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Old 02-18-2009, 06:16 AM   #1
schweizergarde schweizergarde is offline
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I have pretty limited technical knowledge about blu-ray, both software and hardware.

I currently only have 5 blu-ray discs (about 3 dozen on wishlist XD). I have a 1920x1200 monitor and a blu-ray drive. A couple of my friends have nice LCD/Plasma + surround sound set ups. Others have PS3's.

I established this weird principle. I would like to buy foreign movies on Blu-ray from their home countries (and when there's co-production involved, I go with the language). For example, French import of Persepolis, German version of Das Leben Der Anderen, and coming up, the Swedish version of Låt den rätte komma in (Israeli Vals Im Bashir in the future). Aside from having original cover-art and sometimes being distributed by companies with a hand in production, there's no logical reason for this.

The problem is that it seems like most of these don't have subtitles in English (If this is actually untrue, please let me know). I know only two years of highschool German and one semester of French. I don't think I will ever attempt Swedish.

Is there a solution to this? On the PC side, I'm sure subtitles can be uploaded for playback once more blu-ray players are developed. Is there (and will there be) any feasible way for English subtitles to be displayed with playback on PS3?

I first jokingly thought of using a scrolling LED text display, which is stupid for many reasons. Will it be possible replacing the native language subtitle with an English one on the disc itself (apologies if this was somehow illegal...I intend to legally owning the discs)?
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #2
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I don't think there is anyway ATM. I think it is due to the copy protection on BDs that prevent them for extracting subtitles only from the movies. And I don't think there is anyway to play them with the movie if that is possible.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
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Ask Jeff Kleist over in the insider forums. I think there was some discussion of this awhile back.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:33 PM   #4
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No, it's not possilble, especially on the PS3.The copy protection pathway will not allow overlay access like DVD did (DVD Subber was a great product)

While studios may choose to make additional subs available via BDLive, many times subs are left off for licensing reasons.

When I was doing the Akira piece, I suggested to the Bandai representatives that enabling fansubbers to do subtitles via BDLive might be a great way to get some of their older titles accessible to US audiences that are unlikely to be licensed here. At the same time, it would turn their energies to a productive and legal end. It was not met with enthusiasm to say the least
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kleist View Post
No, it's not possilble, especially on the PS3.The copy protection pathway will not allow overlay access like DVD did (DVD Subber was a great product)

While studios may choose to make additional subs available via BDLive, many times subs are left off for licensing reasons.

When I was doing the Akira piece, I suggested to the Bandai representatives that enabling fansubbers to do subtitles via BDLive might be a great way to get some of their older titles accessible to US audiences that are unlikely to be licensed here. At the same time, it would turn their energies to a productive and legal end. It was not met with enthusiasm to say the least
Thanks for taking the time to answer, Jeff. It's a question that has also kept me busy: the possibility to add additional subs.

I can understand the reluctance by Bandai to allow fansubbers, given the 'underground' nature of fansubbing as a whole, not to mention quality control issues.

However, I don't see why they themselves wouldn't have their work translated and the subs available through BD Live (unless there is a licensing issue of course). It can only help to expand their potential market.


At home, we're really struggling with this issue. Neither me nor my spouse are native English speakers. However, being a translator myself, I don't have any problem watching a movie in English. My wife on the other hand does sometimes. Some details and nuances slip past her, even with English subs turned on. When we're lucky, her native language is included in the subs (God bless those studios that do so) but sometimes they are not ... and that stings a bit. Being able to add additional subtitles would be a tremendous help and technically pretty easy to do so with BD Live I would assume.

Ahhh, one can dream ...
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
schweizergarde schweizergarde is offline
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Thanks Jeff. This whole problem seems ridiculous. Most foreign Blu-rays only have subtitles in the spoken language, American discs have English+Spanish, and UK blu-rays have a dozen subtitle tracks. Since most of these movies have already been released overseas, I don't see why these tracks aren't included.
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
I can understand the reluctance by Bandai to allow fansubbers, given the 'underground' nature of fansubbing as a whole, not to mention quality control issues.
I understand how they feel too. Unfortunately we're about 10 years past beating them, so may as well distract them

Quote:
Thanks Jeff. This whole problem seems ridiculous. Most foreign Blu-rays only have subtitles in the spoken language, American discs have English+Spanish, and UK blu-rays have a dozen subtitle tracks. Since most of these movies have already been released overseas, I don't see why these tracks aren't included.
Because with US movies, they're mostly owned by a large studio who holds rights in many territories to the film, and includes those languages. Non-US films are often held by half a dozen companies in different areas of the world, and those rights must be respected. UK Blus are typically for all of Europe, so they only make one disc for everyone
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:21 PM   #8
RiseDarthVader RiseDarthVader is offline
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I hope they eventually allow you to download the subtitles on BD live. Seems Warner Bros. and Universal do a decent job with including a lot of subtitles. Except Warner Bros. said on the packaging for the Region B release of Blade Runner that it included "complex chinese" subtitles but when I looked through the pop up menu it didn't have it at all. And I get pissed off by the fact that Warner Bros. doesn't give Region B releases BD Live.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiseDarthVader View Post
I hope they eventually allow you to download the subtitles on BD live. Seems Warner Bros. and Universal do a decent job with including a lot of subtitles. Except Warner Bros. said on the packaging for the Region B release of Blade Runner that it included "complex chinese" subtitles but when I looked through the pop up menu it didn't have it at all. And I get pissed off by the fact that Warner Bros. doesn't give Region B releases BD Live.
Yeah I agree. Big props to Warner & Universal for adding a lot of subs to their releases.

I've bought the Matrix Trilogy, Mummy trilogy, Wanted, 5 Harry Potter movies, Batman Begins and many others, all with Japanese subtitles included

Still, I keep hoping that some day we'll be able to get additional subtitles through BD-Live downloads ... or even the possibility to add (illegally) fansubs to BD's. I don't care how it's done, as long as I can get Japanese subtitles on all my BD's.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kyo28 View Post
or even the possibility to add fansubs to BD's. I don't care how it's done, as long as I can get Japanese subtitles on all my BD's.
That is possible right now... Although I deleted the "illegally" bit from your post as what you do within or without legal boundaries is your choice. I am only able to say it is possible to add subtitles to Blu-ray authored content. There are quite a few applications that could do this task. The easiest being tsMuxeR, which will allow you to load a text based subtitle file and load it into a Blu-ray movie. You can select language tag and adjust subtitle font and position etc., then multiplex with the new subtitle added. It will convert the text sub to the presentation graphic stream format used on BD's.

Last edited by Ryu77; 02-19-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #11
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It's possible with PC playback. I've done it many times.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xorp View Post
It's possible with PC playback. I've done it many times.
Which player did you use for playback and how?
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryu77 View Post
That is possible right now... Although I deleted the "illegally" bit from your post as what you do within or without legal boundaries is your choice. I am only able to say it is possible to add subtitles to Blu-ray authored content. There are quite a few applications that could do this task. The easiest being tsMuxeR, which will allow you to load a text based subtitle file and load it into a Blu-ray movie. You can select language tag and adjust subtitle font and position etc., then multiplex with the new subtitle added. It will convert the text sub to the presentation graphic stream format used on BD's.
Interesting idea but wouldn't this require you to rip the BD to your PC, remux and add the subs and then reburn it on an empty BD?
I was hoping to be able to add subs by just transfering a sub-file to my PS3's HDD ... but I guess a new BD profile would be needed to add such a functionality.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:03 PM   #14
schweizergarde schweizergarde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyo28 View Post
Interesting idea but wouldn't this require you to rip the BD to your PC, remux and add the subs and then reburn it on an empty BD?
I was hoping to be able to add subs by just transfering a sub-file to my PS3's HDD ... but I guess a new BD profile would be needed to add such a functionality.
I was looking for exactly the same thing. But I suppose at least this means I can safely buy the blu-rays I went, since there's at least one method of adding subtitles.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kleist View Post
No, it's not possilble, especially on the PS3.The copy protection pathway will not allow overlay access like DVD did (DVD Subber was a great product)

While studios may choose to make additional subs available via BDLive, many times subs are left off for licensing reasons.

When I was doing the Akira piece, I suggested to the Bandai representatives that enabling fansubbers to do subtitles via BDLive might be a great way to get some of their older titles accessible to US audiences that are unlikely to be licensed here. At the same time, it would turn their energies to a productive and legal end. It was not met with enthusiasm to say the least
I believe that is a poor decision on Bandai's part. Fansubs are almost always a lot better then the commercial subs! There is a lot more love and dedication put into the translations depending on the group. They might actually lose a couple sales due to shoddy translations. A good example, I prefer the LMF subs for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and would rather watch a release with those subs then the official release. Somebody with less ethics/morals would gladly download those episodes versus purchasing the official release just for the subs.

It could also cut down their overhead by allowing them to release non subbed versions and relying on different fansub releases that cost them absolutely nothing, or very little. I'm sure if they give a fansub a couple hundred dollars and toss it on BD-Live the fansub would be more then pleased compared to an hourly wage/salary of an official translator. Customers wouldn't care as I'm sure most die hard anime fans would quickly learn which sub pack was the best to download and would just snag that one off BD-Live.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:13 PM   #16
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I have to disagree. Although a lot of fansub groups pour their heart into their work, and I say this with all respect to them, most of them don't translate accurately. For every fansub that is a decent job, there are hundreds of botched up ones.

Official translators may or may not be passionate about their work, but they have the necessary skills (not just linguistic but also translation skills, lingo-analytical skills) to provide good translations.

I'm not saying all professional translations are better than fansubs, but they at least know what they're doing, unlike a lot of the fans who often either lack the language skills or analytical skills to provide an accurate translation.

No offense, but that's how I as a professional translator see it. I've seen a lot of fansubs of which fans seems to think they are the absolute best but when you scrutinize the subs, you see the fansubbers take some liberties with translations or miss some nuances that a professional translator wouldn't
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:18 PM   #17
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Maybe not as much as most fansubs, but I've seen quite a few mistakes on professional subtitles as well.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:37 PM   #18
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The real problem with fansubs, especially today, aside from the whole destroying the industry part is that they take extreme liberties with the translation, usually to add more cursing or sexual references. Most of the time the translators are a child of a Japanese person, or someone who took/is taking Japanese. It's a sad day when my accent is much better than the son of a former Sony Music VP They lack the background to establish context, to understand cultural idioms and that sort of thing.

I've fansubbed quite a lot of Japanese music in my time, and have also done it professionally for a few labels. A good example is this line from Chage and Aska's On Your Mark, which anime fans know because of the Miyazaki video

On Your Mark いつも走りだせば
流行の風邪にやられた

" On your Mark itsumo.Hashiri daseba
hayari no kaze ni yarareta"

On your Mark, let's go
I always catch the cold that's going around"

Now our resident translators can correct me, because my Japanese is hardly conversational, but after a lot of research, it's a cultural idiom that implies a period of change, entering a new era as it where.

It took me 2 weeks to find someone to explain it to me.

So a correct translation ends up being

"On your mark, let's go
"I catch the winds of change as they come"

Or words to that effect, Even though the raw translation doesn't match up.

Then there was "Mr. Asia", where the kanji almost perfectly matched being about being back where they're cool...or fishing
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:08 PM   #19
Kyo28 Kyo28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kleist View Post
The real problem with fansubs, especially today, aside from the whole destroying the industry part is that they take extreme liberties with the translation, usually to add more cursing or sexual references. Most of the time the translators are a child of a Japanese person, or someone who took/is taking Japanese. It's a sad day when my accent is much better than the son of a former Sony Music VP They lack the background to establish context, to understand cultural idioms and that sort of thing.
This is what I meant to say. I don't mean it in a denigrating way, but fansubbers lack the professional training required to make translations that perfectly capture the idea or feelings the author wants to transmit. Most fansubbers are either fans that have taken a few years of Japanese evening classes at best (and isn't nearly enough training to be able to provide correct translation) or ni-sei (2nd generation) or even san-sei (3rd generation) Japanese expatriots, who albeit being bilingual, again lack the training to make the correct transition from one language to another.

You really need to think of fansubs as just that: something that was slapped on by a random, untrained person.

Most anime fans think certain fansubs are very good (mostly because it matches what they see on-screen and the English is decent enough), but they don't realize that a lot of nuances are wrong or lost in the translation, where a professional would have been able to catch that and correct it.


Anyway, to get back on topic: I don't see why studios wouldn't go with downloadable subs through BD-Live. Let's say Paramount releases a movie in Europe and the US and later also in Japan. Where's the harm in adding downloadable Japanese subs for the already released versions?

Last edited by Kyo28; 02-21-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schweizergarde View Post
Which player did you use for playback and how?
I used Media Player Classic HomeCinema and told it to load subtitles from another location.

Last edited by Xorp; 02-23-2009 at 04:40 AM.
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