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The Art of Closed Captioning


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Dr.N0



Joined: 04 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:50 pm Reply with quote
Thank you! That was an extremely interesting, educational article.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
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Location: Romania, Bucharest
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:07 pm Reply with quote
OK, I'm a tad confused here. This article is about anime dubs running on streaming platforms. Those streaming platforms are already capable of displaying subtitles. So why still use the ancient format? Why not just make a subtitles track for the dub with added words like "Narrator" "*music playing", etc?
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mgosdin



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Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:29 pm Reply with quote
Basically subtitles are not up to the task of providing a person who essentially cannot hear the clues they need to follow who is talking and what important sounds are happening. There's just not enough information in the existing subtitle script. I suppose an alternate subtitle script could be created, but closed caption is assumed in a lot of places.

Mark Gosdin
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Lupin the Third



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Justin already knows this since he authored the disc, but we created an SDH track for Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro on Blu-ray. However, instead of basing it on either of the English dubs, which are not as accurate to the Japanese original dialogue, we just added SFX and speaker cues to the literal subtitles. I thought someone hard-of-hearing would find that more useful for enjoying the movie as intended. The downside to making this version, though, is it can't really be reused as a broadcast caption track because odds are good it would air dubbed, so it's kind of a home-video track only, I suppose.

My favorite line was almost completely superfluous: [KARL BARKS].
(To spoil the joke,spoiler[ Karl is the name of the groundskeeper's dog in the movie, and Carl Barks is the creator of Donald Ducks's extended comics family members, including Scrooge McDuck].)
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zendervai



Joined: 06 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:00 pm Reply with quote
As someone who is hearing impaired (not deaf, I can hear, just not very well without my hearing aids) I actually find the lack of "dubtitles" really annoying sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I totally support the normal subtitle track not being identical to the dub, but there's some dubs, especially some from Geneon when they were still around, where the dub's actually pretty good, but the sound mixing is atrocious and I can't make out half the dialogue.

I know it's difficult and a pain, but I, for one, would very much appreciate having a subtitle track for the dub.
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merr



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:17 pm Reply with quote
While we're on the subject, does anyone know why Funimation still hasn't updated their console apps to stop shows from defaulting to playing with CC on? It's been months and they've done nothing.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:53 pm Reply with quote
The one thing I can't figure out, for the life of me, is why so many streaming services insist on using the old CC text style (i.e. The black box with white letters, often IN ALL CAPS) instead of the subtitle style (outlined white or yellow text with no background). Subtitles for the hearing impaired have been a thing for a very long time, and they're so much more readable, I don't know anyone who prefers the old CC style. Netflix, to their credit, uses subtitles for hearing impaired! Hulu defaults to standard CC style, and you can change it to a subtitle-ish style on PC, but I don't think you can in the app, unless that's changed? (I remember watching Sailor Moon + R with closed caption style subtitles. Grr) and Amazon's choices are traditional CC or entirely unreadable plain black or white text.

The only think I can think is that it might upset elderly people who are so used to CCs they don't want to change... but they wouldn't be watching Hulu anyway.

Edit: That said, i do understand why they keep them in all caps sometimes, because if the orginal CCs are in all caps, it's not a simple task to fix. I just hate the ugly black boxes.
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epicwizard



Joined: 03 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:12 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
However, now that closed captions are becoming a normal part of English anime production, we're hoping that anime publishers will also start including them on physical media releases as well. It may take some (okay, a lot of) additional work, but being able to better accommodate hearing-disabled fans is something that has been back-burnered for way too long

Yes, that definitely needs to happen sooner rather than later. I'm not hearing impaired, but I think that closed captions are important and should always be included on physical media releases to cater to the hearing impaired.

BTW, Japanese physical media publishers need to start doing that more often too. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like that they never include Japanese closed captions.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Captions don't have a set duration or “out timecode” at which they disappear; if you want to clear the screen, you have to have another caption appear (which can be blank).

Ah ha! I've always wondered why the last line in commercials persists into the next video if the next ad/video isn't cc'ed.
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zrnzle500



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:37 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
The one thing I can't figure out, for the life of me, is why so many streaming services insist on using the old CC text style (i.e. The black box with white letters, often IN ALL CAPS) instead of the subtitle style (outlined white or yellow text with no background). Subtitles for the hearing impaired have been a thing for a very long time, and they're so much more readable, I don't know anyone who prefers the old CC style. Netflix, to their credit, uses subtitles for hearing impaired! Hulu defaults to standard CC style, and you can change it to a subtitle-ish style on PC, but I don't think you can in the app, unless that's changed? (I remember watching Sailor Moon + R with closed caption style subtitles. Grr) and Amazon's choices are traditional CC or entirely unreadable plain black or white text.


Amazon's can be customized to add outlines or a drop shadow (The presets can be edited in the Subtitle Preferences in the Video Settings. The edge effects can be seen after clicking More Options). For apps, subtitles settings are through the device settings, not the app itself. Though for whatever reason, my Amazon Video app won't accept the device settings on my Roku, even though Hulu's accepts them, and I have to look at the black boxes.
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crazieanimefan1



Joined: 18 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:08 pm Reply with quote
I do use the CC for dubs due to my hearing being poor in one ear. However, I watched Funimation's Kuroshitsuji dubbed and the one part where Sebastian and Grell have their fight, the caption was pretty funny...more like they got lazy and just put LOL literally.

Well, it was LOL or WTF...all I know was it did not belong on a caption.
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jakewil85



Joined: 08 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:48 pm Reply with quote
I know this is about closed captioned but...

Given that pretty much most Blu-ray anime and, lately, Sentai's DVDs have locked subtitles to Japanese audio only, I'm not very happy when there are no full subtitles with English dub.

IIRC, some Viz Media releases include an option to have full subtitles with English dub.whenever their releases have locked subtitles. What I don't understand is that both Sentai and Funimation claimed they don't have technology to do that.

Being deaf myself, that frustrated me and it's hard for me to share what I like with people who have difficult time reading CC/subtitles.
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Kazemon15



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:56 pm Reply with quote
Thank you for this wonderful read. As a Dub hearing impaired fan [hard of hearing not deaf] myself, I use caption all the time. For anime, I have to struggle to listen and mix and match the subtitles for the Japanese language and the dub of what I hear to know what is being said. But now with more and more dvds having locked subtitles, with no alternative, this has made me wary of buying anime now. I feel closed caption or SDH [subtitles for the hearing kmparied] is a great way to get around the locked subtitle issues and I hope its implimented in later releases...

Often times people say "Just watch it in Japanese". This irks me because I like dubs. I like english language, I perfer english. Why should I be forced to watch a language I dont want just because I was born with a hearing problem? I accepted the fact I may never get caption so learned to live with Japanese subtitles, but locked subtitle even took that away. So I sure hope they add SDH or CC in later releases so I can enjoy dubbed anime again.
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dragonrider_cody



Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:58 pm Reply with quote
jakewil85 wrote:
I know this is about closed captioned but...

Given that pretty much most Blu-ray anime and, lately, Sentai's DVDs have locked subtitles to Japanese audio only, I'm not very happy when there are no full subtitles with English dub.

IIRC, some Viz Media releases include an option to have full subtitles with English dub.whenever their releases have locked subtitles. What I don't understand is that both Sentai and Funimation claimed they don't have technology to do that.


I don't know about Funimation, but Sentai has never claimed to not have the technology. It just adds a fair amount of work to the encoding and production processes, and can make things more complicated. If you simply made the existing subtitle track accessible while playing the English dub, that wouldn't be too much added work. However, creating subtitles that are accurate to the dub script would usually require a second subtitle script and programming, which would be much more work and expense.
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Kazemon15



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 346
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:04 pm Reply with quote
dragonrider_cody wrote:
jakewil85 wrote:
I know this is about closed captioned but...

Given that pretty much most Blu-ray anime and, lately, Sentai's DVDs have locked subtitles to Japanese audio only, I'm not very happy when there are no full subtitles with English dub.

IIRC, some Viz Media releases include an option to have full subtitles with English dub.whenever their releases have locked subtitles. What I don't understand is that both Sentai and Funimation claimed they don't have technology to do that.


I don't know about Funimation, but Sentai has never claimed to not have the technology. It just adds a fair amount of work to the encoding and production processes, and can make things more complicated. If you simply made the existing subtitle track accessible while playing the English dub, that wouldn't be too much added work. However, creating subtitles that are accurate to the dub script would usually require a second subtitle script and programming, which would be much more work and expense.


I have stopped buying Sentai and Funimation anime due to this issue. Before, I would stick with DVD-only and gave up on watching any Blurays due to locked subtitles...but now they are even locking the DVDs. Just adding an existing subtitle track to the dub would fix it, but they chose not to do that...which is frustrating to say the least.
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