Originally Posted by Chronoptimist
Sorry for making that assumption. Could you explain what the difference is between Closed Captions and SDH Subtitles?
Sometimes they are identical text, but:
- Closed captions are externally decoded while subtitles are internally decoded. Nowadays, both are necessarily internally decoded in the digital era.
- Closed captions always are black background with white, at a scientifically-standardized font size that allows enough space for complete transcription. (The black box caption look came out roughly around 1977, after much trials and experiments on look, size, readability, bandwidth, accessibility, and the same relative text size versus screen size is still used almost 30 years later. My family got our first huge settop caption decoder box in 1982, long before caption decoding got miniaturized into chips built into TVs).
- SDH are subtitles with the same caption text. Unfortunately, subtitles are sometimes of a font color that is harder to read (outlined text is harder for a lot of people, especially dyslexics, than solid background). Also, sometimes deafies can also have vision issues, so the standard high contrast white-on-black captions help a lot here. Also, for some colorblind, colored outlines (e.g. Dark yellow outlines around light yellow text) can make outlined text even harder to read.
- Movie content is so busy you want the fastest possible caption speed reading, so you can pay attention to the movies. Closed captions are easy to speed read. Mute your movie and try watching a brand new fast action movie (you have never watched before) that is also talkative with a complex plot (massive non-condensed text output). Your attention will be pushed to its limits, absorbing the movie AND the captions. You audiophiles get distracted by audio imperfections, we get distracted by reading bottlenecks/discomfort, buddy... 10% reading speed differences hit us really damn hard sometimes.
- Sometimes SDH on some discs still condenses text somewhat due to the larger subtitle fonts used (despite them being harder to read for some due to outlining or poor color contrast interfering with readability)
- Kudos to studios that do great readable and non-condensed subtitles, in proper vision-friendly colors (occasionally superior to closed captions,) but not all of them, totally abysmal compared to the closed caption track on the same disc. It's as maddening as having a DVD with both Mono audio and DTS-ES audio, but you don't have a DTS-compatible receiver. No DTS for you buddy. Imagine the caption text being abysmal and condensed/derezzed (no "[phone rings in background]" or "[footsteps]" to heighten your suspense) in a "Hobbitt book converted into a 20 page cartoon format" style (sentences reworded shorter than the audio). Fortunately, this problem happens less often with high def "SDH" subtitles, though the readability test still flunks occassionally. Still doesn't help existing DVD collections, considering the lower average budget some parts of the deaf community can have (DVD remains more popular than BluRay even to today). Descriptive SDH did not exist on most DVDs. But at least with, with closed captions, it is predictable like a Pepsi or a McDonalds Golden Fries: no disappointment at the technical readability of onscreen text, AND sometimes surprisingly more detailed than the words put in the subtitle track.
Any more questions?