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Re: Defining safe areas for media devices and set top boxes

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 08:54:10 -0800
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <014F96FF-C739-4D43-ADF7-25096CE18420@gmail.com>
To: Joćo Eiras <joao-c-eiras@telecom.pt>

On Dec 7, 2010, at 3:45 AM, Joćo Eiras wrote:

>> Right. I understand. My point remains. How important is it have a special media query whose purpose is to support issues related to regrettable cabling choices? I am willing to be convinced it is important if, say, this is extremely common and expected to stay common for years. But so far I am not convinced. 
> 
> I gave real examples. 'State of the art' TV was one of them. Using an RCA cable was another example of how your perfectly crafted setup may not produce the results you expect. If a HDMI cable is used, there is also a safe area, but with much smaller edges  (bug on hardware ? maybe). But it's quite pointless to debate whether CRT screen are obsolete or not. Not everyone in the world has access to HD TVs and state of the art technology, so the safe area problem will still last for years. I'm certainly not buying one in the near future.
> 
> There is no point in debating here whether CRT screens, VGA, RCA or whatever cables are obsolete, and that everyone might not have a HDTV with HDMI cable in the next couple months, this is a CSS mailing list, so I'd like to concentrate on the CSS part of the discussion.

But obsoleteness is an important consideration, and that is why I was bringing it up. Every new CSS property, function, and whatnot has multiple types of costs, and takes time to spec and implement and work out the possible (probable?) unexpected side effects and interactions. If the problem were to theoretically disappear next week, then clearly it would not be worth any of us putting any effort into creating new ways to deal with it in future UAs.

> Not everyone in the world has access to HD TVs and state of the art technology, so the safe area problem will still last for years. 

OK, but I seem to be hearing two different things. On the one hand, people seems to react against me saying that tube (CRT) technology was a dying technology for TVs, as though it was inflammatory for me to say so, and not merely a straightforward statement of uncontested fact (I no longer see them being sold at stores, at least in the US). On the other hand, you said that "low-res TV is completely out of scope". And back on the first hand again, you are now saying that low-res TV is relevant, because people will still have older SD TVs for years.

I am just trying to determine how long-lasting and relevant the problem is. IF (and I do say "if") it is relevant only to:

   a) CRT TVs that are no longer being sold which don't display Web pages well anyway for a variety of reasons, and 

  b) naive installation of inappropriate cabling (a problem I would expect to diminish as HDTVs with Web connections become more the norm and therefore grow in importance to the Web), 

...then I would not expect the problem to be relevant enough to content authors to actually get many of them to write special styling rules inside a media query. It seems to me that it is the great increase in pixel area that makes HDTVs a much more practical venue for regular Web pages than SD TVs ever were in the era of WebTV, etc. Without the HD, I wouldn't expect much more authoring for the Web on TVs than we've had already.

It is only now that I am reading from you that even a properly connected HDTV may still have a small unsafe area too, so that may be worth considering. Although I still have to wonder if TVs made to read Web pages would continue to be manufactured if they are cutting off the edges of the pages.
Received on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 16:54:46 GMT

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