closed captioning ahead of audio
I hope someone who has the power to do something about this issue will actually read this.
In recent weeks I've noticed that on some programs the audio will drift behind the captions the longer the program continues. So, at the beginning of the program they will be in sync, but by the end the captions will appear well ahead of the audio. The longer the program, the more out of sync they get by the end of the program.
This has nothing to do with the set top box, or Comcast working in the neighborhood, or any at-home issue. Calling Comcast to speak to a rep to address the issue is a waste of time. Entry level reps are trained to handle problems in flowchart fashion based on the equipment in your home. If they don't solve it, they may escalate the issue to the next level, or perhaps send out a technician. Neither will fix this issue.
The same issue exists if you stream these programs on any device, thus proving that the issue is not the equipment - the issue is with the source material; that is, the movie or tv show file itself being watched or streamed.
It so happens that I have some experience transferring movies to digital format, and a common issue is that once transferred the audio portion may finish sooner than the video. To fix it you would have to detach the audio from the video, then multiply the audio by some random percentage... 101%... 102%... somewhere in between... tinkering with it until the audio length matches the video length to get them back in sync.
My theory is that some department or some 3rd party contractor has been tasked with adding captions, and they've been taking the audio and running some software on it that adds captions, but then neglecting the important step of ensuring that the overall length of the audio matches the overall length of the video.
I'm just a Comcast customer and have no idea how they handle such processes internally, so I wouldn't know who to tell to get this fixed. Since calling or chatting with customer service is a waste of time, I went to the local Comcast branch and told my tale to someone on staff. As luck would have it he had an audio video background himself and knew exactly what I meant. I accessed their wifi on my phone and showed him the issue, and sure enough, there it was... again proving that it has nothing to do with the equipment in my home.
He said he would email someone with the power to do something about it. I can only hope the problem gets fixed. I'm sure my wife and I are not alone in saying that closed captions are an important part of the viewing experience, especially as we get older and our hearing continues to decline. It's extremely irritating to see several seconds in advance what a character is going to say, and makes for a very frustrating overall experience.
If you want to see for yourself, 2 movies I know of that have this problem are "Let Him Go" and "The Little Things", though there are many more. I believe I've also seen this issue when viewing programs in progress when scheduled on cable channels, and not just On Demand. Incidentally, I had wondered if perhaps the issue was with the studio that released these movies, but those 2 movies are from different studios. Also, this issue does not exists in third party platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime. All the data so far suggests it's an issue in house that Comcast has to solve... and I hope they do soon.