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Help! The Mystery of the Missing Subtitles

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Bert Coules, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    I've just acquired a Russian DVD which (allegedly) comes complete with English subtitles.

    Unfortunately, selecting that option from the main menu brings up subtitles in Russian.

    Naturally, I immediately tried selecting "Russian subtitles" in the hope that some wires might have been crossed somewhere. Result: subtitles in Russian!

    It occured to me that I don't know how the subtitling option on a DVD actually works in the physical sense. Does the disc carry different complete versions of the movie, some with subtitles and one without? Or are the selected subtitles somehow overlaid over a master copy of the film?

    What's infuriating is that those English subtitles might be lurking somewhere on the disc. If they are, how do I get at them? I've tried playing around with various track and chapter numbers but to no avail.

    The movie, by the way, is a Sherlock Holmes flick. I could do with his help...

    Thanks in advance,

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Hi Bert

    What happens when you press the Subtitle button on your remote?? Can you cycle through different options with each press??
     
  3. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Jase,

    I'm ashamed to admit that until you drew my attention to it I didn't realise that there was a "subtitle" button on the remote; previously I've always used the menus on the discs themselves.

    Pressing the remote button called up various bits of onscreen information, including an ENG/RUSS dialogue box. Selecting ENG produced the English subtitles. Many thanks.

    I'm still intrigued to know how the titling is actually done. Surely there aren't multiple copies of the movie on the DVD? Is the technology similar to TV subtitles?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  4. Jase

    Jase
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  5. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Jase,

    Interesting links, thanks. I see that the first company makes a clear distinction between "subtitling" and "captioning". Their technical description of the latter makes it sound very like TV subtitling, so I'm still slightly in the dark as to how the DVD version actually works.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Not sure how they encode it : It might be on an unused line in the video like teletext or it might be a datapacket somewhere else (wouldn't be very large) but essentially the subtitles are decoded and then composited onto the video. Sometimes if you skip few frames forward and back you can see the subtitles get confused and then resync back to the video.

    Sometimes you do get films that have the subtitles burnt into the print: although on dvd its more common no to have a telecine struck from the negative or a dupe hence no subs and they have to be generated ( course this is cheaper because you only have to do the one pressing for multiple countries)

    I had a similar problem last night watching kagemusha which started with subtitles switched off completely and as I don't speak Japanese I had to hunt them out on the subtitle menu. ( this involved climbing over the sofa gingerly reaching behind my projector and scrubbing a mouse about over a duvet whilst turning my head around over 90 degrees to see if the mouse wiggling was having the desired effect on screen.... ah bliss!
     
  7. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Keith,

    Many thanks for the reply and the information.

    Couldn't you get a cordless mouse and operate it from the comfort of your viewing chair?

    Or an assistant?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  8. Jase

    Jase
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    Or both?:D
     
  9. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    It's the latter.
     
  10. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    Squirrel, did you edit your latest post? I swear it changed almost before my eyes - something about dedicated MPEG packets disappeared - but it doesn't have the usual "Last edited by..." line.

    Edited to add...

    Aha! I just edited my own post - and that doesn't have the "Last edited by..." line either!

    Edited again to add...

    Ah! And now it does! Strange...

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  11. Squirrel God

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    I typed a more detailed reply at first but it was unnecessary so I deleted it. If you edit quickly, you don't get the "edited" text at the bottom ;)
     
  12. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
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    If you edit quickly, you don't get the "edited" text at the bottom...

    I wondered if that was it. Thanks.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  13. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Further integration of HTPC with prontoesque type solution to follow.
    Would not trust the old ball and chain anywhere near my kit just yet!
     

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