Comcast DTA Glitch Has Closed-Caption Users Seeing Double

A bug in some of the digital terminal adapters Comcast has been giving to customers as part of its Project Cavalry digital-conversion initiative causes the devices to display closed-captioning text incorrectly.

The Thomson DTAs supplied by Comcast repeat characters in closed captions in two-letter segments, according to messages posted by Comcast customers on a BroadbandReports discussion forum. For example, "effective" was displayed as "efeffefectctivive e."

In a statement sent to Multichannel News, Comcast said, "We recently began deploying Thomson DTAs and are aware of this issue that some customers may be experiencing. We have been working with Thomson and have a software fix that we'll be rolling out to correct this."

Thomson declined to comment, deferring to Comcast's statement.

DTAs are sub-$50 devices that are designed to convert a digital program lineup into analog format. Comcast is using the DTAs to eliminate the analog simulcasts of 30 to 50 channels from expanded basic, freeing up as much as 300 MHz of spectrum for new HD, DOCSIS 3.0 "wideband" and other services.

Comcast has branded Project Cavalry as "The World of More" in its communications with customers. The operator has deployed DTAs in markets including Portland, Ore., Washington state, Philadelphia, suburban Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Under the digital-conversion program, expanded basic customers are eligible to receive one free digital set-top and two DTAs; each additional DTA is $1.99 per month. Current digital customers with expanded basic also may obtain two free DTAs for their additional outlets.