[whatwg] Google Feedback on the HTML5 media a11y specifications

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 16 03:30:06 PST 2011

On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 9:27 PM, timeless <timeless at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> resolution.
> 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.

IIUC, the YouTube's captions can be moved within the whole video
viewport which includes any letterboxing or pillarboxing if available.

As for moving them outside - that would turn the whole web page into a
potential drop zone for a div (or similar) coming from within a media
element. That would probably not make that much sense. But I could
imagine an application defining certain areas around the video - in
particular below and above it - as drop zones for captions/subtitles
and thus extend the on-screen space. I wonder what the browser vendors
think about that feature.


>> 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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