCRCarriage Return.
14   2E1C   2EENMErase Non-Displayed Memory.
14   2F1C   2FEOCEnd of Caption (Flip Memories).
17   211F   21TO1Tab Offset 1 Column.
17   221F   22TO2Tab Offset 2 Columns.
17   231F   23TO3Tab Offset 3 Columns.

Preamble Address Codes

   Row 1Row 2Row 3Row 4Row 5Row 6Row 7Row 8Row 9Row 10Row 11Row 12Row 13Row 14Row 15
First byte of code pair:
Data Channel 1111112121515161617171013131414
Data Channel 219191A1A1D1D1E1E1F1F181B1B1C1C
Second byte of code pair:
White406040604060406040604040604060
White Underline416141614161416141614141614161
Green426242624262426242624242624262
Green Underline436343634363436343634343634363
Blue446444644464446444644444644464
Blue Underline456545654565456545654545654565
Cyan466646664666466646664646664666
Cyan Underline476747674767476747674747674767
Red486848684868486848684848684868
Red Underline496949694969496949694949694969
Yellow4A6A4A6A4A6A4A6A4A6A4A4A6A4A6A
Yellow Underline4B6B4B6B4B6B4B6B4B6B4B4B684B6B
Magenta4C6C4C6C4C6C4C6C4C6C4C4C6C4C6C
Magenta Underline4D6D4D6D4D6D4D6D4D6D4D4D6D4D6D
White Italics4E6E4E6E4E6E4E6E4E6E4E4E6E4E6E
White Italics Underline4F6F4F6F4F6F4F6F4F6F4F4F6F4F6F
Indent 0507050705070507050705050705070
Indent 0 Underline517151715171517151715151715171
Indent 4527252725272527252725252725272
Indent 4 Underline537353735373537353735353735373
Indent 8547454745474547454745454745474
Indent 8 Underline557555755575557555755555755575
Indent 12567656765676567656765656765676
Indent 12 Underline577757775777577757775757775777
Indent 16587858785878587858785858785878
Indent 16 Underline597959795979597959795959795979
Indent 205A7A5A7A5A7A5A7A5A7A5A5A7A5A7A
Indent 20 Underline5B7B5B7B5B7B5B7B5B7B5B5B7B5B7B
Indent 245C7C5C7C5C7C5C7C5C7C5C5C7C5C7C
Indent 24 Underline5D7D5D7D5D7D5D7D5D7D5D5D7D5D7D
Indent 285E7E5E7E5E7E5E7E5E7E5E5E7E5E7E
Indent 28 Underline5F7F5F7F5F7F5F7F5F7F5F5F7F5F7F

Note: All indent codes (second byte equals 50h-5fh, 70th-7fh) assign white as the color attribute.

(j) Data rejection. The receiver should provide an effective procedure to verify data. A receiver will reject data if the data is invalid, or if the data is directed to the data channel or field not selected by the user. Invalid data is any data that fails to pass a check for odd parity, or which, having passed the parity check, is assigned no function.

(1) If a print character fails to pass a check for parity, a solid block (7Fh) should be displayed in place of the failed character. In addition, valid data can be corrupted in many ways and may not be suitable for display. For example, repeated fields, skipped fields and altered field sequences are all possible from consumer video equipment and might present meaningless captions.

(2) The receiver will ignore data rejected due to being directed to a deselected field or channel. However, this will not cause the display to be disabled.

(k) Automatic display enable/disable. The receiver shall provide an automatic enable/disable capability to prevent the display of invalid or incomplete data, when the user selects the Caption Mode. The display should automatically become enable after the receiver verifies the data as described in paragraph (j) of this section. The display will be automatically disabled when there is a sustained detection of invalid data. The display will be re-enabled when the data verification process has been satisfied once again.

(l) Compatibility with Cable Security Systems. Certain cable television security techniques, such as signal encryption and copy protection, can alter the television signal so that some methods of finding line 21 will not work. In particular, counting of lines or timing from the start of the vertical blanking interval may cause problems. Caption decoding circuitry must function properly when receiving signals from cable security systems that were designed and marketed prior to April 5, 1991. Further information concerning such systems is available from the National Cable Television Association, Inc., Washington, DC, and from the Electronic Industries Association, Washington, DC.

(m) [Reserved]

(n) Glossary of terms. The following terms are used to describe caption decoder specifications:

(1) Base row: The bottom row of a roll-up display. The cursor always remains on the base row. Rows of text roll upwards into the contiguous rows immediately above the base row.

(2) Box: The area surrounding the active character display. In Text Mode, the box is the entire screen area defined for display, whether or not displayable characters appear. In Caption Mode, the box is dynamically redefined by each caption and each element of displayable characters within a caption. The box (or boxes, in the case of a multiple-element caption) includes all the cells of the displayed characters, the non-transparent spaces between them, and one cell at the beginning and end of each row within a caption element in those decoders that use a solid space to improve legibility.

(3) Caption window: The invisible rectangle which defines the top and bottom limits of a roll-up caption. The window can be 2 to 4 rows high. The lowest row of the window is called the base row.

(4) Cell: The discrete screen area in which each displayable character or space may appear. A cell is one row high and one column wide.

(5) Column: One of 32 vertical divisions of the screen, each of equal width, extending approximately across the full width of the safe caption area as defined in paragraph (n)(12) of this section. Two additional columns, one at the left of the screen and one at the right, may be defined for the appearance of a box in those decoders which use a solid space to improve legibility, but no displayable characters may appear in those additional columns. For reference, columns may be numbered 0 to 33, with columns 1 to 32 reserved for displayable characters.

(6) Displayable character: Any letter, number or symbol which is defined for on-screen display, plus the 20h space.

(7) Display disable: To turn off the display of captions or text (and accompanying background) at the receiver, rather than through codes transmitted on line 21 which unconditionally erase the display. The receiver may disable the display because the user selects an alternate mode, e.g., TV Mode, or because no valid line 21 data is present.

(8) Display enable: To allow the display of captions or text when they are transmitted on line 21 and received as valid data. For display to be enabled, the user must have selected Caption Mode or Text Mode, and valid data for the selected mode must be present on line 21.

(9) Element: In a pop-on or paint-on style caption, each contiguous area of cells containing displayable characters and non-transparent spaces between those characters. A single caption may have multiple elements. An element is not necessarily a perfect rectangle, but may include rows of differing widths.

(10) Erase Display: In Caption Mode, to clear the screen of all characters (and accompanying background) in response to codes transmitted on line 21. (The caption service provider can accomplish the erasure either by sending an Erase Displayed Memory command or by sending an Erase Non-Displayed Memory command followed by an End of Caption command, effectively making a blank caption “appear”.) Display can also be erased by the receiver when the caption memory erasure conditions are met, such as the user changing TV channels.

(11) Row: One of 15 horizontal divisions of the screen, extending across the full height of the safe caption area as defined in paragraph (n)(12) of this section.

(12) Safe caption area: The area of the television picture within which captioning and text shall be displayed to ensure visibility of the information on the majority of home television receivers. The safe caption area is specified as shown in the following figure:

eCFR graphic ec03jn91.009.gif

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The dimensions of the above figure shall be as follows:

LabelDimensionsPercent of television picture height
ATelevision picture height100.0
BTelevision picture width133.33
CHeight of safe caption area80.0
DWidth of safe caption area106.67
EVertical position of safe caption area10.0
FHorizontal position of safe caption area13.33

(13) Special characters: Displayable characters (except for “transparent space”) which require a two-byte sequence of one non-printing and one printing character. The non-printing byte varies depending on the data channel. Regular characters require unique one-byte codes which are the same in either data channel.

(14) Text: When written with an upper-case “T”, refers to the Text Mode. When written with a lower-case “t”, refers to any combination of displayable characters.

(15) Transparent space: Transmitted as a special character, it is a one-column-wide space behind which program video is always visible (except when a transparent space immediately precedes or follows a displayable character and solid box is needed to make that character legible).

[56 FR 27201, June 13, 1991, as amended at 57 FR 19094, May 4, 1992; 58 FR 44893, Aug. 25, 1993. Redesignated and amended at 77 FR 19515, 19518, Mar. 30, 2012; 78 FR 39627, July 2, 2013; 78 FR 77251, Dec. 20, 2013]

§79.102   Closed caption decoder requirements for digital television receivers and converter boxes.

(a)(1) Effective July 1, 2002, all digital television receivers with picture screens in the 4:3 aspect ratio with picture screens measuring 13 inches or larger diagonally, all digital television receivers with picture screens in the 16:9 aspect ratio measuring 7.8 inches or larger vertically and all separately sold DTV tuners shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the United States shall comply with the provisions of this section.

Note to paragraph (a)(1): This paragraph places no restrictions on the shipping or sale of digital television receivers that were manufactured before July 1, 2002.

(2) Effective July 1, 2002, DTV converter boxes that allow digitally transmitted television signals to be displayed on analog receivers shall pass available analog caption information to the attached receiver in a form recognizable by that receiver's built-in caption decoder circuitry.

Note to paragraph (a)(2): This paragraph places no restrictions on the shipping or sale of DTV converter boxes that were manufactured before July 1, 2002.

(3) Effective January 1, 2014, all digital television receivers and all separately sold DTV tuners shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the United States shall comply with the provisions of this section, if technically feasible, except that digital television receivers that use a picture screens less than 13 inches in size must comply with the provisions of this section only if doing so is achievable pursuant to §79.103(b)(3).

Note to paragraph (a)(3): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of digital television receivers and separately sold DTV tuners that were manufactured before January 1, 2014.

(b) Digital television receivers and tuners must be capable of decoding closed captioning information that is delivered pursuant to EIA-708-B: “Digital Television (DTV) Closed Captioning” (incorporated by reference, see §79.100).

(c) Services. (1) Decoders must be capable of decoding and processing data for the six standard services, Caption Service #1 through Caption Service #6.

(2) Decoders that rely on Program and System Information Protocol data to implement closed captioning functions must be capable of decoding and processing the Caption Service Directory data. Such decoders must be capable of decoding all Caption Channel Block Headers consisting of Standard Service Headers, Extended Service Block Headers, and Null Block headers. However, decoding of the data is required only for Standard Service Blocks (Service IDs <-6), and then only if the characters for the corresponding language are supported. The decoders must be able to display the directory for services 1 through 6.

(d) Code space organization. (1) Decoders must support Code Space C0, G0, C1, and G1 in their entirety.

eCFR graphic er29se00.000.gif

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(2) The following characters within code space G2 must be supported:

(i) Transparent space (TSP).

(ii) Non-breaking transparent space (NBTSP).

(iii) Solid block ( ).

(iv) Trademark symbol (TM).

(v) Latin-1 characters Š, Œ, š, œ, Ÿ.

(3) The substitutions in Table 2 are to be made if a decoder does not support the remaining G2 characters.

Table 2—G2 Character Substitution Table

G2 Character Substitute with
Open single quote (‘), G2 char code 0 × 31G0 single quote (‘), char code 0 × 27
Close single quote (’), G2 char code 0 × 32G0 single quote (’), char code 0 × 27
Open double quote (“), G2 char code 0 × 33G0 double quote (“), char code 0 × 22
Close double quote (”), G2 char code 0 × 34G0 double quote (”), char code 0 × 22
Bold bullet (), G2 char code 0 × 35G1 bullet (), char code 0 × B7
Elipsis (.  .  .), G2 char code 0 × 25G0 underscore (__), char code 0 × 5F
One-eighth ( 18 ), G2 char code 0 × 76G0 percent sign (%), char code 0 × 25
Three-eighths ( 38 ), G2 char code 0 × 77G0 percent sign (%), char code 0 × 25
Five-eighths ( 58 ), G2 char code 0 × 78G0 percent sign (%), char code 0 × 25
Seven-eighths ( 78 ), G2 char code 0 × 79G0 percent sign (%), char code 0 × 25
Vertical border (|), G2 char code 0 × 7AG0 stroke (|), char code 0 × 7C
Upper-right border (⌉), G2 char code 0 × 7BG0 dash (-), char code 0 × 2D
Lower-left border (⌊), G2 char code 0 × 7CG0 dash (-), char code 0 × 2D
Horizontal border (—), G2 char code 0 × 7DG0 dash (-), char code 0 × 2D
Lower-right border (⌋), G2 char code 0 × 7EG0 dash (-), char code 0 × 2D
Upper-left border (⌈), G2 char code 0 × 7FG0 dash (-), char code 0 × 2D

(4) Support for code spaces C2, C3, and G3 is optional. All unsupported graphic symbols in the G3 code space are to be substituted with the G0 underscore character (__), char code 0 × 5F.

(e) Screen coordinates. Table 3 specifies the screen coordinate resolutions and limits for anchor point positioning in 4:3 and 16:9 display formats, and the number of characters per row.

Table 3—Screen Coordinate Resolutions and Limits

Screen aspect ratio Maximum anchor position resolution Minimum anchor position resolution Maximum displayed rows Maximum characters per row
4:375v × 160h15v × 32h432
16:975v × 210h15v × 42h442
Other75v × (5 × H)15v × H*41

1H = 32 × (the width of the screen in relation to a 4:3 display). For example, the 16:9 format is 13 wider than a 4:3 display; thus, H = 32 * 43 = 42.667, or 42.

(1) This means that the minimum grid resolution for a 4:3 aspect ratio instrument is 15 vertical positions × 32 horizontal positions. This minimum grid resolution for 16:9 ratio instrument is 15 vertical positions × 42 horizontal positions. These minimum grid sizes are to cover the entire safe-title area of the corresponding screen.

(2) The minimum coordinates equate to a 15 reduction in the maximum horizontal and vertical grid resolution coordinates. Caption providers are to use the maximum coordinate system values when specifying anchor point positions. Decoders using the minimum resolution are to divide the provided horizontal and vertical screen coordinates by 5 to derive the equivalent minimum coordinates.

(3) Any caption targeted for both 4:3 and 16:9 instruments is limited to 32 contiguous characters per row. If a caption is received by a 4:3 instrument that is targeted for a 16:9 display only, or requires a window width greater than 32 characters, then the caption may be completely disregarded by the decoder. 16:9 instruments should be able to process and display captions intended for 4:3 displays, providing all other minimum recommendations are met.

(4) If the resulting size of any window is larger than the safe title area for the corresponding display's aspect ratio, then this window will be completely disregarded.

(f) Caption windows. (1) Decoders need to display no more than 4 rows of captions on the screen at any given time, regardless of the number of windows displayed. This implies that no more than 4 windows can be displayed at any given time (with each having only one caption row). However, decoders should maintain storage to support a minimum total of 8 rows of captions. This storage is needed for the worst-case support of a displayed window with 4 rows of captioning and a non-displayed window which is buffering the incoming rows for the next 4-row caption. As implied above, the maximum number of windows that may be displayed at any one time by a minimum decoder implementation is 4. If more than 4 windows are defined in the caption stream, the decoder may disregard the youngest and lowest priority window definition(s). Caption providers must be aware of this limitation, and either restrict the total number of windows used or accept that some windows will not be displayed.

(2) Decoders do not need to support overlapped windows. If a window overlaps another window, the overlapped window need not be displayed by the decoder.

(3) At a minimum, decoders will assume that all windows have rows and columns “locked”. This implies that if a decoder implements the SMALL pen-size, then word-“un”wrapping, when shrinking captions, need not be implemented. Also, if a decoder implements the LARGE pen size, then word wrapping (when enlarging captions) need not be implemented.

(4) Whenever possible, the receiver should render embedded carriage returns as line breaks, since these carriage returns indicate an important aspect of the caption's formatting as determined by the service provider. However, it may sometimes be necessary for the receiver to ignore embedded line breaks. For example, if a caption is to appear in a larger font, and if its window's rows and/or columns are unlocked, the rows of text may need to become longer or shorter to fit within the allocated space. Such automatic reformatting of a caption is known as “word wrap.” If decoders support word-wrapping, it must be implemented as follows:

(i) The receiver should follow standard typographic practice when implementing word wrap. Potential breaking points (word-wrapping points) are indicated by the space character (20h) and by the hyphen character (2Dh).

(ii) If a row is to be broken at a space, the receiver should remove the space from the caption display. If a row is to be broken after a hyphen, the hyphen should be retained.

(iii) If an embedded return is to be removed, it should usually be replaced with a space. However, if the character to the left of the embedded return is a hyphen, the embedded return should be removed but NOT replaced with a space.

(iv) This specification does not include optional hyphens, nor does it provide for any form of automatic hyphenation. No non-breaking hyphen is defined. The non-breaking space (A0h in the G1 code set) and the non-breaking transparent space (21h in the G2 code set) should not be considered as potential line breaks.

(v) If a single word exceeds the length of a row, the word should be placed at the start of a new row, broken at the character following the last character that fits on the row, and continued with further breaks if needed.

(g) Window text painting. (1) All decoders should implement “left”, “right”, and “center” caption-text justification. Implementation of “full” justification is optional. If “full” justification is not implemented, fully justified captions should be treated as though they are “left” justified.

(i) For “left” justification, decoders should display any portion of a received row of text when it is received. For “center”, “right”, and “full” justification, decoders may display any portion of a received row of text when it is received, or may delay display of a received row of text until reception of a row completion indicator. A row completion indicator is defined as receipt of a CR, ETX or any other command, except SetPenColor, SetPenAttributes, or SetPenLocation where the pen relocation is within the same row.

(ii) Receipt of a character for a displayed row which already contains text with “center”, “right” or “full” justification will cause the row to be cleared prior to the display of the newly received character and any subsequent characters. Receipt of a justification command which changes the last received justification for a given window will cause the window to be cleared.

(2) At a minimum, decoders must support LEFT__TO__RIGHT printing.

(3) At a minimum, decoders must support BOTTOM__TO__TOP scrolling. For windows sharing the same horizontal scan lines on the display, scrolling may be disabled.

(4) At a minimum, decoders must support the same recommended practices for scroll rate as is provided for NTSC closed-captioning.

(5) At a minimum, decoders must support the same recommended practices for smooth scrolling as is provided for NTSC closed-captioning.

(6) At a minimum, decoders must implement the “snap” window display effect. If the window “fade” and “wipe” effects are not implemented, then the decoder will “snap” all windows when they are to be displayed, and the “effect speed” parameter is ignored.

(h) Window colors and borders. At a minimum, decoders must implement borderless windows with solid, black backgrounds (i.e., border type = NONE, fill color = (0,0,0), fill opacity = SOLID), and borderless transparent windows (i.e., border type = NONE, fill opacity = TRANSPARENT).

(i) Predefined window and pen styles. Predefined Window Style and Pen Style ID's may be provided in the DefineWindow command. At a minimum, decoders should implement Predefined Window Attribute Style 1 and Predefined Pen Attribute Style 1, as shown in Table 4 and Table 5, respectively.

Table 4—Predefined Window Style ID's

Style ID #Justify Print direction Scroll
direction
Word wrap Display
effect
Effect
direction
Effect
speed
Fill color Fill opacity Border type Border color Usage
1LeftLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topNoSnapn/an/a(0,0,0) BlackSolidNonen/aNTSC Style PopUp Captions
2LeftLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topNoSnapn/an/an/aTransparentNonen/aPopUp Captions w/o Black Background
3CntrLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topNoSnapn/an/a(0,0,0) BlackSolidNonen/aNTSC Style Centered PopUp Captions
4LeftLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topYesSnapn/an/a(0,0,0) BlackSolidNonen/aNTSC Style RollUp Captions
5LeftLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topYesSnapn/an/an/aTransparentNonen/aRollUp Captions w/o Black Background
6CntrLeft-to-rightBottom-to-topYesSnapn/an/a(0,0,0) BlackSolidNonen/aNTSC Style Centered RollUp Captions
7LeftTop-to-bottomRight-to-leftNoSnapn/an/a(0,0,0) BlackSolidNonen/aTicker Tape

Table 5—Predefined Pen Style ID's

Predefined style ID Pen size Font style Offset Italics Underline Edge type Foregrnd color Foregrnd opacity Backgrnd color Backgrnd opacity Edge color Usage
1Stndr0NormalNoNoNone(2,2,2) WhiteSolid(0,0,0) BlackSolidn/aDefault NTSC Style*
2Stndr1NormalNoNoNone(2,2,2)Solid(0,0,0) WhiteSolidn/aNTSC Style* Mono w/Serif
3Stndr2NormalNoNoNone(2,2,2) WhiteSolid(0,0,0) BlackSolidn/aNTSC Style* Prop w/ Serif
4Stndr3NormalNoNoNone(2,2,2) WhiteSolid(0,0,0) BlackSolidn/aNTSC Style* Mono w/o Serif
5Stndr4NormalNoNoNone(2,2,2) WhiteSolid(0,0,0) BlackSolidn/aNTSC Style* Prop w/o Serif
6Stndr3NormalNoNoUnifrm(2,2,2) WhiteSolidn/aTransparent(0,0,0) BlackMono w/o Serif, Bordered Text, No BG
7Stndr4NormalNoNoUnifrm(2,2,2) WhiteSolidn/aTransparent(0,0,0) BlackProp. w/o Serif, Bordered Text, No BG

*“NTSC Style”—White Text on Black Background

(j) Pen size. (1) Decoders must support the standard, large, and small pen sizes and must allow the caption provider to choose a pen size and allow the viewer to choose an alternative size. The STANDARD pen size should be implemented such that the height of the tallest character in any implemented font is no taller than 115 of the height of the safe-title area, and the width of the widest character is no wider than 132 of the width of the safe-title area for 4:3 displays and 142 of the safe-title area width for 16:9 displays.

(2) The LARGE pen size should be implemented such that the width of the widest character in any implemented font is no wider than 132 of the safe-title area for 16:9 displays. This recommendation allows for captions to grow to a LARGE pen size without having to reformat the caption since no caption will have more than 32 characters per row.

(k) Font styles. (1) Decoders must support the eight fonts listed below. Caption providers may specify 1 of these 8 font styles to be used to write caption text. The styles specified in the “font style” parameter of the SetPenAttributes command are numbered from 0 through 7. The following is a list of the 8 required font styles. For information purposes only, each font style references one or more popular fonts which embody the characteristics of the style:

(i) 0—Default (undefined)

(ii) 1—Monospaced with serifs (similar to Courier)

(iii) 2—Proportionally spaced with serifs (similar to Times New Roman)

(iv) 3—Monospaced without serifs (similar to Helvetica Monospaced)

(v) 4—Proportionally spaced without serifs (similar to Arial and Swiss)

(vi) 5—Casual font type (similar to Dom and Impress)

(vii) 6—Cursive font type (similar to Coronet and Marigold)

(viii) 7—Small capitals (similar to Engravers Gothic)

(2) Font styles may be implemented in any typeface which the decoder manufacturer deems to be a readable rendition of the font style, and need not be in the exact typefaces given in the example above. Decoders must include the ability for consumers to choose among the eight fonts. The decoder must display the font chosen by the caption provider unless the viewer chooses a different font.

(l) Character offsetting. Decoders need not implement the character offsetting (i.e., subscript and superscript) pen attributes.

(m) Pen styles. At a minimum, decoders must implement normal, italic, and underline pen styles.

(n) Foreground color and opacity. (1) At a minimum, decoders must implement transparent, translucent, solid and flashing character foreground type attributes.

(2) At a minimum, decoders must implement the following character foreground colors: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan.

(3) Caption providers may specify the color/opacity. Decoders must include the ability for consumers to choose among the color/opacity options. The decoder must display the color/opacity chosen by the caption provider unless the viewer chooses otherwise.

(o) Background color and opacity. (1) Decoders must implement the following background colors: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan. It is recommended that this background is extended beyond the character foreground to a degree that the foreground is separated from the underlying video by a sufficient number of background pixels to insure the foreground is separated from the background.

(2) Decoders must implement transparent, translucent, solid and flashing background type attributes. Caption providers may specify the color/opacity. Decoders must include the ability for consumers to choose among the color/opacity options. The decoder must display the color/opacity chosen by the caption provider unless the viewer chooses otherwise.

(p) Character edges. Decoders must implement separate edge color and type attribute control.

(q) Color representation. (1) At a minimum, decoders must support the 8 colors listed in Table 6.

Table 6—Minimum Color List Table

Color Red Green Blue
Black000
White222
Red200
Green020
Blue002
Yellow220
Magenta202
Cyan022

(2)(i) When a decoder supporting this Minimum Color List receives an RGB value not in the list, it will map the received value to one of the values in the list via the following algorithm:

(A) All one (1) values are to be changed to 0.

(B) All two (2) values are to remain unchanged.

(C) All three (3) values are to be changed to 2.

(ii) For example, the RGB value (1,2,3) will be mapped to (0,2,2), (3,3,3) will be mapped to (2,2,2) and (1,1,1) will be mapped to (0,0,0).

(3) Table 7 is an alternative minimum color list table supporting 22 colors.

Table 7—Alternative Minimum Color List Table

Color Red Green Blue
Black000
Gray111
White222
Bright White333
Dark Red100
Red200
Bright Red300
Dark Green010
Green020
Bright Green030
Dark Blue001
Blue002
Bright Blue003
Dark Yellow110
Yellow220
Bright Yellow330
Dark Magenta101
Magenta202
Bright Magenta303
Dark Cyan011
Cyan022
Bright Cyan033

(i) When a decoder supporting the Alternative Minimum Color List in Table 7 receives an RGB value not in the list (i.e., an RGB value whose non-zero elements are not the same value), it will map the received value to one of the values in the list via the following algorithm:

(A) For RGB values with all elements non-zero and different—e.g., (1,2,3), (3,2,1), and (2,1,3), the 1 value will be changed to 0, the 2 value will remain unchanged, and the 3 value will be changed to 2.

(B) For RGB values with all elements non-zero and with two common elements—e.g., (3,1,3), (2,1,2), and (2,2,3), if the common elements are 3 and the uncommon one is 1, then the 1 elements is changed to 0; e.g. (3,1,3) → (3,0,3). If the common elements are 1 and the uncommon element is 3, then the 1 elements are changed to 0, and the 3 element is changed to 2; e.g. (1,3,1) → (0,2,0). In all other cases, the uncommon element is changed to the common value; e.g., (2,2,3) → (2,2,2), (1,2,1) → (1,1,1), and (3,2,3) → (3,3,3).

(ii) All decoders not supporting either one of the two color lists described above, must support the full 64 possible RGB color value combinations.

(r) Character rendition considerations. In NTSC Closed Captioning, decoders were required to insert leading and trailing spaces on each caption row. There were two reasons for this requirement:

(1) To provide a buffer so that the first and last characters of a caption row do not fall outside the safe title area, and

(2) To provide a black border on each side of a character so that the “white” leading pixels of the first character on a row and the trailing “white” pixels of the last character on a row do not bleed into the underlying video.

(i) Since caption windows are required to reside in the safe title area of the DTV screen, reason 1 (above) is not applicable to DTVCC captions.

(ii) The attributes available in the SetPenAttributes command for character rendition (e.g., character background and edge attributes) provide unlimited flexibility to the caption provider when describing caption text in an ideal decoder implementation. However, manufacturers need not implement all pen attributes. Thus it is recommended that no matter what the level of implementation, decoder manufacturers should take into account the readability of all caption text against a variety of all video backgrounds, and should implement some automatic character delineation when the individual control of character foreground, background and edge is not supported.

(s) Service synchronization. Service Input Buffers must be at least 128 bytes in size. Caption providers must keep this lower limit in mind when following Delay commands with other commands and window text. In other words, no more than 128 bytes of DTVCC commands and text should be transmitted (encoded) before a pending Delay command's delay interval expires.

(t) Settings. Decoders must include an option that permits a viewer to choose a setting that will display captions as intended by the caption provider (a default). Decoders must also include an option that allows a viewer's chosen settings to remain until the viewer chooses to alter these settings, including periods when the television is turned off.

[65 FR 58471, Sept. 29, 2000, as amended at 69 FR 2849, Jan. 21, 2004. Redesignated and amended at 77 FR 19515, 19518, Mar. 30, 2012; 78 FR 39627, July 2, 2013]

§79.103   Closed caption decoder requirements for apparatus.

(a) Effective January 1, 2014, all digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound, if such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States and uses a picture screen of any size must be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability designed to display closed-captioned video programming pursuant to the provisions of this section, if technically feasible, except that apparatus that use a picture screen less than 13 inches in size must comply with the provisions of this section only if doing so is achievable as defined in this section.

Note 1 to paragraph (a): Apparatus includes the physical device and the video player(s) capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers install into the devices they manufacture before sale, whether in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of both, as well as any video players capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers direct consumers to install after sale.

Note 2 to paragraph (a): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of apparatus that were manufactured before January 1, 2014.

(b) Exempt apparatus—(1) Display-only monitors. Apparatus or class of apparatus that are display-only video monitors with no playback capability are not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(2) Professional or commercial equipment. Apparatus or class of apparatus that are professional or commercial equipment not typically used by the public are not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(3)(i) Achievable. Manufacturers of apparatus that use a picture screen of less than 13 inches in size may petition the Commission for a full or partial exemption from the closed captioning requirements of this section pursuant to §1.41 of this chapter, which the Commission may grant upon a finding that the requirements of this section are not achievable, or may assert that such apparatus is fully or partially exempt as a response to a complaint, which the Commission may dismiss upon a finding that the requirements of this section are not achievable.

(ii) The petitioner or respondent must support a petition for exemption or a response to a complaint with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable” where “achievable” means with reasonable effort or expense. The Commission will consider the following factors when determining whether the requirements of this section are not “achievable:”

(A) The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the requirements of this section with respect to the specific equipment or service in question;

(B) The technical and economic impact on the operation of the manufacturer or provider and on the operation of the specific equipment or service in question, including on the development and deployment of new communications technologies;

(C) The type of operations of the manufacturer or provider; and

(D) The extent to which the service provider or manufacturer in question offers accessible services or equipment containing varying degrees of functionality and features, and offered at differing price points.

(4) Waiver. Manufacturers of apparatus may petition the Commission for a full or partial waiver of the closed captioning requirements of this section, which the Commission may grant, upon a finding that the apparatus meets one of the following provisions:

(i) The apparatus is primarily designed for activities other than receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound; or

(ii) The apparatus is designed for multiple purposes, capable of receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound but whose essential utility is derived from other purposes.

(c) Specific technical capabilities. All apparatus subject to this section shall implement the following captioning functionality:

(1) Presentation. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that the caption text may be displayed within one or separate caption windows and supporting the following modes: text that appears all at once (pop-on), text that scrolls up as new text appears (roll-up), and text where each new letter or word is displayed as it arrives (paint-on).

(2) Character color. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that characters may be displayed in the 64 colors defined in CEA-708 and such that users are provided with the ability to override the authored color for characters and select from a palette of at least 8 colors including: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, and cyan.

(3) Character opacity. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that users are provided with the ability to vary the opacity of captioned text and select between opaque and semi-transparent opacities.

(4) Character size. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that users are provided with the ability to vary the size of captioned text and shall provide a range of such sizes from 50% of the default character size to 200% of the default character size.

(5) Fonts. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that fonts are available to implement the eight fonts required by CEA-708 and §79.102(k). Users must be provided with the ability to assign the fonts included on their apparatus as the default font for each of the eight styles contained in §79.102(k).

(6) Caption background color and opacity. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that the caption background may be displayed in the 64 colors defined in CEA-708 and such that users are provided with the ability to override the authored color for the caption background and select from a palette of at least 8 colors including: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, and cyan. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that users are provided with the ability to vary the opacity of the caption background and select between opaque, semi-transparent, and transparent background opacities.

(7) Character edge attributes. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that character edge attributes may be displayed and users are provided the ability to select character edge attributes including: no edge attribute, raised edges, depressed edges, uniform edges, and drop shadowed edges.

(8) Caption window color. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that the caption window color may be displayed in the 64 colors defined in CEA-708 and such that users are provided with the ability to override the authored color for the caption window and select from a palette of at least 8 colors including: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, and cyan. All apparatus shall implement captioning such that users are provided with the ability to vary the opacity of the caption window and select between opaque, semi-transparent, and transparent background opacities.

(9) Language. All apparatus must implement the ability to select between caption tracks in additional languages when such tracks are present and provide the ability for the user to select simplified or reduced captions when such captions are available and identify such a caption track as “easy reader.”

(10) Preview and setting retention. All apparatus must provide the ability for the user to preview default and user selection of the caption features required by this section, and must retain such settings as the default caption configuration until changed by the user.

(11) Safe Harbor. Apparatus which implement Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Timed Text format (SMPTE ST 2052-1:2010 incorporated by reference, see §79.100) with respect to the functionality in paragraphs (c)(1) through (10) of this section shall be deemed in compliance with paragraph (c) of this section.

Note to paragraph (c): Where video programming providers or distributors subject to §79.4 of this part display or render captions, they shall implement the functional requirements contained in paragraphs (c)(1) through (10) of this section unless doing so is economically burdensome as defined in §79.4(d).

(d) Interconnection. All video outputs of covered apparatus shall be capable of conveying from the source device to the consumer equipment the information necessary to permit or render the display of closed captions.

[77 FR 19518, Mar. 30, 2012, as amended at 78 FR 39628, July 2, 2013]

§79.104   Closed caption decoder requirements for recording devices.

(a) Effective January 1, 2014, all apparatus designed to record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound, if such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, must comply with the provisions of this section except that apparatus must only do so if it is achievable as defined in §79.103(b)(3).

Note to paragraph (a): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of apparatus that were manufactured before January 1, 2014.

(b) All apparatus subject to this section must enable the rendering or the pass through of closed captions such that viewers are able to activate and de-activate the closed captions as the video programming is played back as described in §79.103(c).

(c) All apparatus subject to this section must comply with the interconnection mechanism requirements in §79.103(d).

[77 FR 19520, Mar. 30, 2012, as amended at 78 FR 39628, July 2, 2013]

§79.105   Video description and emergency information accessibility requirements for all apparatus.

(a) Effective May 26, 2015, all apparatus that is designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that is provided by entities subject to §§79.2 and 79.3, is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, and uses a picture screen of any size, must have the capability to decode and make available the secondary audio stream if technically feasible, unless otherwise provided in this section, which will facilitate the following services:

(1) The transmission and delivery of video description services as required by §79.3; and

(2) Emergency information (as that term is defined in §79.2) in a manner that is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Note 1 to paragraph (a): Apparatus includes the physical device and the video player(s) capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers install into the devices they manufacture before sale, whether in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of both, as well as any video players capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers direct consumers to install after sale.

Note 2 to paragraph (a): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of apparatus that were manufactured before May 26, 2015.

(b) Exempt apparatus—(1) Display-only monitors. Apparatus or class of apparatus that are display-only video monitors with no playback capability are not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(2) Professional or commercial equipment. Apparatus or class of apparatus that are professional or commercial equipment not typically used by the public are not required to comply with the provisions of this section.

(3)(i) Achievable. Apparatus that use a picture screen of less than 13 inches in size must comply with the provisions of this section only if doing so is achievable as defined in this section. Manufacturers of apparatus that use a picture screen of less than 13 inches in size may petition the Commission for a full or partial exemption from the video description and emergency information requirements of this section pursuant to §1.41 of this chapter, which the Commission may grant upon a finding that the requirements of this section are not achievable, or may assert that such apparatus is fully or partially exempt as a response to a complaint, which the Commission may dismiss upon a finding that the requirements of this section are not achievable.

(ii) The petitioner or respondent must support a petition for exemption or a response to a complaint with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable” where “achievable” means with reasonable effort or expense. The Commission will consider the following factors when determining whether the requirements of this section are not “achievable:”

(A) The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the requirements of this section with respect to the specific equipment or service in question;

(B) The technical and economic impact on the operation of the manufacturer or provider and on the operation of the specific equipment or service in question, including on the development and deployment of new communications technologies;

(C) The type of operations of the manufacturer or provider; and

(D) The extent to which the service provider or manufacturer in question offers accessible services or equipment containing varying degrees of functionality and features, and offered at differing price points.

(4) Waiver. Manufacturers of apparatus may petition the Commission for a full or partial waiver of the requirements of this section, which the Commission may grant upon a finding that the apparatus meets one of the following provisions:

(i) The apparatus is primarily designed for activities other than receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound; or

(ii) The apparatus is designed for multiple purposes, capable of receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound but whose essential utility is derived from other purposes.

(c) Interconnection. Covered apparatus shall use interconnection mechanisms that make available the audio provided via a secondary audio stream.

(d) Beginning December 20, 2016, all apparatus subject to this section must provide a simple and easy to use mechanism for activating the secondary audio stream for audible emergency information.

Note to paragraph (d): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of navigation devices that were manufactured before December 20, 2016.

[78 FR 31798, May 24, 2013, as amended at 80 FR 39715, July 10, 2015]

§79.106   Video description and emergency information accessibility requirements for recording devices.

(a) Effective May 26, 2015, all apparatus that is designed to record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that is provided by entities subject to §§79.2 and 79.3 and is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States, must comply with the provisions of this section except that apparatus must only do so if it is achievable as defined in §79.105(b)(3).

Note 1 to paragraph (a): Apparatus includes the physical device and the video player(s) capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers install into the devices they manufacture before sale, whether in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of both, as well as any video players capable of displaying video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers direct consumers to install after sale.

Note 2 to paragraph (a): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of apparatus that were manufactured before May 26, 2015.

(b) All apparatus subject to this section must enable the presentation or the pass through of the secondary audio stream, which will facilitate the provision of video description signals and emergency information (as that term is defined in §79.2) such that viewers are able to activate and de-activate the video description as the video programming is played back on a picture screen of any size.

(c) All apparatus subject to this section must comply with the interconnection mechanism requirements in §79.105(c).

[78 FR 31798, May 24, 2013]

§79.107   User interfaces provided by digital apparatus.

(a)(1) A manufacturer of digital apparatus manufactured in or imported for use in the United States and designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously with sound, including apparatus designed to receive or display video programming transmitted in digital format using Internet protocol, must ensure that digital apparatus be designed, developed, and fabricated so that control of appropriate built-in functions included in the digital apparatus are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Digital apparatus do not include navigation devices as defined in §76.1200 of this chapter. Manufacturers must comply with the provisions of this section only if achievable as defined in §79.107(c)(2).

Note 1 to paragraph (a)(1): The term digital apparatus as used in this section includes the physical device and the video player(s) capable of displaying video programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously with sound that manufacturers install into the devices they manufacture before sale, whether in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of both, as well as any video players capable of displaying video programming in digital format transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers direct consumers to install after sale. The term software includes third-party applications that are pre-installed on a device by the manufacturer or that the manufacturer directs consumers to install after sale.

Note 2 to paragraph (a)(1): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of digital apparatus manufactured before the applicable compliance deadline for this section.

(2) If on-screen text menus or other visual indicators built in to the digital apparatus are used to access the appropriate built-in apparatus functions, manufacturers of the digital apparatus must ensure that those functions are accompanied by audio output that is either integrated or peripheral to the digital apparatus, so that such menus or indicators are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired in real time.

(3) For appropriate built-in digital apparatus functions that are not accessed through on screen text menus or other visual indicators, i.e., those that are not required to be accompanied by audio output in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section, manufacturers of digital apparatus must make such functions accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired by ensuring that the input, control, and mechanical functions are locatable, identifiable, and operable in accordance with each of the following, assessed independently:

(i) Operable without vision. The digital apparatus must provide at least one mode that does not require user vision.

(ii) Operable with low vision and limited or no hearing. The digital apparatus must provide at least one mode that permits operation by users with visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200, without relying on audio output.

(iii) Operable with little or no color perception. The digital apparatus must provide at least one mode that does not require user color perception.

(4) Appropriate built-in apparatus functions are those functions that are used for receiving, playing back, or displaying video programming, and include the following functions:

(i) Power On/Off. Function that allows the user to turn the device on or off.

(ii) Volume Adjust and Mute. Function that allows the user to adjust the volume and to mute or un-mute the volume.

(iii) Channel/Program Selection. Function that allows the user to select channels and programs (e.g., via physical numeric or channel up/channel down buttons or via on screen guides and menus).

(iv) Display Channel/Program Information. Function that allows the user to display channel or program information.

(v) Configuration—Setup. Function that allows the user to access and change configuration or setup options (e.g., configuration of video display and audio settings, selection of preferred language for onscreen guides or menus, etc.).

(vi) Configuration—CC Control. Function that allows the user to enable or disable the display of closed captioning.

(vii) Configuration—CC Options. Function that allows the user to modify the display of closed caption data (e.g., configuration of the font size, font color, background color, opacity, etc.).

(viii) Configuration—Video Description Control. Function that allows the user to enable or disable the output of video description (i.e., allows the user to change from the main audio to the secondary audio stream that contains video description, and from the secondary audio stream back to the main audio).

(ix) Display Configuration Info. Function that allows the user to display how user preferences are currently configured.

(x) Playback Functions. Function that allows the user to control playback functions (e.g., pause, play, rewind, fast forward, stop, and record).

(xi) Input Selection. Function that allows the user to select their preferred input source.

(5) As used in this section, the term “usable” shall mean that individuals with disabilities have access to information and documentation on the full functionalities of digital apparatus, including instructions, product information (including accessible feature information), documentation, bills, and technical support which are provided to individuals without disabilities.

(b) Compliance deadline. Compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2016; except that compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2021 for the following digital apparatus:

(1) Display-only monitors and video projectors;

(2) Devices that are primarily designed to capture and display still and/or moving images consisting of consumer generated media, or of other images that are not video programming as defined under §79.4(a)(1) of this part, and that have limited capability to display video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound; and

(3) Devices that are primarily designed to display still images and that have limited capability to display video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound.

(c)(1) Achievable. Manufacturers of digital apparatus:

(i) May file a petition seeking a determination from the Commission, pursuant to §1.41 of this chapter, that compliance with the requirements of this section is not achievable, which the Commission may grant upon a finding that such compliance is not achievable, or

(ii) May raise as a defense to a complaint or Commission enforcement action that a particular digital apparatus does not comply with the requirements of this section because compliance was not achievable, and the Commission may dismiss a complaint or Commission enforcement action upon a finding that such compliance is not achievable.

(2) The petitioner or respondent must support a petition filed pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section or a response to a complaint or Commission enforcement action with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable.” “Achievable” means with reasonable effort or expense. The Commission will consider the following factors when determining whether compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable” under the factors set out in 47 U.S.C. 617(g):

(i) The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the requirements of this section with respect to the specific equipment or service in question;

(ii) The technical and economic impact on the operation of the manufacturer or provider and on the operation of the specific equipment or service in question, including on the development and deployment of new communications technologies;

(iii) The type of operations of the manufacturer or provider; and

(iv) The extent to which the service provider or manufacturer in question offers accessible services or equipment containing varying degrees of functionality and features, and offered at differing price points.

(d)(1) Information, documentation, and training. Manufacturers of digital apparatus shall ensure access to information and documentation it provides to its customers, if achievable. Such information and documentation includes user guides, bills, installation guides for end-user installable devices, and product support communications, regarding both the product in general and the accessibility features of the product. Manufacturers shall take such other achievable steps as necessary including:

(i) Providing a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of the product upon request, including, as needed, in alternate formats or alternate modes at no additional charge;

(ii) Providing end-user product documentation in alternate formats or alternate modes upon request at no additional charge; and

(iii) Ensuring usable customer support and technical support in the call centers and service centers which support their products at no additional charge.

(2) Manufacturers of digital apparatus shall include in general product information the contact method for obtaining the information required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(3) In developing, or incorporating existing training programs, manufacturers of digital apparatus shall consider the following topics:

(i) Accessibility requirements of individuals with disabilities;

(ii) Means of communicating with individuals with disabilities;

(iii) Commonly used adaptive technology used with the manufacturer's products;

(iv) Designing for accessibility; and

(v) Solutions for accessibility and compatibility.

(e) Notices. Digital apparatus manufacturers must notify consumers that digital apparatus with the required accessibility features are available to consumers as follows: A digital apparatus manufacturer must provide notice on its official Web site about the availability of accessible digital apparatus. A digital apparatus manufacturer must prominently display information about accessible digital apparatus on its Web site in a way that makes such information available to all consumers. The notice must publicize the availability of accessible devices and the specific person, office or entity who can answer consumer questions about which products contain the required accessibility features. The contact office or person listed on the Web site must be able to answer both general and specific questions about the availability of accessible equipment, including, if necessary, providing information to consumers or directing consumers to a place where they can locate information about how to activate and use accessibility features. All information required by this section must be provided in a Web site format that is accessible to people with disabilities.

[78 FR 77251, Dec. 20, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 5936, Feb. 4, 2016]

§79.108   Video programming guides and menus provided by navigation devices.

(a)(1) Manufacturers that place navigation devices, as defined by §76.1200 of this chapter, into the chain of commerce for purchase by consumers, and multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) as defined by §76.1200 of this chapter that lease or sell such devices must ensure that the on-screen text menus and guides provided by navigation devices for the display or selection of multichannel video programming are audibly accessible in real time upon request by individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Manufacturers and MVPDs must comply with the provisions of this section only if doing so is achievable as defined in §79.108(c)(2).

Note 1 to paragraph (a)(1): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of navigation devices manufactured before the applicable compliance deadline for this section.

Note 2 to paragraph (a)(1): In determining whether a particular device is considered a “navigation device” subject to the requirements of this section, the Commission will look to the device's built-in functionality at the time of manufacture.

(2) The following functions are used for the display or selection of multichannel video programming and must be made audibly accessible by manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section when included in a navigation device and accessed through on-screen text menus or guides:

(i) Channel/Program Selection. Function that allows the user to select channels and programs (e.g., via physical numeric or channel up/channel down buttons or via on screen guides and menus).

(ii) Display Channel/Program Information. Function that allows the user to display channel or program information.

(iii) Configuration—Setup. Function that allows the user to access and change configuration or setup options (e.g., configuration of video display and audio settings, selection of preferred language for onscreen guides or menus, etc.).

(iv) Configuration—CC Control. Function that allows the user to enable or disable the display of closed captioning.

(v) Configuration—CC Options. Function that allows the user to modify the display of closed caption data (e.g., configuration of the font size, font color, background color, opacity, etc.).

(vi) Configuration—Video Description Control. Function that allows the user to enable or disable the output of video description (i.e., allows the user to change from the main audio to the secondary audio stream that contains video description, and from the secondary audio stream back to the main audio).

(vii) Display Configuration Info. Function that allows the user to display how user preferences are currently configured.

(viii) Playback Functions. Function that allows the user to control playback functions (e.g., pause, play, rewind, fast forward, stop, and record).

(ix) Input Selection. Function that allows the user to select their preferred input source.

(3) Manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section must ensure that the following functions are made accessible, as defined by §79.107(a)(3), to individuals who are blind or visually impaired:

(i) Power On/Off. Function that allows the user to turn the device on or off.

(ii) Volume Adjust and Mute. Function that allows the user to adjust the volume and to mute or un-mute the volume.

(4) With respect to navigation device features and functions:

(i) Delivered in software, the requirements set forth in this section shall apply to the manufacturer of such software; and

(ii) Delivered in hardware, the requirements set forth in this section shall apply to the manufacturer of such hardware.

(5) Manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section must permit a requesting blind or visually impaired individual to request an accessible navigation device through any means that such covered entities generally use to make available navigation devices to other consumers. Any such means must not be more burdensome to a requesting blind or visually impaired individual than the means required for other consumers to obtain navigation devices. A manufacturer that provides navigation devices at retail to requesting blind or visually impaired consumers must make a good faith effort to have retailers make available compliant navigation devices to the same extent they make available navigation devices to other consumers generally.

(6) Manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section must provide an accessible navigation device to a requesting blind or visually impaired individual within a reasonable time, defined as a time period comparable to the time that such covered entities generally provide navigation devices to other consumers.

(7) Compliance through the use of separate equipment or software. Manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section may comply with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section through the use of software, a peripheral device, specialized consumer premises equipment, a network-based service or other solution, and shall have maximum flexibility to select the manner of compliance. An entity that chooses to comply with paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section through the use of separate equipment or software must:

(i) Ensure that any software, peripheral device, equipment, service or solution relied upon achieves the accessibility required by this section. If a navigation device has any functions that are required to be made accessible pursuant to this section, any separate solution must make all of those functions accessible or enable the accessibility of those functions.

(ii) Provide any software, peripheral device, equipment, service or solution in a manner that is not more burdensome to a requesting blind or visually impaired individual than the manner in which such entity generally provides navigation devices to other consumers.

(iii) Provide any software, peripheral device, equipment, service or solution at no additional charge.

(iv) Provide any software, peripheral device, equipment, service or solution within a reasonable time, defined as a time period comparable to the time that such entity generally provides navigation devices to other consumers.

(8) Manufacturers of navigation devices and MVPDs covered by this section shall only be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this section with respect to navigation devices that such covered entities provide to a requesting blind or visually impaired individual.

(b) Compliance deadline. Compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2016; except that compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2018 for the following covered entities:

(1) MVPD operators with 400,000 or fewer subscribers as of year-end 2012; and

(2) MVPD systems with 20,000 or fewer subscribers that are not affiliated with an operator serving more than 10 percent of all MVPD subscribers as of year-end 2012.

(c)(1) Achievable. MVPDs and manufacturers of navigation device hardware or software:

(i) May file a petition seeking a determination from the Commission, pursuant to §1.41 of this chapter, that compliance with the requirements of this section is not achievable, which the Commission may grant upon a finding that such compliance is not achievable, or

(ii) May raise as a defense to a complaint or Commission enforcement action that a particular navigation device does not comply with the requirements of this section because compliance was not achievable, and the Commission may dismiss a complaint or Commission enforcement action upon a finding that such compliance is not achievable.

(2) The petitioner or respondent must support a petition filed pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section or a response to a complaint or Commission enforcement action with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable.” “Achievable” means with reasonable effort or expense. The Commission will consider the following factors when determining whether compliance with the requirements of this section is not “achievable” under the factors set out in 47 U.S.C. 617(g):

(i) The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the requirements of this section with respect to the specific equipment or service in question;

(ii) The technical and economic impact on the operation of the manufacturer or provider and on the operation of the specific equipment or service in question, including on the development and deployment of new communications technologies;

(iii) The type of operations of the manufacturer or provider; and

(iv) The extent to which the service provider or manufacturer in question offers accessible services or equipment containing varying degrees of functionality and features, and offered at differing price points.

(d)(1) MVPD notices. Covered MVPDs must notify consumers that navigation devices with the required accessibility features are available to consumers who are blind or visually impaired upon request as follows:

(i) When providing information about equipment options in response to a consumer inquiry about service, accessibility, or other issues, MVPDs must clearly and conspicuously inform consumers about the availability of accessible navigation devices.

(ii) MVPDs must provide notice on their official Web sites about the availability of accessible navigation devices. MVPDs must prominently display information about accessible navigation devices and separate solutions on their Web sites in a way that makes such information available to all current and potential subscribers. The notice must publicize the availability of accessible devices and separate solutions and explain the means for making requests for accessible equipment and the specific person, office or entity to whom such requests are to be made. The contact office or person listed on the Web site must be able to answer both general and specific questions about the availability of accessible equipment, including, if necessary, providing information to consumers or directing consumers to a place where they can locate information about how to activate and use accessibility features. All information required by this section must be provided in a Web site format that is accessible to people with disabilities.

(2) Manufacturer notices. Navigation device manufacturers must notify consumers that navigation devices with the required accessibility features are available to consumers who are blind or visually impaired upon request as follows: A navigation device manufacturer must provide notice on its official Web site about the availability of accessible navigation devices. A navigation device manufacturer must prominently display information about accessible navigation devices and separate solutions on its Web site in a way that makes such information available to all consumers. The notice must publicize the availability of accessible devices and separate solutions and explain the means for making requests for accessible equipment and the specific person, office or entity to whom such requests are to be made. The contact office or person listed on the Web site must be able to answer both general and specific questions about the availability of accessible equipment, including, if necessary, providing information to consumers or directing consumers to a place where they can locate information about how to activate and use accessibility features. All information required by this section must be provided in a Web site format that is accessible to people with disabilities.

(e) Verification of eligibility. Entities covered by this section may only require consumer verification of eligibility as an individual who is blind or visually impaired to the extent the entity chooses to rely on an accessibility solution that involves providing the consumer with sophisticated equipment and/or services at a price that is lower than that offered to the general public. In this situation, entities covered by this section must allow a consumer to provide a wide array of documentation to verify eligibility for the accessibility solution provided. Entities covered by this section that choose to require verification of eligibility must comply with the requirements of 47 U.S.C. 338(i)(4)(A) and 47 U.S.C. 631(c)(1) to protect personal information gathered from consumers through their verification procedures.

(f)(1) Information, documentation, and training. MVPDs and manufacturers of navigation devices shall ensure access to information and documentation it provides to its customers, if achievable. Such information and documentation includes user guides, bills, installation guides for end-user installable devices, and product support communications, regarding both the product in general and the accessibility features of the product. MVPDs and manufacturers of navigation devices shall take such other achievable steps as necessary including:

(i) Providing a description of the accessibility and compatibility features of the product upon request, including, as needed, in alternate formats or alternate modes at no additional charge;

(ii) Providing end-user product documentation in alternate formats or alternate modes upon request at no additional charge; and

(iii) Ensuring usable customer support and technical support in the call centers and service centers which support their products at no additional charge.

(2) MVPDs and manufacturers of navigation devices shall include in general product information the contact method for obtaining the information required by paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(3) In developing, or incorporating existing training programs, MVPDs and manufacturers of navigation devices shall consider the following topics:

(i) Accessibility requirements of individuals with disabilities;

(ii) Means of communicating with individuals with disabilities;

(iii) Commonly used adaptive technology used with the manufacturer's products;

(iv) Designing for accessibility; and

(v) Solutions for accessibility and compatibility.

(4) If a consumer with a disability requests an accessible navigation device pursuant to Section 205, this also constitutes a request for a description of the accessibility features of the device and end-user product documentation in accessible formats.

[78 FR 77251, Dec. 20, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 5936, Feb. 4, 2016]

§79.109   Activating accessibility features.

(a) Requirements applicable to digital apparatus. (1) Manufacturers of digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously with sound, including apparatus designed to receive or display video programming transmitted in digital format using Internet protocol, with built-in closed-captioning capability must ensure that closed captioning can be activated through a mechanism that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon. Digital apparatus do not include navigation devices as defined in §76.1200 of this chapter.

(2) Manufacturers of digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously with sound, including apparatus designed to receive or display video programming transmitted in digital format using Internet protocol, with built-in video description capability must ensure that video description can be activated through a mechanism that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon. Digital apparatus do not include navigation devices as defined in §76.1200 of this chapter.

Note 1 to paragraph (a): The term digital apparatus includes the physical device and the video player(s) capable of displaying video programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously with sound that manufacturers install into the devices they manufacture before sale, whether in the form of hardware, software, or a combination of both, as well as any video players capable of displaying video programming in digital format transmitted simultaneously with sound that manufacturers direct consumers to install after sale. The term software includes third-party applications that are pre-installed on a device by the manufacturer or that the manufacturer directs consumers to install after sale.

Note 2 to paragraph (a): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of digital apparatus manufactured before the applicable compliance deadline for this section.

(b) Requirements applicable to navigation devices. Manufacturers that place navigation devices, as defined in §76.1200 of this chapter, into the chain of commerce for purchase by consumers, and MVPDs that lease or sell such navigation devices with built in closed-captioning capability must ensure that closed captioning can be activated through a mechanism that is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon.

Note 1 to paragraph (b): In determining whether a particular device is considered a “navigation device” subject to the requirements of this section, the Commission will look to the device's built-in functionality at the time of manufacture.

Note 2 to paragraph (b): This paragraph places no restrictions on the importing, shipping, or sale of navigation devices manufactured before the applicable compliance deadline for this section.

(c) Compliance deadline. Compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2016; except that compliance with the requirements of this section is required no later than December 20, 2018 for the following covered entities: (1) MVPD operators with 400,000 or fewer subscribers as of year-end 2012; and (2) MVPD systems with 20,000 or fewer subscribers that are not affiliated with an operator serving more than 10 percent of all MVPD subscribers as of year-end 2012.

§79.110   Complaint procedures for user interfaces, menus and guides, and activating accessibility features on digital apparatus and navigation devices.

(a) Complaints concerning an alleged violation of the requirements of §79.107, §79.108, or §79.109 must be filed in accordance with this section. For purposes of this section, a covered entity is the entity or entities responsible for compliance with §79.107, §79.108, or §79.109.

(1) Complaints must be filed with the Commission or with the covered entity within 60 days after the date the complainant experiences a problem relating to compliance with the requirements of §79.107, §79.108, or §79.109. A complaint filed with the Commission may be transmitted to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau by any reasonable means, such as the Commission's online informal complaint filing system, letter, facsimile, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), email, or some other method that would best accommodate the complainant's disability.

(2) A complaint should include the following information:

(i) The complainant's name, address, and other contact information, such as telephone number and email address;

(ii) The name and contact information of the covered entity;

(iii) Information sufficient to identify the software or digital apparatus/navigation device used;

(iv) The date or dates on which the complainant purchased, acquired, or used, or tried to purchase, acquire, or use the digital apparatus/navigation device;

(v) A statement of facts sufficient to show that the covered entity has violated, or is violating, the Commission's rules;

(vi) The specific relief or satisfaction sought by the complainant;

(vii) The complainant's preferred format or method of response to the complaint; and

(viii) If a complaint pursuant to §79.108, the date that the complainant requested an accessible navigation device and the person or entity to whom that request was directed.

(3) If a complaint is filed first with the Commission, the Commission will forward a complaint satisfying the above requirements to the named covered entity for its response, as well as to any other entity that Commission staff determines may be involved. The covered entity or entities must respond in writing to the Commission and the complainant within 30 days after receipt of the complaint from the Commission.

(4) If a complaint is filed first with the covered entity, the covered entity must respond in writing to the complainant within 30 days after receipt of a complaint. If the covered entity fails to respond to the complainant within 30 days, or the response does not satisfy the consumer, the complainant may file the complaint with the Commission within 30 days after the time allotted for the covered entity to respond. If the consumer subsequently files the complaint with the Commission (after filing with the covered entity) and the complaint satisfies the above requirements in paragraph 2 of this section, the Commission will forward the complaint to the named covered entity for its response, as well as to any other entity that Commission staff determines may be involved. The covered entity must then respond in writing to the Commission and the complainant within 30 days after receipt of the complaint from the Commission.

(5) In response to a complaint, the covered entity must file with the Commission sufficient records and documentation to prove that it was (and remains) in compliance with the Commission's rules. Conclusory or insufficiently supported assertions of compliance will not carry the covered entity's burden of proof. If the covered entity admits that it was not, or is not, in compliance with the Commission's rules, it must file with the Commission sufficient records and documentation to explain the reasons for its noncompliance, show what remedial steps it has taken or will take, and show why such steps have been or will be sufficient to remediate the problem.

(6) The Commission will review all relevant information provided by the complainant and the covered entity, as well as any additional information the Commission deems relevant from its files or public sources. The Commission may request additional information from any relevant parties when, in the estimation of Commission staff, such information is needed to investigate the complaint or adjudicate potential violations of Commission rules. When the Commission requests additional information, parties to which such requests are addressed must provide the requested information in the manner and within the time period the Commission specifies.

(7) If the Commission finds that a covered entity has violated the requirements of §§79.107, 79.108, or 79.109, it may employ the full range of sanctions and remedies available under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, against any or all of the violators.

(b) Contact information. A covered entity must make contact information available for the receipt and handling of complaints. The contact information required must include the name of a person with primary responsibility for accessibility compliance issues. This contact information must also include that person's title or office, telephone number, fax number, postal mailing address, and email address. A covered entity must keep this information current and update it within 10 business days of any change.

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