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Re: [media-and-entertainment] Frame accurate seeking of HTML5 MediaElement

From: Daiz via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:40:07 +0000
To: public-web-and-tv@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-397583247-1529059206-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
>The baseline assumption that captions and subtitles should obscure the video is also odd to me
>With the abundance of pixels we have now, rendering the captions or subtitles in a separate screenspace that doesn't obscure the action seems hugely preferable

Rendering the subtitles outside the video area is generally a pretty terrible idea from both readability and ergonomic standpoints. When the subtitles are on screen, in decent font size, with decent margins, then you can read them by basically just glancing while keeping your primary focus on the video itself the whole time, which is important because *you are watching constantly progressing and moving video at the same time.* If the subtitles are outside the video frame, suddenly you have to constantly move your eyes in order to read them, which would make for a terrible viewing experience all around.

To borrow a demonstration from an [old Twitter thread of mine](https://twitter.com/Daiz42/status/864804057713696769), here's an example of bad subtitle styling:

![styling_bad](https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/3596343/41463814-86135ec6-70a0-11e8-8cb6-51ac1bf886de.jpg)

Some of the issues:
1. Way too little vertical margin - more likely to require active eye movement in order to read the subtitles at all
2. Small font size - making the text too small will require more focusing in order to take in the text
3. Non-optimal styling in general - the border is thin and there's no shadow to "elevate" the subs from video, can result in subs blending to BG thus making them harder to read
4. No line breaking - it's faster to read two short lines in a Z-like motion than moving your eyes over a wide horizontal line

Here's the same subs again with the aforementioned issues fixed:

![styling_good](https://user-images.githubusercontent.com/3596343/41463919-e8e9d55c-70a0-11e8-9f37-0e84bae5952c.jpg)

>From a pixel counting perspective, these subs indeed obscure more of the video than the former example (or if you placed the subs outside the video frame entirely), but from an user experience standpoint, it actually enables the viewer to focus much better on the content since they don't have to actively divert their attention away from the video to read the subtitles.

Apologies for the long and mostly off-topic post, but I think it's important to point out that "why don't we just render the subs off screen" is not a good strategy to pursue and recommend.

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Received on Friday, 15 June 2018 10:40:08 UTC

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