My two cents....
by Samsung_HD_Tech - 6/27/11 3:32 PM
In Reply to: I hope not! by radbobdad
...which are probably worth 2.5 cents.
There are a few things here.
1. Netflix is announcing the option, which is a welcome step forward. If they put the option on older models, it will take someone from Netflix (and possibly QC from Samsung's end too) to make the App available for subtitles.
2. Is this in progress? They are adding subtitles as they have announced. How this plays out with Samsung TVs and Blu-Ray players is not something I don't have an answer on yet.
In the end, it's up to them to add the option in the App. I'll explain why (and of course, if I'm mistaken somewhere along the way, someone is sure to say so)
When we went to digital broadcasting, the analog signal that was carried under the signal used to carry closed-captioning went away. Digital signals don't have dual roles as we see with HDMI. While analog signals could carry two frequencies, we're not seeing that option available for closed captioning with digital signals. The "chip" that allowed this in the past went out with digital.
More on that here:
In essence, the box, or source must incorporate the words/SRT/sub/CC into the picture before the picture enters the cable. In the case of Netflix on a TV, it would have to be at the point of origin, which would be the file on Netflix's server. (Depending on how they're planning on adding it - could be an SRT hybrid option, but either way - it happens at the source before it reaches the TV).
While subtitles are built into the disc and encoded to be played simultaneously as a film, this option works through HDMI because the signal is added prior to entering the cable, not the merging of two signals at the destination as was in the analog days. This is different from streaming, since streaming from a server with changing resolutions and quality options might have difficulties of their own. IN essence, it would seem to me that each movie would have to be recoded from scratch with the subtitles for that service to be available. Or a timing option within the Netflix service with SRT files. Again, I don't know what they've chosen to do, but it's not going to be a menu item on the TV - but may be in the App.
Netflix might revisit some of their older Apps, so while I can't speculate, 2011 will probably be updated if this rolls out this year and they go cross platform with the software. 2010 might see those changes. 2009 and beyond - hard to say what the capabilities are (onboard memory, processing power, etc), or if it's even possible with the limited memory that early players had. It's up to their programmers.
Also, closed captioning and subtitles are terms that are often interchanged, and not necessarily is this a bad thing, but they may mean different things to different people, particularly when we cross borders and continents. For purposes of this U.S. based discussion, think of subtitles as language translations (like found on DVD language menus), whereas closed captioning also includes (sigh), or (thud) or (door slams) in addition to the spoken word are found old older broadcasts.
Hope that helps.
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