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PAL Closed-Captioning with Encore/DVD Studio Pro

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Jessica MuthPAL Closed-Captioning with Encore/DVD Studio Pro
by on Apr 10, 2012 at 7:52:21 pm

Hi Everyone,

* Note I am posting this in the Closed-Captioning forum and both Encore and DVD Studio Pro forums, so I mis-post, please let me know.

I am well-aware that Apple's DVD Studio Pro and Adobe's Encore does not support closed-captioning within their softwares if you are trying to author a DVD in PAL; it does work, however, if you author in NTSC. This is because Line-21 is supported in both programs in NTSC and not in PAL as PAL uses Teletext, which not supposed in either software.

I have three questions regarding that information that I'm hoping someone might be able to provide some insight.

1. I can build my DVD in DVD Studio Pro with a PAL stream and I double-checked to make sure that my DVD is set (in Preferences) (Note: my .scc file is set at 29.97 fps, just as an example) in PAL and take the VIDEO_TS files and play it back in the DVD Player on the computer and have the captions display; however, when I burn it to DVD, the captions do not display. Why would Apple tease me like this? Better yet, since my captions were provided at 29.97 fps, the captions were on-time when played back on the computer; the captions should be slightly offer since the DVD is 25 fps and the captions are 29.97, correct?

2. Let's say my .scc file is actually 25 fps to match my PAL stream. If I author it in DVD Studio Pro and then try to play back the DVD in a player, do you think this will work and not only display with the DVD Player software instead?

3. Are they any alternatives to try to get around this in Encore or DVD Studio Pro for a PAL project to accept captions (excluding subtitles)? If not, does anyone know if Scenarist will take closed-captioning if authored in PAL?

Sorry for the detailed post. I wanted to provide as much information as possible.

Please let me know if anything is unclear. I appreciate everyone's responses in the meantime!

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Bill StephanRe: PAL Closed-Captioning with Encore/DVD Studio Pro
by on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:06:23 pm


Nothing, not DVDSP, not Scenarist nor anything else, supports closed captioning in PAL. For captioning to work in PAL, you need a way to encode the caption data into the first line of active video, which is line 25. No DVD encoder is set up to do this. Then there must be a way to decode the closed caption data from line 25. No PAL-only TV receiver or monitor has a caption decoder. The DVD player does not decode the captions; rather it passes the data along to the TV set. Software media players such as Quicktime player read captions from a metadata track.

I strongly urge you to forget about closed captions and go with DVD subtitles instead.

I've been working in a facility in New York for the past 16 years that does a heavy volume of work in PAL. If there was a way to do closed captions in PAL, we would have found it by now. There certainly have been enough requests over the years.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City

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Jessica MuthRe: PAL Closed-Captioning with Encore/DVD Studio Pro
by on Apr 10, 2012 at 11:47:43 pm


That is what I suspected. Thank you very much for the insight.

We have a Pioneer system that allows us to maintain the captioning when making PAL DVD originally from a tape source, but that is it.

Thank you very much again.

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