Apple TV Closed Captioning

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by teerexx52, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida West Coast
    #1
    Does anyone have any informaztion on closed captioning being available with Apple TV? Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #2
    None of the movies/shows from the iTunes store have subtitles/CC, so I would say 'not very likely'. If you rip your own DVDs, you can burn in subtitles from the disc if you need them using Handbrake/Mediafork. I use this route for foreign films, since I rarely use the local-language audio track.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida West Coast
    #3
    Thanks. I was afraid of that. Being hearing impaired I have to have closed captioning. Disappointed that Apple isn't offering it through Itunes.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Not to mention those who'se main language isn't English and would like to have subtitles in their own language (or even in English). But I guess there's not much pressure on Apple to support foreign subtitles, as they aren't selling movies/tv-shows outside the US yet...
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #5
    Some Japanese animated TV shows have appeared on the US iTunes store, but they have been re-dubbed using an English soundtrack. I have a feeling that is how US shows will appear in other areas where English isn't the native language, with new dub tracks in the local language.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    I REALLY hope they don't try something as stupid as that. There are quite a lot of people that simply don't tolerate dubbings on programs (excluding shows/movies meant for very small children). I guess the tolerance varies from country to country, but it would still be silly.

    For example, they tried to dub "The Bold and the Beautiful" here in Finland some years ago. It resulted in public outrage and they returned it back to the normal English with subtitles quite quickly. And I'm sure the demographic of hollywood action movies (and other mainstram stuff like that) would be even less tolerant than the fans of soap operas.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #7
    I'm deaf too, and there are several other deaf MR members. I really hope the :apple: tv has subtitle support.

    I personally have no plans to buy one, but it is important to set a benchmark of inclusion.

    I don't pretend to fully understand what the :apple: TV is for (we will find out soon as the first models arrive in a few days), but it seems to be for playing DVDs etc stored on your computer onto a TV.

    Almost every commercial film DVD has several subtitle tracks, and many film DVDs have special directors commentaries both in subtitle only form or in audio/ subtitle form.

    Not being able to access these would be a bit shameful and would make even hearing people complain.

    There are so many cheap / free players out there (MTV, Myth, VLC etc) that support subtitles that this isn't really acceptable.

    Lets see what happens. I know many deaf people who are Apple fans. No subtitles will be a kick in the teeth.

    EDIT: I'm not in the USA, but does the ADA act mandate all DVD players to have the option of being able to display subtitles / closed captioning?

    In the UK, for several years now, I think by law, all new TVs and set top digital boxes have to have the ablity to display teletext subtitles.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #8
    Well, the problem is that what the Apple TV plays is not DVDs, it plays video in MPEG-4 format. So while a DVD has plenty of subtitle tracks, you get stuck 'burning in' the subtitles into the image in a lot of cases.

    Now, MPEG-4 has full support for text tracks which can contain subtitles, but that still means that the subtitles need to be added. So far, iTMS has no subtitles on their movies, and it is unknown if the Apple TV can overlay text like Quicktime can.

    Personally, we need to raise a stink with Apple that this isn't quite good enough, and that we want text-track subtitles in iTMS purchases for the hearing impaired, and that the Apple TV needs to support this as well. (I may not be hearing impaired, but I have a lot of subtitled content from other countries that I prefer to keep subtitled, and I like text track subtitles a hell of a lot better than burned titles in the image)
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #9
    Interesting points Krevnik. Does a tool or app already exist that will easily and simply rip dvds to MPEG-4 and at the same time convert the DVD subtitle tracks into MPEG-4 subtitle format?

    If one does, then Apple have a lot less excuse to not enable MPEG-4 subtitle support.

    To be honest, I'm not quite clear why someone would buy the :apple: TV if it requires so much work to get media for it and you can't play your existing film library on it.

    I suppose that's what people said about the iPod when it came first out (!)

    Apple are probably planning 5 years ahead as usual. If we make a fuss now, then we should be on the way to getting subtitle support into the next :apple: TV redesign.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #10
    Not quite... DVD subtitle tracks are picture overlays. So you have apps that can (VERY slowly) scan the picture overlays and attempt to figure out what the text is, but right now the best ones are on Windows. You can easily get .srt subtitles and convert them into QT Text tracks using TitleLab though.

    Mp4Box (a command-line app) will embed text tracks into MP4 files, but doesn't yet know how to link them as chapter tracks, and uses a different subtype than Quicktime uses for its chapter/subtitle tracks.

    Apple has no excuse at all, actually. MPEG-4 text tracks are used by iTMS movies for chapter tracks, and the text track spec used in MPEG-4 was written by Apple. Quicktime can work with subtitles and chapters, but iTunes and the iPod currently support it not at all or marginally at best.

    Tools do exist at least for making chapter tracks, but they are given only to the studios it seems.

    I've got about 250GB of video (TV shows and Movies) in my iTunes Library... only 3 movies are purchased, and I have 3 season passes out of about 15 seasons of TV in my library. ;)
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    teerexx52

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida West Coast
    #11
    I am also hoping for subtitle support. With my hearing loss I cannot enjoy and movie or tv show without captions. My local Apple Store really didn't know if captioning would be included or not but they said they would be setting up a system in the store to try. I will be going in as soon as they do to see if captioning is included.
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #12
    I'm the same way. I prefer the language I can't understand with subtitles. I find I pay attention more and get more out of them.

    Movies like Hero or Crouching Tiger would be destroyed if they dubbed in english or the Netherlands film Simon would have lost it's meaning in english as well.

    You'd think for a company that appeals to the artistic / hip crowd they would know we watch our movies with subtitles :p
     
  13. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    That's fine for Finland, as I'm assuming that a large percentage of Finns can speak English.

    The opposite can be said of the US. If they brought over a Finnish show and left the original Finnish soundtrack, we just wouldn't understand.

    Oops, I missed the point about subtitles. Even so, in the US, I think (and I'm generalizing here) that most people would prefer dubbing over the original language with subtitles.

    ft
     
  14. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #14
    Regarding the subtitle of foreign films, I think a lot of it has to do with the quality of the translation. If the translation is bad, then you don't get the full affect. It's not limited to subtitles as dubbing needs good translation as well. You don't want an "All your bases ..." quality of subtitles.

    For example, the subtitling of Kung Fu Hustle can be looked at. For whatever reason, the DVD and OnDemand had different translations (very subtle). The character of Jane in the movie was referred to as Rabbit-tooth Jane in Cantonese. The DVD subtitle had the literal translation. However, the OnDemand version called her Buck-tooth Jane. Personally, I thought it was much funnier having her referred to as Buck-tooth Jane as this is what she would be called in English.

    ft
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    #15
    Apple TV & iTunes: Closed Caption/Subtitle not supported

    I Am So Shocked To Learn Closed Captoin And Subtitle Are Not Supported With Apple Tv And Itunes!!!!!

    This Means Lawsuit!!!!
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #16
    Ehh you can encode a movie with subtitles ... handbrake can. It just puts the image of the word into the actual frame of film.

    Not great but better then nothing.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #17
    I may be mistaken but it seems as though the discussion is confusing the AppleTV with the content available for it. The unit itself should play any content that can be passed to it (just as speakers can play any sound that can be passed to it).

    DVD's have a lot of excess room which can be filled with additional audio and subtitle tracks. For iTunes, or any other supplier, to download all that extra data becomes a bandwidth issue. Unless you are willing to pay extra for it, and most people are not, it is unlikely that we will see multi-versioned downloads.

    In some cases it may be to the copyright owner's advantage to offer subtitled digital content (or content in various languages). My guess is that the OP will continue to find the widest array of content on DVD's. iTunes is just a distributer.
     
  18. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    There are a couple of issues in here.

    1) Closed captions in analog TV signals are decoded by the TV set and are standard in broadcast, cable, and even DVDs. The settings on the display determine if you'll see the captions or not. Apple has already said they plan to support this kind of closed captions in the next version of OS X (Leopard) and QuickTime http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/accessibility.html so you can expect that this will ultimately trickle down to the :apple:TV, when it gets Leopard compatibility.

    2) In digital TV, the responsibility for subtitles/captions is usually pushed off to the set top box/decoder with a dumb display. Most DVDs use this kind of captions as they are usually easier to read than standard closed captions. The :apple:TV has no means for turning these captions on or off which makes it hard to image how they would introduce support for it down the road.

    I find it strange that Apple, a company that prides itself on good accessibility left both this function out as well as any kind of parental controls on the device itself.

    B
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #19
    I just noticed that iTunes 7.4 and the new iPods now support captioning!

    -joedy

    (Galludet University, Class of 1993)
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Krevnik

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    #20
    Za? How? >.>
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #21
    Oh wow, that's good news!

    I don't own an iPod, but this brings the day I own a piece of specialist Apple film-showing gear much nearer...
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #22
    From iLounge.com:


    Captioning is shown on the bottom of the iPod list now. It was not there before.


    Also, from Apple's own site concerning the iTunes 7.4 release in the "What's New in This Version" chapter:



    Thanks to Apple for supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers!

    -joedy
     
  23. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #23
    Or those of us who sometimes just want to watch stuff with the sound way down/off.

    Yay! Can't wait to try that out!

    Is there any indicator of what content has CCs on iTunes?

    B
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #24
  25. macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #25
    Yeah, I saw that. They are adding closed captioning support to the iPod touch and iPhone as well.

    The (when available) thing is a bitch, though. When will they have closed capitioned content available on the iTS?

    (Joedy: another Gallaudetian, huh. Gally Class of 2007 here.)
     

Share This Page