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YogiB
Channel Surfer

Subtitles / captions hard to read

I recently bought a TCL RokuTV. After playing around with it, I liked the Roku interface overall and also got a Streaming Stick 4K+ to use on an older TV that we have with the option of bringing it along when travelling and using it on hotel TVs.

However, when we finally got around watching a foreign series and tried to get subtitles (the app/channel uses the Roku system captions), it was a complete fiasco!

Issues:

  1. The white colour isn't really white. More like light grey.
  2. Can't get the outline thick enough, so unreadable if the visual content behind it contains very light surfaces.
  3. The font is horrible. Whoever though (Sans) Serif is acceptable as a subtitle font must be removed from his/her position! You must include fonts like Arial and Helvatica at a minimum. Roboto can be an option too (used by Youtube for all their captions.)
  4. The subtitles are located in prime video-content real estate. They should be located further down, in the bottom.

Please bring these corrections ASAP. I've already regretted buying the Roku Streaming Stick simply over this issue!

Just to make sure that there is no confusion: this is not an app/channel issue; this is an issue with the Roku's own system caption options.

Labels (1)
8 REPLIES 8
RokuBen
Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

I just posted about why the Roku white isn't 100% white at https://community.roku.com/t5/Roku-Device-Features-Settings-Updates/White-captions/m-p/757898/highli....

The fonts used for captions are licensed from http://www.ccfonts.com/ and are designed to have the full range of characters needed to handle the EIA-608 and CEA-708 caption systems while being quite legible. Most Roku devices don't have the space in system memory needed to have a large selection of fonts beyond those required by federal regulations.

YogiB
Channel Surfer

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

There is no need for a "large selection" of fonts. Just something else than (Sans) Serif.
The full Helvatica font family is ~750kB. The Arial font family is ~280kB. It's hard to believe there is no space for 1 or 2 extra font families.

Apparently the fonts in Roku aren't legible enough, or we wouldn't complain about it. Subtitles go fast, so there shouldn't be any "ornaments" in the font.

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RokuBen
Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

We provide eight different fonts, both serif and sans serif. Is there a specific application you're complaining about?

For reference, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon do their own caption rendering, not using the Roku engine.

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YogiB
Channel Surfer

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

No, this is concerning the built-in Roku captions.

I'm in touch with Roku Support and I just got a confirmation that my case has been escalated to the engineering department.

lipeis
Binge Watcher

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

Your topic is exactly the same as what I had in mind, mainly because of the color of the subtitles (the subtitle should be white and not gray) and also in relation to the font and shading (outline)...
I'm from Brazil and I watch a lot with subtitles and in apps that use the Roku system subtitles... Please update here when you have news. Thanks!

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lipeis
Binge Watcher

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

Any updates from engineering department? Thx

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YogiB
Channel Surfer

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

No, but I'm not expecting to be directly contacted about it.

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lipeis
Binge Watcher

Re: Subtitles / captions hard to read

It's unbelievable that in 3 years no one at Roku team reserve 5 minutes to work on a REAL White subtle and a better font family or at least Bold options... I buy a 50' TV and can't read subtitles just because nobody of Roku team gives a shi...

Thank you Roku Team, you did NOTHING in 3 years of customers asking for decent subtitle... 

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