Caption and subtitle fonts for HD-DVD and Blu-ray

We don’t have a lot to say about HD-DVD and Blu-ray screenfonts because barely anyone watches them.

However, High-Definition DVD Handbook: Producing for HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc by Mark R. Johnson, Charles G. Crawford, and Christen M. Armbrust, p. 7-5, states:

In addition to offering HD resolutions, the HD DVD-Video subtitle format supports both four-colour (two-bit) and 256-colour (eight-bit) subtitles. The reasoning behind this, however, does not necessarily make much sense. During the DVD Forum meetings with the HD DVD-Video format was being created, content producers (television and motion-picture studios) claimed that an increased number of colours beyond DVD’s original four-colour subtitle support was necessary for HD viewing modes due to the complex structure of Eastern-language character sets, such as Japanese and Chinese.

However, with almost six times the resolution of standard definition, individual pixels are actually much smaller (even on very large television sets) in an HD picture. As a result, the jagged edges and coarse shapes that were common on four-colour standard-definition subtitles actually look much better at high-definition resolutions because of the smaller pixel size. In other words, if anything, they really needed eight-bit colour for standard definition where the pixels are larger and benefit more from antialiasing and other techniques that can be used when more colours are available.

Nonetheless, 256-colour subtitles are a welcome feature.... [S]ubtitle text can be made much more readable through the use of antialiasing and other font-smoothing techniques. Subtitle text can be made more colourful, for example, using colour to distinguish one speaker from another or to separate captions for background sounds from those for dialogue.

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Caption and subtitle fonts for HD-DVD and Blu-ray