List of scope HD DVD/Blu-Ray fims with subtitles in black bars? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 80 Old 06-17-2008, 04:37 AM
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I searched on subtitle-black-bar problem and found the thread given below. One of our members FooChan has reflected nicely what I am currently thinking about "subtitles on black bar" problem

"The thing is, those aren't supposed to be black bars, they're supposed to be a void where the picture doesn't exist. When one watches a movie the black bars disappear into the blackness of the room, attention is focused on the actual picture frame. When text suddenly appears in the void, it's as if it's disconnected from the film and that becomes distracting. Focus is removed from the picture briefly to read the subtitles, and then focus is turned back to the picture. Of course when subtitles are in the picture it is not a problem at all, as everything seems more seamless this way."

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=914831
(post #10)

As FooChan says it is a distraction when subtitles are on the black bars. You need to watch a long movie to realise this. If people read subtitles only for few minutes during a movie they will not realise the extent of the distraction.

It is strategically important for the studios and BDA to get more and more people to watch movies and make the movie experience as pleasant as possible. If this can be achieved, more and more people will be attracted to movies rather than reading a book or magazine or watch sport. Simple strategies to achieve this objective would be the best strategies and most effective strategies rather than technology savvy complex strategies such as BD-live.

For example, it is important for the Studios to make the black-bar-haters as comfortable as possible to watch movies. Forcing them to look at the black bars could give them headaches and make the movie experience unpleasant. Simple things like correctly positioning subtitles (within the picture) or at least giving an option to select this will help significantly to make millions of black-bar-haters more comfortable and offer a pleasant movie experience. If subtitles are not on the black bars, it is easier for the brain/mind to forget about the black bars and focus on the movie picture frame. If suddenly text appears on the technically non-existing black bars, it is a shock and a significant distraction to the brain and mind especially for the black bar haters.

Also it is big disappointment for the plenty of zoomers out there if the subtitles are on the black bars as they cannot do what they would like to do as the zooming would clip the subtitles. So they would hate this experience as well.

We may be seen the tip of the iceberg as the problem is not severe in English speaking countries. The problem could be worse in non-English-speaking countries.

BDA and Studios, please act now. Please add two subtitle tracks at the authoring stage: one on the picture and the other on the black bar. It is only few more clicks to duplicate a subtitle track to a different position when the disk is authored. Make everyone happy - make the movie experience a pleasant experience to everybody: black-bar haters, zoomers ..
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post #62 of 80 Old 06-17-2008, 07:29 AM
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Syncguy, you're preaching to the converted here. Everyone reading this forum understands your points and already agrees with them, so there's no point in repeating them over and over.

Further, you are unfortunately wrong in your assumptions about how average viewers feel about this issue. In fact, due to complaints from CIH'ers, Sony experimented with including multiple-position subtitle tracks on a couple of Blu-rays (Immortal Beloved being the only one I can remember). They then had their PR firm run focus groups asking people where they wanted their subtitles, and the results came back that most average viewers prefer the subtitles below the movie image. These people felt that putting the subtitles inside the movie made the picture "too cluttered" and distracting to watch.

After a couple of discs, Sony ended the experiment and went back to their single subtitle stream. Even though it cost them very little to add a second subtitle track, they decided that it wasn't worth the effort to appease the small minority of viewers who care.

This is an uphill battle we're fighting, no doubt. But you need to choose your targets more carefully. Complaining here won't do anything. You should write to the studios and let them know how you feel.

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post #63 of 80 Old 06-17-2008, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

They then had their PR firm run focus groups asking people where they wanted their subtitles, and the results came back that most average viewers prefer the subtitles below the movie image.

The average viewer also prefers that 2.35 movies be pan and scanned to 16:9 which is why that is done to almost every movie broadcast on the HD movie channels.

I hate the average viewer.
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post #64 of 80 Old 06-17-2008, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Syncguy, you're preaching to the converted here. Everyone reading this forum understands your points and already agrees with them, so there's no point in repeating them over and over.

...........

Okay. I wish to clarify few points.

The technique that was used in Immortal Beloved is a BD-J based software solution which has the potential to do fancy things like reposition, resize etc. This solution does not work consistently on all players due to implementation differences of the players. Probably the software specs not tight enough. Due to this reason, the Studios cannot use this function because there could be cases that people will not be able to read subtitles at all due to player problems. They tried but failed due technical problems but not because they don't care. Paidgeek once indicated, few months ago, that Sony is still testing this - I don't think they have given up.

I am now suggesting to include two subtitle tracks; one on the black bar and the other on the picture using the standard "raster image" based technique which does not require the BD-J software (in contrast to the above explained solution). And also the effort required to do this at the authoring stage is negligible as it requires only few more clicks to duplicate the track to a different position. This can be a temporary solution until the technical problems of the BD-J solution is resolved.

I am not sure whether this crude and simple but effective method has been previously suggested or tried.

The human factors research based on focus groups should be designed very carefully otherwise you may get totally different result to the real situation. Based on the design of the experiment, totally opposite results could be obtained.

I wish to find out whether the Sony's PR company has formed groups such as:

1. black-bar-haters
2. zoomers
3. people mainly watching foreign language movies and require subtitles
4. people in non-English-speaking countries who require subtitles to watch English movies
5. People using small screens
6. People using large screens
7. And various combinations of the above groups

Did they consider experimentation with different text types (i.e. small, large, white text with black line round it, different thicknesses of the black line). Did they engage a qualified human factors psychologist to design the experiments and analyse the results?

If you gather a random group of people from a western country who do not require subtitles for day-to-day movie watching, you may get a biased irrelevant answer.

It is hard for me to imagine, the black-bar-haters preferring subtitles on black bars. They are trying to forget about the black-bars and concentrate on the picture. If the text appears in the black void, it will be a shock to their brain and mind. Same applies to zoomers. As we know these groups are very large. Could be more than 50% of the blu-ray population.

If properly designed human factors study is conducted, these should get reflected in the results.
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post #65 of 80 Old 06-20-2008, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Syncguy, you're preaching to the converted here. Everyone reading this forum understands your points and already agrees with them, so there's no point in repeating them over and over.

Further, you are unfortunately wrong in your assumptions about how average viewers feel about this issue. In fact, due to complaints from CIH'ers, Sony experimented with including multiple-position subtitle tracks on a couple of Blu-rays (Immortal Beloved being the only one I can remember). They then had their PR firm run focus groups asking people where they wanted their subtitles, and the results came back that most average viewers prefer the subtitles below the movie image. These people felt that putting the subtitles inside the movie made the picture "too cluttered" and distracting to watch.

After a couple of discs, Sony ended the experiment and went back to their single subtitle stream. Even though it cost them very little to add a second subtitle track, they decided that it wasn't worth the effort to appease the small minority of viewers who care.

This is an uphill battle we're fighting, no doubt. But you need to choose your targets more carefully. Complaining here won't do anything. You should write to the studios and let them know how you feel.

Josh,

Do you know if the studios are planning on implementing the downloadable sub-title tracks under profile 2.0? It seems to me that if this is supported it would be the solution to our subtitles woes.
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post #66 of 80 Old 06-20-2008, 08:28 PM
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"Youth without Youth" has subtitles in the black bars when someone speaks in Rumanian. Interesting movie too!

Mike
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post #67 of 80 Old 06-23-2008, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KramerTC View Post

Do you know if the studios are planning on implementing the downloadable sub-title tracks under profile 2.0? It seems to me that if this is supported it would be the solution to our subtitles woes.

I've heard nothing new about downloadable subtitles since the format debuted and that was touted as one of its potential features.

In any case, Profile 2.0 only works on discs that are specifically BD-Live authored, so it wouldn't help any of the titles currently on the market with subtitles in the letterbox bar.

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post #68 of 80 Old 06-23-2008, 09:11 PM
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Thanks Josh.
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post #69 of 80 Old 06-24-2008, 04:34 AM
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I have given the information that I know about blu-ray subtitle downloading in this post. Also, I have noted other methods that can be used to fix the subtitle problem.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...9&postcount=18
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post #70 of 80 Old 07-14-2008, 08:20 AM
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Vantage Point on Blu-ray has subtitles in the black bars.
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post #71 of 80 Old 07-27-2008, 12:40 PM
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Anyone know if "The Orphanage" on Blu-ray is CIH friendly?
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post #72 of 80 Old 07-27-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterbars View Post

Anyone know if "The Orphanage" on Blu-ray is CIH friendly?

Yes, the subtitles are in the picture not the bars.

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post #73 of 80 Old 07-27-2008, 03:03 PM
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Great...thanks Tom.
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post #74 of 80 Old 07-28-2008, 07:03 PM
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Is Stargate "safe"?
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post #75 of 80 Old 07-28-2008, 07:25 PM
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Stupid me I already own Stargate in Bluray. I was looking for another DVD/BD to buy along with The Hunt for Red October, in order to get free shipping. Then it occurred to me I had better check my collection before I buy. Duh! Would be nice if Amazon warned you that you already bought it, but I guess they'd like to sell you another one.

So in case anyone wants to know, it looks like it it safe. I checked a few scenes were Ra speaks and even two-line subtitles were within the picture.
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post #76 of 80 Old 07-28-2008, 09:56 PM
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Stupid me I already own Stargate in Bluray. I was looking for another DVD/BD to buy along with The Hunt for Red October, in order to get free shipping. Then it occurred to me I had better check my collection before I buy. Duh! Would be nice if Amazon warned you that you already bought it, but I guess they'd like to sell you another one.

So in case anyone wants to know, it looks like it it safe. I checked a few scenes were Ra speaks and even two-line subtitles were within the picture.

Very good news.

I wish to find out whether the Studios have taken the advice given by large forums like AVS on subtitle positioning.

They have screwed subtitles in some cases and I cannot workout whether they really have specs for subtitle positioning for the authoring houses. For example, Sony Pictures Spiderman released in 2007 has subtitles on the picture but Saawariya (Bollywood) released in 2008 by the same studio has screwed-up subtitles. They can easily fix this problem if they include two subtitle tracks one on the black bars and the other on the picture which would satisfy everyone. This is extremely trivial to achieve at the disk authoring stage.

It appears that they have forgotten about their bread and butter, i.e. getting the fundamentals right in passive movie watching, and running after wobbly business cases like BD-Live.
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post #77 of 80 Old 07-29-2008, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syncguy View Post

For example, Sony Pictures Spiderman released in 2007 has subtitles on the picture but Saawariya (Bollywood) released in 2008 by the same studio has screwed-up subtitles.

Spider-Man (the first one) is a 1.85:1 movie, so subtitles would natually be inside the movie. Sony's default policy is to put the subtitles on 2.35:1 movies so that one line is in the picture and the 2nd line is below. Very frustrating.

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post #78 of 80 Old 07-29-2008, 04:59 PM
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I PM'd Ralph Potts. He does the Blu-Ray reviews that are posted on the AVSforum home page as well as the AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews section of this site. I asked if he could add a line that lists whether or not the subtitles are within the image or fall into the black. I was pleasantly surprised when he replied stating "that's a great idea". So look for this additional information in his reviews. And if you get a chance you might want to thank him.
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post #79 of 80 Old 07-29-2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Spider-Man (the first one) is a 1.85:1 movie, so subtitles would natually be inside the movie. Sony's default policy is to put the subtitles on 2.35:1 movies so that one line is in the picture and the 2nd line is below. Very frustrating.

Sony Pictures Sipiderman 3 released in late 2007 has subtitles within the picture. So I thought they are changing things on the fly. That is not a way to run a business.
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post #80 of 80 Old 01-05-2009, 07:04 AM
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A new sticky thread has been started about this. Here's the link.

Cih subtitle master thread
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