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You usually need the original remote. The trouble with universal remotes is that they generally control only the basic functions of a TV (power, volume, channel) but not much else. Without the original, you often lose other functions. You can try the front panel buttons if yours has them. On some sets the on-screen menus allow you to access caption settings.
But are you sure the captions are coming from the TV? Sure, the TV is displaying them, but if you have a satellite receiver, cable box or digital set-top box, the captions may be coming from that device. This is likely to be true if the captions just mysteriously started and you don't have or aren't using the TV original remote. These devices often don't allow a TV's built-in caption decoder to work properly, so they provide captions themselves. You may have turned captions on using that device's remote. Check the menu for caption controls.
lost the remote?... try a different universal remote. i have a orion 27" but i think it has a menu button on the front of the set. im at work.. when i get home ill check and repost....if you dont want to buy another universal.. barrow a friends and give it a try... sometimes the manufacture puts updated CODE's for the remote on the website.. might check that as well. good luck.. more to come.