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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 10:34:21 -0800
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <47839681-7205-4FD7-9D81-C81B2AD887C6@gmail.com>
To: Joćo Eiras <joao-c-eiras@telecom.pt>

On Dec 7, 2010, at 10:23 AM, Joćo Eiras wrote:

> On Tuesday 07 December 2010 18:10:45 you wrote:
>> I am understanding your view better, but even so... 
>> Whether the UA is on the TV itself (as I would fully expect to be more and more common), or on a device connected to the TV, authors are not taking the time to write special CSS rules for their pages to look good in standard definition, because it is too onerous to do so. In theory, they could have done so for years, right? I am not anticipating this to change, because of all the problems with extremely limited resolution/pixel-count, unsafe zones, color that is all over the place, interlacing, etc. 
>> So whatever you do, you won't have content that looks good in standard definition. So regardless of whether the device knows or not about the screen, Web pages will look bad if the device is hooked up to a standard def TV, even if you have defined an SD-friendly unsafe zone for authors to deal with. I just don't anticipate most authors putting any effort whatsoever into something that primarily is a problem with standard definition TVs, because it still requires so much more effort for an author to support SDTV than it does to support HDTV (mostly just as it has been for years), AND because HDTV is most likely going to be the future of all TVs eventually.
>> I am an author. I once tried to accommodate WebTV. It wasn't worth the effort, and I needed to spend my time and attention on other things. I can easily imagine adapting the site I work on to look well and work well on HDTVs, just as I did for iPads and phones. I really can't imagine trying again to make it look good on a 640x480 maybe-interlaced screen with unsafe areas, along with all the other SDTV issues, plus all the other (HD)TV differences to deal with anyway (bigger fonts for distance viewing, different input/navigation methods, etc.).
> You would if it was your job.
> This is not specifically about having general web pages looking good on tvs, but also, and specially, for web apps specially crafted to run on the TVs and media devices (think of TV widgets for instance), which are usable using just a remote. You're also remarking blurry resolutions. For that, there is the tv media. The problem were discussing is the lack of safe/unsafe area support, which is another one.
> Right now the solution is... browser sniffing, not pretty.

OK, so I have been trying to define the size of the problem. And now it seems to be a problem that is pretty narrowly focused, mostly on authors creating content/pages/widgets specifically for TVs, for maybe the next 5 years or so (my guess as to when SDTVs might become irrelevant to that group of authors). Is that accurate? Do we agree that most general Web authors aren't going to care about unsafe areas? I'm not saying that this isn't or is reason enough, I'm just trying to understand the scope of the issue so that we can evaluate it in that light.
Received on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 18:34:59 UTC

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