W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2010

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

From: Belov, Charles <Charles.Belov@sfmta.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 16:39:59 -0800
Message-ID: <E17F75B6E86AE842A57B4534F82D03769C33DF@MTAMAIL.muni.sfgov.org>
To: <robert@ocallahan.org>, Joćo Eiras <joao-c-eiras@telecom.pt>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>
Robert O'Callahan wrote on Thursday, December 09, 2010 2:55 PM
> 2010/12/10 Joćo Eiras <joao-c-eiras@telecom.pt>
> Can you give concrete examples of content authors want to place in the unsafe area?
>>I really don't know what to answer. Are you suggesting that painting a background is a silver bullter for all problems related to safe areas ? That seems an overly optimistic assumption.
>I'm not suggesting anything. I'm just asking you to describe examples of the content authors want to place in the unsafe area. Once you've done that, we can determine whether drawing the viewport background over the unsafe area is an adequate solution for those examples.
>>And do I need to repeat that element in the document might bleed out of the safe area to snap to the document edges, as they do elsewhere, regardless of whether they have significant content or not ? For instance, a video playing fullscreen, as I said before.
>What do you mean by "the document edges"? David and I suggested that you should size the viewport to the safe area. Elements don't display outside the viewport.

Border images might be used to ensure that the unsafe area doesn't contain any black space.  If one resizes the viewport, then there will be black space around the page, which may not fit in with the rest of the page's design. 

In any case, it would be the consumer who would have to resize their viewport, something they are unlikely to do simply to view web pages on a television.

Microsoft MSN TV (which I believe to be on the way out), Google TV (on the way in) and the various gaming consoles that display on a TV are examples of user agents that are designed to display on a TV screen as opposed to a computer monitor.  Since TVs can last for 10 or 15 years before being replaced, the unsafe area could be around for a while.

I don't know about the other products, but Web TV uses an extra-large font for text clarity, and, if I recall correctly, keeps the text within the text-safe area by design (meaning a website does not have to design for it).  Unfortunately, pages using absolute positioning tend to fall apart in Web TV.  (Then again, such pages tend to fall apart for me in Firefox, as I use a larger-than-default minimum font size.)

There is an MSN TV emulator available for Windows, if you want to experience it for yourself, which I can't quickly find right now.  Of course, it won't display the safe area issue.

To complicate matters, there is also an MSN TV2, which is different and which is also no longer sold.

Hope this helps,
Charles "Chas" Belov
Received on Friday, 10 December 2010 00:48:48 UTC

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