Archive for November, 2021

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LG CI OLED TV and Foxtel Ultra HD (4K)

November 21, 2021

Another blog post for future me… and for anyone else in this situation.

I’d heard about a bug in LG C1 OLED TVs made from Sept 2021 that didn’t allow 4K content to play in 4K (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifkarBLgnWw). The gamers were up in arms. But as I’m not a gamer, I didn’t think it applied to me. However, I do have Foxtel and an IQ4 box, which is designed for 4K/ultra HD. So I checked if I could play a 4K movie from the dedicated Foxtel channel for these. Nope. I got an error message that my TV was incompatible (error F0446, details and troubleshooting here: https://www.foxtel.com.au/support/technical-support/error-code-troubleshooting/iq4/f0446.html). So I waited for the software update to roll out from LG and tried again. I still got the same error message.

I went back to Vincent Teoh’s original video (Vincent is just awesome, and funny too!) and found he had created a new one just for the bug fix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI-ebazGJ4I), where he said you may have to change a couple of other things on your TV too. I tried those but still kept getting 4K error message on Foxtel. Based on previous experiences I really didn’t want to call Foxtel support…

So I went back to Foxtel’s troubleshooting pages for this error and stared working my way through the suggested solutions. Some I just couldn’t do on my TV as I couldn’t find the relevant settings. But there were also some suggested changes to the Foxtel IQ4 box you could make through Advanced Settings, and it was there I found the solution under their Step 3 (https://www.foxtel.com.au/support/technical-support/error-code-troubleshooting/iq4/f0446/connected-to-tv.html).

My picture settings were set to 1080p, so I changed it to 2160p (as per Step 3) and as soon as I did, I could view the ultra HD Foxtel channels!

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Impact as a verb versus affect and effect

November 13, 2021

I’ve had the delightful privilege of hearing Canadian James Harbeck speak at several ACES (editing) conferences in the US. His passion is language and its origins, and his presentations have left me in awe of that passion, his knowledge and understanding, as well as his ability to speak in old and middle English to illustrate his points. So it was with delight that I read his recent post on using impact as a verb: https://sesquiotic.com/2021/11/09/impact/

As someone who edits environmental impact statements, plans, and reports, impact is a word that’s used OFTEN. I certainly don’t have the problem with it that other editors and writers have, and in many cases, in the context of the documents I edit, affect or effect just wouldn’t work.

If you want to spend a couple of hours learning about the quirks of language, take a look at some of James’ other posts. There’s an index to his posts on specific words here: https://sesquiotic.com/word-tasting-note-index/ and to his articles here: https://sesquiotic.com/article-index/

 

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LG CI OLED TV: Changing how the subtitles display

November 12, 2021

This information is for me in case I ever need to do this again.

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This week we replaced out 12-year-old not-very-smart-TV (55″ Samsung) with a you-beaut 77″ LG CI OLED. It has a LOT of settings, but one that’s pretty hidden and hardly touched on in the online help is subtitles—all I could find was how to turn them on or off (under the Accessibility settings). I went down a rabbit hole of modifying SRT (subtitle) files for those programs that had them, but with no joy. The subtitles displayed in a large white font in the lower half of the screen. A bit of Googling suggested that changing the SRT format to ASS might help as there was more you could do with the ASS subtitle file, like changing its position on the screen, putting an opaque box behind the subtitles etc. It was easy enough to change the file format using the free Subtitle Edit program, and easy enough to interpret and modify the code (especially with the help of this website: https://fileformats.fandom.com/wiki/SubStation_Alpha). However, almost all the forums etc. suggested that while this might work for subtitles displayed on your computer (e.g. playing through VLC player), most TVs had their own settings and these overrode anything you might set in the subtitle files. Great. I hadn’t found any settings that might change the subtitle display, only the one for turning them on an off.

So I did some testing…

  • I played a program without its accompanying SRT file to see if the subtitles were embedded in the program—they weren’t. With no subtitle file, there were no subtitles.
  • With the SRT file, the subtitles displayed, but none of the changes I’d made to the font colour were shown.
  • I removed the SRT file and replaced it with an ASS file that I’d modified in Subtitle Edit to change the colour of the text, add an opaque block behind the text, and shift the subtitles to the top of the screen. The subtitles displayed fine, but not with ANY of the settings I’d changed—they were still in largish white text and partway up from the bottom of the screen.

Finally, I decided to see if there was anything at all in the on-screen playback controls for the program. With this TV, you have to press any button or shake the remote to get the basic playback controls (rewind, pause, fast forward, plus a timeline). Underneath were instructions to scroll down to find more controls. I hadn’t done that, so gave it a try. And there on the far left of the extra controls was an icon for subtitles!

And when I clicked it, I got all sorts of things I could set! I could change the text colour to one of about 6 different colours (I chose yellow—white is hopeless on a white background), I could set the font size to something smaller (I think I went with the smallest—it’s still easy enough to read on this large screen), and I could set the position of the subtitles, to a degree. The default position is 0, and the options range from -3 to 3. I tried 3 and the subtitles moved up quite a way on the screen (but still in the lower half—you can’t get them to display at the top at all), and then I tried -3 and the subtitles moved down almost to the bottom of the screen. Not perfect, but MUCH better than the defaults.

I think TV companies are doing their customers a disservice in having such limited options for subtitles. It’s all very fine having wonderful picture and sound, but many people rely on subtitles—at least part of the time—when they watch TV (hard of hearing, wanting to watch in silence when the rest of the house is asleep, strong regional dialects and accents, mumbled speech, etc.). Subtitling technology seems to have hardly changed, and I think it’s ripe for attention, as this ex-Samsung designer states: https://superavi.com/subtitles-were-never-designed-the-missing-element-in-tv-typography-design/

(One thing I haven’t figured out is why the subtitles sometimes jigger and shake—my husband thinks there’s a correlation between laughter and this jiggling, and he might be right. More observations are required… there’s certainly nothing in the SRT files I checked that would do this.)

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Word: Apply a keyboard shortcut to a style

November 5, 2021

I realised I hadn’t written up one of the tricks I use every day! And that’s to use the keyboard to quickly apply a style to a piece of text. I’ve set up different keyboard shortcuts for the styles I use most (e.g. Body Text, Table Bullet).

Update: Some common styles already have inbuilt keyboard shortcuts:

  • Heading 1: Ctrl+Alt+1
  • Heading 2: Ctrl+Alt+2
  • Heading 3: Ctrl+Alt+3
  • List Bullet: Ctrl+Shift+L

Here’s how to add keyboard shortcuts for other styles:

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
  2. Click Customize (the button next to Keyboard Shortcuts, below the left panel).
  3. Scroll to the end of the Categories section.
  4. Click Styles, which is the second-last category. The right section changes to list all the style names in the template.
  5. Click on a style name (e.g. Body Text).
  6. Check the Current Keys box to see if there’s already a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. If not, go to the Press new shortcut key field and PRESS the keyboard combination you want to use (DO NOT type the keys—you must press them as though you were using the keyboard to do the action). If a keyboard shortcut is already assigned to the selected style, you can cancel out of these screens and use it, or change it by continuing with the steps below.
  7. Check for any message below the Current Keys box to see if this key combination is used for something else in Word. If so, press another combination. Once you see [unassigned] listed, you know you can use that keyboard shortcut.
  8. Click Assign to assign your keyboard shortcut to this style.
  9. Repeat Steps 5 to 8 for any other styles you want to assign keyboard shortcuts to.
  10. When you’ve finished, click Close, and then OK to exit the windows.
  11. Test that it works by adding some plain text then pressing your keyboard shortcut—the plain text should now be styled with the style assigned to that keyboard shortcut.

Bonus: If you have a lot of documents that use different templates, provided a document has the same named styles as you’ve set for your style keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Body Text is used across documents—even though it might be styled differently in each document), the keyboard shortcut will work across all of those documents and apply the correct Body Text style from each template.

 

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Word: Replace HTML em markers with italics

November 1, 2021

In a comment on another post, J had this problem: the text file that they’d copied into Word had the HTML code markers for emphasis (em enclosed by the greater than < and less than > arrows)and they wanted to get rid of these markers and change the text between those markers into italics. Unfortunately, WordPress won’t allow me write that code as it wants to automatically convert it into italics!

I solved their problem by using a wildcard find and replace in Word. Here’s how:

  1. Press Ctrl+h to open the Find and Replace window.
  2. Click More.
  3. Select the Use wildcards checkbox.
  4. In the Find field, type this (copy it if you think you’ll get it wrong; there are NO spaces in this string): (\<em\>)(*)(\</em\>) 
  5. In the Replace field, type this: \2
  6. While still in the Replace field, click Format (bottom left of the find/replace window), then Font, then select Italic. Font: Italic should display below the Replace field, as shown in the screenshot.
  7. Click Find Next. if you’re happy with what it found, click Replace. Only click Replace All if you’re confident that every instance of em has a closing em marker nearby.

How this works:

  • Each element of the Find is enclosed by parentheses. There are three elements — the opening em marker (#1), the text in between (#2), and the closing em marker (#3)
  • Because the greater than and less than symbols have special functions in Word’s wildcard find/replace, you have to ‘escape’ them by putting a \ in front of each
  • Because we don’t know which word or words or phrases or numbers are between the em markers, we use * to represent anything between an opening and a closing em marker
  • In the Replace, we don’t need the em markers anymore, so we omit them from the replace. But we do need the words that are enclosed by those em markers, and that’s the second element in the Find, so we type \2 to tell the second thing found to be replaced by itself.