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Public Discussions

topics
GreenCine Tech Talk
Hardware, Software, Tech.
The nuts and bolts of movie making, home theater, and DVD.
76

An idea for subtitles
Topic by: Vanamonde
Posted: December 8, 2007 - 12:55 AM PST
Last Reply: January 21, 2008 - 3:46 PM PST

author topic: An idea for subtitles
Vanamonde
post #1  on December 8, 2007 - 12:55 AM PST  
Many of us enjoy watching film and video in from other places in languages we do not understand. So that can understand, we watch it with subtitles. The classical style of subtitling is to have the text at the bottom of the picture. But still on the picture.

But why should this be with DVD's? Sure, it makes sense with at 16:9 presentation on a 16:9 screen or a 5:4 presentation on a 5:4 screen but there are other variations.

I watch mostly with a large 5:4 HiRez computer monitor. DVD is limited to the equivalent of 480p but I find it very enjoyable.

Now in the case of 16:9 (or the even wider screen formats, such as Panavison, etc), there is PLENTY of room for the subtitles to be under or over the screen. In fact, I would prefer the image to be flush with the top and the subtitles are the bottom.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but with the DVD format, designed for multiple languages of subtitles, could a player be crafted that allow for this while using the present DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray discs?

I would pay for such a player. If this is an original idea, I do hereby place it in the public domain.

But wonder it not be cool to have the images undistrubed by the text, yet the text handy?

Also, I want the brightness of the subtitles to match the brightness of the image. Many times I have been in a theater and the film gets to a dark scene, an actor speaks and BLAZING subtitles will come on and light up the whole room! If I was a Director of Photography or a Cinemaphotographer, I would be vivid. As simply One Who Enjoys Film, this is quite annoying and a bit sad.

Perhaps the software could read the relative brightness of a scene and adjust the brightness of subtitles to match the presentation.

And if there be any prior art on this, please enlighten me.

But these ideas, I provide free to any soul who dare to implement them.
weezy
post #2  on December 14, 2007 - 2:13 PM PST  
I love this suggestion! As someone whose TV is a big screen from the 90's handed down by an older friend, I feel your subtitle viewing pain.

This site says that with Blu-ray discs you can "...select different font styles, sizes and colors for the subtitles, or location on screen, depending on the disc's offerings. Subtitles can be animated, scrolled or faded in and out." Will this be another factor tipping the Blu-Ray/HD battle Blu-Ray's favor?

Sounds like from this article that regular DVDs will never have this capability :( But your suggestion to filmmakers is an interesting one! I have no clue on how subtitles are are added to films for theater viewing, maybe someone will shed a little light on that for us?
hamano
post #3  on December 14, 2007 - 3:20 PM PST  
What's stopping people from putting in a circuit so that subtitles come out backwards? I often fret about this when I'm watching my latest GreenCine disc while brushing my teeth or shaving in the morning. If they could be reversed, it would be easier to read them in the mirror.
weezy
post #4  on December 14, 2007 - 6:25 PM PST  
Or upside down, for when I'm doing my decline sit-ups in the mo'ning a-la "Leon the Professional".
hamano
post #5  on December 14, 2007 - 9:38 PM PST  
(hamano, sotto voce to weezy) Pssst... just turn your TV upside down, Weez!
Vanamonde
post #6  on December 14, 2007 - 9:42 PM PST  
> On December 14, 2007 - 2:13 PM PST weezy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> This site says that with Blu-ray discs you can "...select different font styles, sizes and colors for the subtitles, or location on screen, depending on the disc's offerings. Subtitles can be animated, scrolled or faded in and out." Will this be another factor tipping the Blu-Ray/HD battle Blu-Ray's favor?
> ---------------------------------

ooooo, will a PS/3 do this? If so, all I can say, Go Blu, Go Bly, Go Blu-RAY!

Can anyone confirm? And can you actually get the subtitle off the image on to the black? (mmm, reminds me of ole Neil Young song).

CarmenSF
post #7  on December 15, 2007 - 2:16 AM PST  
I once rented (from a library on the Peninsula, not from GreenCine) an Asian copy of Wong Kar-Wai's "Ashes of Time." The DVD was shoddy to say the least, but the layout was kind of like the original poster's wish -- image was flush to the top, with the subtitles in the black space on the bottom 1/3 of the screen. It was actually sort of disorienting, like I was staring at a black screen. I like the symmetry of having the image vertically centered, even if the text overlaps the image.

I do have one subtitle pet peeve -- all-white captions. I rented the French film "Sitcom" and couldn't make out several scenes where the white captions were set against characters wearing white clothing or standing near white tablecloths. D'oh!
Vanamonde
post #8  on December 16, 2007 - 8:59 PM PST  
> On December 15, 2007 - 2:16 AM PST CarmenSF wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I do have one subtitle pet peeve -- all-white captions. I rented the French film "Sitcom" and couldn't make out several scenes where the white captions were set against characters wearing white clothing or standing near white tablecloths. D'oh!
> ---------------------------------

I KNOW! (said in a Monica Geller voice). I was so happy when subtitle VHS tapes started to advertise "with yellow subtitles". Sooo much more visible, especially if they have an outline.

kaream
post #9  on January 21, 2008 - 3:46 PM PST  
FWIW, don't forget that a lot of films also have Closed Captions in addition to subtitles. They're prepared separately, and not infrequently will render the dialog differently -- especially in foreign language movies giving translations. CCs often are more complete than titles (but also often have more typos). In many ways they're more annoying than titles, but it does give you that choice, and a number of movies have CCs only.

Of course these are controlled with the TV remote, not the DVD player remote.

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