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Sony poll about subtitle placement!

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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 OFFLINE   scopestr



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Posted July 05 2009 - 12:26 AM

Ok folks, we finally have a real chance to make a difference and have Sony Pictures place the subtitles of their scope films inside the picture area where they belong!

Subtitles in the lower black bar are a major problem for users with CIH (Cinemascope) setups because they just disappear in the masking!

Penton-Man, a Blu-ray insider with very close ties to Sony Pictures, has initiated a poll on blu-ray.com to find out what the majority of users think about subtitle placement:

Here is a good description of what the alternatives are:

And here is the poll:

Even if you are not registered there yet, I think it's absolutely worth it to register even if it's only for voting in this poll because Penton can really make things happen at Sony. For example he recently initiated a poll about user preference for either Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA:

As the clear majority voted for DTS HD MA, he posted the following:

"The DTS-HD Master Audio vs. Dolby TrueHD poll proved useful and you all will be seeing the results of that in titles coming later this Fall.

So please, vote in the new poll to make sure the result is clear enough to make SPHE change their subtitle placement!!!

Once again, the link to the subtitles poll:


#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted July 06 2009 - 01:35 AM

Even after Penton-Man's explanation, I still don't understand why moveable subtitles aren't an option.  I guess I'm not clear on two things.  1) Does BD can handle moveable subtitles the same way HD DVD did, and 2) If the way moveable subtitles are handled on BD is different, is it handle in a less effecient manner that causes 'duplcation of effort' that proves impractical where a large numbe of subtitles are required (e.g. European releases)?

That said, based on the options given I voted for placement of all subtitles within the frame.

Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted July 06 2009 - 05:29 AM

Sounds like the BluRay specs need to be improved to accept transparencies like .pngs, so they can have the best of both worlds: anti-aliasing AND the ability to move them.

But as for the poll itself, the 1 in a thousand (1 in a million?) people who use cinemascope projectors versus the folks who use lcd tvs face an uphill battle in getting the words moved entirely over the picture.

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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted July 06 2009 - 06:38 AM

Originally Posted by Will_B 

Sounds like the BluRay specs need to be improved to accept transparencies like .pngs, so they can have the best of both worlds: anti-aliasing AND the ability to move them.

But as for the poll itself, the 1 in a thousand (1 in a million?) people who use cinemascope projectors versus the folks who use lcd tvs face an uphill battle in getting the words moved entirely over the picture.
Not really. If the subs were the size of the '400 Blows' caps, I wouldn't mind them in the frame at all. I'm sure there are other people who feel that way, considering the results of the vote.
I just hope Sony doesn't check the 'Ghostbusters' topic on that forum, because those reactions are painful to watch :).

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#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Dan M

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Posted July 06 2009 - 07:11 AM

I agree with simply allowing the software to determine sub placement. If HD DVD can do it surely Blu can too.

This should please most folks however the purists who prefer burnt in original subs will most likely not be.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 06 2009 - 09:51 AM

In picture works for me as long as the size isn't too huge.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Hamilton72


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Posted July 07 2009 - 11:07 AM

Mmmm yes, we've been fighting a losing battle over that since the early days of DVD.  It's not too much to ask to have the film presented as it was originally prepared for cinema release is it?  Surely?

Respect and preserve the film-makers' intentions:

1. Original aspect ratio
2. Natural film grain
3. Original theatrical captions/subtitles

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Rolando



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Posted July 08 2009 - 03:30 PM

I agree, burned it like in the theatre is best. if you gotta go with the generated subtitles, even though I've got a regular setup NOT constant height, I like within the frame as long as IT IS NOT THOSE BUTT UGLY GIANT YELLOW ONES Sony insists on using on their DVDs.
Rolando Avendano

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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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Posted July 08 2009 - 11:44 PM

 I picked up a copy of La Femme Nikita on sale a couple months back and just got around to opening it not too long ago. I completely forgot that Sony never figured out how to do subtitles properly and was duly pissed to find them hanging in the 16:9 bar.
It is amazing to me that the format that sold itself as "beyond High Defintion" can't seem to accomplish a simple feature that the 'inferior' and long dead format could right out of the gate. Kind of pathetic, actually.

Does Sony really need a poll to figure this out?

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   ATimson


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Posted July 09 2009 - 07:02 AM

If they're in the 16:9 bar, then it sounds like they did figure it out, unlike other companies who insist on blocking the picture unnecessarily.

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--Brendan Moody

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted July 09 2009 - 11:34 PM

Thanks- I registered just to post a complaint about how Sony takes out the burned-in subtitles on most of their movies and replaces them with player-generated ones.  Some of their recent standard DVDs (like Vantage Point, I don't know how they did it on Blu-Ray) are practically unwatchable with the ugly yellow electronics subtitles popping up.  They should just use prints with the original subtitles burned in!

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#12 of 14 OFFLINE   RickyB



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Posted July 13 2009 - 08:38 AM

I voted for "I prefer what SPE already does" and will have my friends and family do the same. Thanks!

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Vern Dias

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Posted July 16 2009 - 02:03 AM

If they're in the 16:9 bar, then it sounds like they did figure it out, unlike other companies who insist on blocking the picture unnecessarily.
I prefer what SPE already does
And where were the subtitles when you saw these films in the theatre?  On the black masking below the screen????

Just preserve the original presentation, please.


#14 of 14 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool



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Posted July 16 2009 - 10:08 AM

RE: the strong desire for "original" burnt-in subs and "original" placement of subs, why would that *always* be desirable?  We're not talking about OAR or similar.  I'd think many (maybe most) times subs are added at least partially outside of the filmmakers' original intent.  Certainly, there's no such thing as original burnt-in subs (in most cases) in the same sense that there would be OAR for a film, no? 

Different regions would get different subs, no?  And given that, why treat subs w/ a "purist" attitude?  I can understand not wanting poorly generated subs that can ruin the look of the film, but I don't get why the actual "originals" would be required.

And I would say somewhat similar things about the "original" placement of subs too to smaller extent.  Yes, presumably subs are placed in the same area across all regions, but they won't all take the same space or look quite the same there across all languages.

And at the end of the day, I suspect it's mostly just viewer preference, not so much filmmaker's intent, in most cases (as long as the subs fonts and placement are not particularly bad/ugly).  Maybe most non-English-speaking filmmakers do a good job of planning for subs in the usual location for theatrical projection, but does that really mean that's their preference when doing so is not required (for home viewing)?  And what about all the English-speaking films that will be watched w/ subs by non-English speaking folks?  Do American filmmakers (for instance) really plan for this very well or at all?

BTW, I often watch Chinese films at home w/ English subs -- sometimes because the film uses a dialect I don't speak, but mostly because my wife is not fluent in either of the most common dialects.  Personally, I'd prefer to watch such films w/ Chinese(!) subs and wish the studios would provide an option for showing 2 sub tracks simultaneously so I can get *both*.  And interestingly, that's precisely what they've traditionally done in Chinese theaters (at least those outside mainland China) because the audiences for such films can indeed be quite varied, including a mix of multi-dialect Chinese audiences on top of a minority of English-only speakers.   And I would imagine this *might* also be true for certain other regions like India (or overseas Indian communities) as they too have a vast variety of dialects...


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