TV watching over the Internet is getting easier for the hearing impaired

Hugh Bonneville is Robert, the Earl of Grantham, and Elizabeth McGovern his American wife, Cora, in "Masterpiece Classic's" four-piece miniseries "Downton Abbey."

The British TV series Downton Abbey had something for both of us. For my wife, the customs and costumes of a bygone era. For me, sinister behavior and intrigue.

But when we visited the Internet recently to watch an episode we had missed on TV, we both had the same indignant reaction.

Where were the captions?

I have a hearing loss in both ears, and even my wife likes captions for a show such as this one, where the British-accented actors sometimes mutter under their breaths.

On the show’s web site, however, we were out of luck. No captions.

I looked into it, and it turns out Congress recently enacted legislation that will rectify the situation.

Help also is on the way for my aunt with severe macular degeneration: a requirement that TV programs start to carry a “video description” service for the blind.

Read about both improvements here:

-Tom Avril