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Fri Dec 03 2021

Subtitles support in Player SDKs

Fri Dec 03 2021

Subtitles and CaptionsLink Icon

Subtitles and/or captions are terms sometimes used indistinctly to refer to the text version of the speech and non-speech audio information needed to understand the content, that is displayed as a layer on top of the video screen. W3C describes:

Subtitles are implemented the same way as captions. Subtitles/interlingual subtitles are usually only the spoken audio (for people who can hear the audio but do not know the spoken language). They can be a translation of the caption content, including non-speech audio information.

Captions are needed for accessibility, whereas subtitles in other languages are not directly an accessibility accommodation. (Source: Captions/Subtitles)

Some of the most popular formats for subtitles used on the industry right now are listed below with references to their correspondent specification:

For a more detailed explanation and comparison between subtitles format, please refer to: TTML and derivated captions formats

Compatibility with Bitmovin SDKsLink Icon

tablesubtitles

Styling and positioning SubtitlesLink Icon

Subtitles styling and positioning depends on the type of UI used. Either Bitmovin Web UI (available for Desktop browsers, iOS and Android) or the NativeUI (Android, iOS, tvOS, Roku).

Web

For further details on styling subtitles on Web SDK please visit: https://bitmovin.com/demos/caption-styling

Also this Github repository contains a full example of customising the subtitles view: bitmovin-player-web-samples/subtitles at main · bitmovin/bitmovin-player-web-samples

Android

When using Bitmovin Web UI the capabilities are dependent of the CSS and Javascript features provided by Bitmovin UI. A Custom HTML Player UI can be used, in order to expand the customisation of subtitles. Please refer to the Bitmovin Player UI Github repository to know more about creating a custom Web UI.

On the other hand, a Custom Native UI can be also used, please refer to Bitmovin’s Android samples repository to see a sample of using Custom UI Subtitle View.

iOS

In iOS when using Bitmovin Web UI, the capabilities are dependent of the CSS and Javascript features provided by Bitmovin UI. Like for Android, a Custom HTML Player UI can be used, in order to expand the customisation of subtitles. Please refer to Custom HTML UI for a sample app.

When using SystemUI styling capabilities are restricted to the ones offered by AVFoundation. Please check the SystemUI sample in our Github repository.

tvOS

The main difference between tvOS with iOS is that it does not support Bitmovin UI only System UI or a Custom NativeUI . So, styling and positioning capabilities are restricted to AVFoundation entirely.

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