Rear Window Captioning vs. Open Captioned

30 03 2005

Rear Window CaptioningOpen Captioned technology have been around long time – probably since Captioned Media Program (CMP) launched in 60’s or 70’s. I remember my deaf parent received three sets of 35mm movies by mail at home once every two weeks then pass to another deaf family. It’s all free. We enjoyed it very much. I will never forget all those old times.

Note: Captioned Media Program changed its name of program few years ago due to reflect of media format change over years. They now serve all kinds of format such as VHS, DVD, etc.

Today, open-captioned technology isn’t widely popular like in 70’s but it’s still around today especially with InSight Cinema – nonprofit organization that offers open-captioned on certain movies at selective theater nationwide.

To learn more about InSight Cinema, go to

Of course, closed-captioned have been pretty much replaced old open-captioned technology because of easily to read (black background) and as well as widely available on all televisions and VHS/DVD formats.

Anyway, Rear Window Captioning technology (RWC) is relatively new in our deaf community today. Of course, RWC technology has its own advantage and disadvantage. No questions about it.

In my opinion, RWC is going be theater-wide system in near future but it depends how deaf community react to it like we have lawsuit right now in New Jersey which they support all technologies – not just one kind.

To learn more about New Jersey lawsuit, go to

Rear Window® Captioning (RWC) and DVS Theatrical®, developed by The Media Access Group at WGBH, make theaters accessible to audiences with disabilities. This site provides information to consumers, industry members and others interested in learning more about motion picture access.

To learn more about it, go to

What’s so bad thing about RWC technology?

1. Can be difficult to adjust thru mirror “lamp” to view the movie correctly. It can be problem when you move a lot and it make noisy sometime.
2. Annoying other viewers.
3. Some people complained that they cannot see it very good. The RWC readability can be small depending on how they see it.
4. Limited numbers of mirror “lamp” at each theater.

What’s good thing about RWC technology?

1. Relatively cheap way to deliver to all newest movies in the market.
2. It can be available within couple of weeks compared to open-captioned. (usually 2 months later)
3. Still meet ADA law since it is reasonable cost and ability to install easily into their system.
4. RWC seems to be widely available than any other captioned system right now.

Personally, I’ve seen and used both technologies many times in the past. I usually don’t mind with RWC because I want to see newest movie rather than wait till open captioned arrived or rent/purchase DVD movies. I think most of people will agree with me. That’s one of the biggest issues that I know of.

InSight Cinema has been in business for more than five years and they have loyal people there which are good news. Unfortunately, their delivery time is terrible and it is not their fault either. Also, their scheduling seems to be same all the times.

For example, they always host open-captioned movie at Grapevine Mill (near Dallas, Texas) which is about 45 minutes away from my house. They always schedule open-captioned movie on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Sure, I am getting sick of it because they never had one on Friday or Saturday for long time. This is my biggest turnoff.

Bottom line, it’s good to know we have both technologies available everywhere in USA where people can enjoy at real theater more often and get out of house too! Same time, we are expecting them to get improve time delivery and availability at more theater near your home.

Area theaters get latest captioning technology: Click here.
Theater adds captioning system for newly released films: Click here.

Grant W. Laird, Jr.

Sunset on Easter Day

28 03 2005

Easter Sunset

Click picture to view bigger version.

Beautiful sunset on Easter Day.

Grant W. Laird, Jr.