We went to the Regal in Plymouth Meeting today to try out the Sony closed captioning system in use at Regal Theatres, directed there by the wealth of information on CaptionFish. The movie was Ice Age – Continental Drift, but I’m commenting on the Sony system more than the movie.
The Sony system uses special eyeglasses that display the text. I was concerned about “accommodation”, the need to focus your eyes on the text close to you alternately with the distant screen. This turned out not to be a problem, as the Sony system uses a holographic system, the operation of which I don’t understand, that displays the text virtually at a distance.
There is a receiver module that you wear on a neck strap, connected by a thin cable to the glasses.
When we bought our tickets and requested the CC device, they were promptly provided, without any sort of security deposit required, but with only minimal instruction as to its use.
The Sony glasses weight about 3 ounces. Doesn’t sound like much, but my own (tri-focal) glasses weigh about an ounce, and of course I needed both of them, total 4 ounces, a rather clumsy collection of hardware on my face and ears. Fortunately we did not choose the 3-D version; that would have required a third set of glasses!
Apart from those comments, the system worked fairly well. It took a bit of getting used to the fact that the captioning moves if you move your head. You learn to position the captioning in the dark space below the screen.
I learned from the Sony data sheet (link below) that you can adjust the virtual focus distance and the brightness of the text; this was not mentioned when I got the glasses..
Here’s a link to information on the Sony glasses:
Sony Closed Caption
Also not mentioned at check-out was the audio function of the system. You can plug headphones, and presumably a neckloop, into the receiver module, and control its volume.
About Ice Age, I guess it was aimed at a somewhat younger audience. Much of the imagery seemed to be aimed at showing off 3-D effects. There have been contemporary animated movies that I would watch again, e.g. Up, but this one is not in that category. (Here a special plug for hearing-impaired viewers: The Triplets of Belleville, an animated film by Sylvain Chomet [he’s French] that I’ve watched many times. It has and needs no captioning.)
Nowe I’m looking forward to trying out the CaptiView system at regional theaters. Also Rear Window, although according to CaptionFish, I’ll have to travel further for this one.
Captioning guru Alan Kutner tells me that the Sony glasses have a slot that will accept the filter for 3-D viewing, so a third set of glasses is not needed.