Last week I went to a movie theater to test another type of closed captioning equipment. Previously, I had tested the Sony Entertainment Access Glasses available at Regal Cinemas. You place the glasses on your head (of course) and captions appear in the lenses. The captions move as your head moves.
This system was different. The CCR-100 from USL, Inc. looks somewhat like a ViewMaster on a stick. It’s designed to fit inside the cup holders in movie theater seats. A long stem leads up to a viewing box where the subtitles appear. The stem is sturdy but flexible, so that the viewer box can be adjusted to the proper angle, location, and height in front of the viewer.
CCR-100 in cup holder
In a previous blog post, I introduced Re-Resolver, our experimental software preservation project in which we attempt to recreate the classic, but no longer functional iOS app Resolver by analyzing its features and rewriting the app from scratch. Re-Resolver is open source and available on GitHub, and will be made available on the app store later this summer.
With the project, we are exploring this method of software preservation to find questions. Is this really preservation, or is it something else? Is this method worth the effort?
In this blog entry I’ll focus specifically on one unexpected dilemma that came up while trying to duplicate the original app: the conflict between accessibility and authenticity.
This week I learned more about how captions work at the movie theater. I went to a Regal cinema and saw the new Ghostbusters (2016) movie.
The captions at the theater aren’t projected on the screen, where everyone would be able to see them, and possibly be distracted by them. (The exception, of course, is for foreign language films that have been subtitled – though subtitles typically don’t describe other audio effects and music, while captions for the deaf and hard of hearing will contain descriptions of important sounds). Theaters that offer captions typically have special equipment available to support this feature.
Update 2016-08-15: The DC Deaf Moviegoers group has informed me that words on the screen are also an option.