Allow subtitle/caption display preferences to be set at system level

User control over of the presentation of subtitle (text representation of speech, for localisation) and captions (text representation of important audio, for accessibility) is a legal requirement for some videos played at system level, specifically video that falls under CVVA – video that has previously been captioned for television broadcast.

The obvious application for system level preferences is for system level video, such as Blu-ray and VOD. However, it would be ideal for the preferences to also be exposed for developers to pull in as default values for their own in-game subtitles and captions (see Expose as many system level accessibility preferences as possible to developers).

There is a standardised set of options defined by VPAAC and backed by the FCC, specced out in a standard called CEA-708 which has been adopted across technologies from smartphones to TV on demand services to games consoles. It requires options for the following:

  1. Text & letterboxing color override, to white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, cyan.
  2. Ability to override font choice with options including monospaced serif, proportional serif, monospaced sans serif, proportional sans serif, casual, cursive, & small caps
  3. Opacity level of both text and letterboxing, letterboxing from 0% to 100%
  4. Text size, from 50% to 200% of default
  5. Text edges, including none, raised edges, depressed edges, uniform edges, and drop shadowed edges

It also requires settings to persist between sessions, and a preview function to be available.

Xbox One caption presentation options, with preview panel

Next: Ensure all video players support captions

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