Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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subtitle location

put the subtitles where the movie isn't
  [vote for,

I just watched a foreign movie on a dvd, formatted in wide-screen. There were subtitles, which appeared, as usual, at the bottom of the part of the screen where the movie is taking place. Wouldn't it make more sense for subtitles on wide-screen formatted dvds and videos to appear under the movie, in the black spaces created by wide-screen formatting? They would be easier to read, and wouldn't get in the way of what is happening in the movie.

I don't know much about the technology of dvds or videos, and how things are formatted in different ways, or how subtitles are added in. So perhaps this isn't even possible. But if it is possible, it would sure be nice.

rebekkahshiri, Jul 21 2001


       Abso-bloody-lutely. Now we need to find out if it's possible. A croissant is on its way.   

       (and as to the question you posed elsewhere - having looked at Unabubba's and found it very amusing - I make a point of a quick glance at anybody's that I haven't checked out yet)
st3f, Jul 21 2001

       The Special Edition of Akira does this (on the VHS release anyway) and also moves the movie up a little way to make more room for them.
Jim, Jul 21 2001

       I'm sure I've seen this done before.   

       Of course, these days if you've got a wide-screen TV you either won't be able to read the subtitles, or you'll have letterboxing all around. I suppose some releases could have different versions for different aspect ratios, either on the same DVD (can DVDs do layering?) or as two separate releases. (I'm assuming few people use wide-screen TVs with a VCR but not a DVD player, given current prices.)
bookworm, Jul 22 2001

       In most of my DVDs, subtitles ARE positioned in the bottom letterbox bar of widescreen movies if viewed with a normal 4x3 display. Rarely do they intrude into the picture.   

       Maybe this problem is unique to certain countries as discs are authored slightly differently?   

       Peter, have you ever tried (seen) yellow subs? They work so well you won't want to look at white subs ever again.
mrkillboy, Jul 22 2001

       Very good. Some clever image analysis software could detect 'uninteresting' areas of the scene (blank areas of sky, extras, etc.) and place the subtitles over them.
hippo, Jan 22 2002

       I agree that there needs to be the option (possibly with auto-detection?) to overlay the subs directly over the picture area for people with widescreen tvs.   

       Some additional flexibility might be useful too -- once in a while they obscure something interesting.
cpt kangarooski, Mar 10 2002

       Closed captioning is constantly covering up crucial parts of my TV screen. Why can't they put them in a field of their own below the picture whenever the CC mode is selected. I miss a lot of the TV action and the worst part is that it covers up the stations sub-titles.
Don12345, Mar 19 2003

       Most widescreen DVDs are anamorphic. This means that, to improve resolution (clarity), they only transmit the 3/4 height of the screen that's being used. The "black bars" at the top and bottom aren't part of the recording, and for most purposes, don't exist. For widescreen, HD, or anamorphic-enhanced (such as progressive scan) TVs, the black bar area isn't part of the transmission, and the electron beam (which draws the picture) never scans over those parts of the screen.   

       (This only applies to 16:9, aka 1.85:1, movies. Anything wider (such as 2.35:1) has room in the black bars, since it's on the DVD as a 1.85:1 image with black bars. Anything taller is a 4:3 image with black bars.)
Piquan, May 27 2003

       I still can't believe it's not baked. Why can't the TV receiver/ DVD player manufacturer provide an optional second video output dedicated to closed captioning.   

       This would allow a second display/monitor to be used as to display captions.
FloridaManatee, May 27 2003

       This might be a 'foreign' movie problem, perhaps? There are a couple of different types of subtitles - those which are part of the film itself and those that are 'turned on' by the DVD player.   

       DVD's on my system show subtitles in the black bar. One exception - I recently watched "Sophie's Choice", an American film with extensive sections in German, and those subtitles appeared over the filmed portion. I presumed this was because they are integrated as part of the actual film. I turned on the DVD Spanish subtitles and those appeared in the black bar.
waugsqueke, May 27 2003


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