Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

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Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby mghb » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:35 am

I asked DramaFever why they use white subtitles, since they are impossible to read. I got this response:
"We are sorry you are experiencing problems with subtitles on the DramaFever Roku channel. We use Roku's captioning feature to display subtitles on the player. Roku limits captions to white subtitles on original Roku players and yellow subtitles on Roku2 players and does not give us the ability to change the color of the text."

I just bought my top-of-the-line Roku in June specifically to access DramaFever (whose online subtitles are yellow), and I am frustrated and disappointed with the subtitle issue. What is being done/can be done to fix this problem? I mean, I just bought my Roku for $100!
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby samukas » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:57 pm

Having lived in Europe most of my time, I honestly prefer White subtitles to Yellow subtitles. They are in my opinion easier on the eyes, neutral and less distracting from the actual movie image. Pretty much all european TV channels broadcast with White subtitles and DVDs are authored that way as well.
I believe nowadays DVDs and Blu-Rays in the US also are using White subtitles, but I might be wrong, it's been a while since I've bought physical media here.

However, the problem with the Roku subtitles is not the color. This is not going to make you feel any better, but I have the Roku 2 (and thus, yellow subtitles), and they are very unreadable most of the times. Not because of the color, but because Roku doesn't make use of a good outline and/or shadow to distinguish the subtitles from the image. Hulu Plus seems to use another system and it's subtitles, even though they are smaller, are more readable. But Netflix, DramaFever or even the USB Channel... it's not that good :/

I know many people have requested this, but if you are listening, Roky Employers... A stronger, darker outline+shadow on the subtitles would make the experience much more enjoyable.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby RokuShawnS » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:21 pm

samukas wrote:I know many people have requested this, but if you are listening, Roky Employers... A stronger, darker outline+shadow on the subtitles would make the experience much more enjoyable.


Will add it as a feature request on my weekly report on Friday.

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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby traal » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:25 pm

Till then, stop watching yellow and white shows. There are plenty of other colors available.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby mghb » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:53 am

I suspect you are right - the subtitles, no matter the color, need to be outlined. I don't care what color they are, I just want to be able to read them. If the problem is Roku's, though, I wonder why another drama site that I watch on Roku (Crunchyroll) has subtitles that are outlined in black and completely readable. This suggests that the problem is at DramaFever and other sites where subtitles are unreadable.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby Gilgamesh » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:00 am

mghb wrote:I suspect you are right - the subtitles, no matter the color, need to be outlined. I don't care what color they are, I just want to be able to read them. If the problem is Roku's, though, I wonder why another drama site that I watch on Roku (Crunchyroll) has subtitles that are outlined in black and completely readable. This suggests that the problem is at DramaFever and other sites where subtitles are unreadable.


Or, it could be, those other sites are embedding the subtitles in the stream and not using Roku's subtitle functions at all.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby samukas » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:24 am

Indeed, that's what they are doing. Crunchyroll subtitles are embedded in the video image, and as such they can make them look as they like. You can tell by looking at the subtitles, you can notice some compression artifacts around the image. They are, however, much more readable than Roku's, because they have a strong outline.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby mghb » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:33 pm

Ahh, thanks for the info. Roku recently wrote saying I should remove DramaFever from my channels and then reinstall the channel. This changed absolutely nothing. So, if the subtitles are to change, that change must come from DramaFever, which is highly unlikely, since they have stopped answering email regarding this issue. So it goes.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby samukas » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:55 pm

Actually, DramaFever are doing the smart thing which is leaving the video stream unmolested and using the Roku's Subtitle Engine.
It's up to Roku now to change how they display external subtitles...
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby RokuPatrick » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:04 pm

samukas wrote:Actually, DramaFever are doing the smart thing which is leaving the video stream unmolested and using the Roku's Subtitle Engine.
It's up to Roku now to change how they display external subtitles...


I don't have a date, but the request has been received. :D
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby Tajson » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:02 pm

RokuPatrick wrote:I don't have a date, but the request has been received. :D


I am pretty sure that there are some women on this forum who would give you a date for the request. ;)
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby mghb » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:29 am

I have noticed that some DramaFever dramas do have subtitles with shadows that make them readable -- for instance, "Lovers", from 2006. So, if it is possible to do it for some, it could be done for all. I did get a message from Roku saying subtitle issues would be taken up in their discussions, but no timeline was set, nor was there any indication that anything would change.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby mghb » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:01 am

Any movement on this? Still waiting for the white subtitles issue to be resolved.

And I have another question.Does anyone know how Dramafever subtitles display with the Roku 2? I know that they are yellow, but are they a deep yellow that can be read against white, tan and similar light colored backgrounds, or are they a faded yellow that is as difficult to read as white? Are they outlined in black?

Can't Roku do something with the firmware for both the original Roku and Roku 2 to enable an outline on subtitles?
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby samukas » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:21 pm

I second this request. A strong outline needs to be added ASAP!!!

The subtitles have a 'regular' yellow color with a 1-pixel black outline which is pretty much imperceptible.
I will take a few pictures for you so that you can see what they look like. Would appreciate if you could do the same, I'm curious how they look like on Roku 1, since I don't have one.
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Re: Roku and Dramafever white subtitles

Postby ron2112 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:41 pm

I hate to be the "+1" guy, but I've noticed the need for more strongly-bordered subs as well. Just adding another voice to the squeaky wheel, or however that goes.

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