[whatwg] Google Feedback on the HTML5 media a11y specifications

timeless timeless at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 02:27:14 PST 2011

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM, Kevin Marks <kevinmarks at gmail.com> wrote:
> Moving them only within the video viewport is a bug, not a feature.

Of note, the big tv we had in 2000 (probably purchased circa 1998) at
a college communal area would display captions for the PIP window
below the PIP. So even TV vendors were aware that they didn't need to
always stick captions into the box once they had reasonable

Sadly I don't think I've ever seen any TVs which would shrink the
primary window just to supply space for captions. There's no reason
they couldn't, since they also do shrink the window to provide
onscreen menus or program guides.

I suppose part of the reason with big TVs is an assumption that the
audience will be at a fixed distance with or without captions, but
shrinking the view area for the programming would cause the preferred
distance to decrease. And as content providers actually do try to pick
areas which are mostly dead, the tradeoff of losing "live pixels" vs
decreasing optimal distance was not considered worth it.

> Classic
> TV required this (especially with overscan), but on modern TV's there is
> often a letterbox or pillarbox are that captions should go in.

Indeed. I'm pretty sure I saw a DVD playes which took advantage of
this with a letterbox and stuck the captions below the movie in
January when I was in California.

> On a
> decent-sized computer screen, there is no real excuse for obscuring the
> video with the captions rather than putting them underneath or alongside.

Yep. Well, it wouldn't be wrong for someone to write a 'Misery
compatibility mode' application to enable people to see how their
captions would look on old TVs, but I don't think that's something for
which primary applications should be designed.

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