In HD DVD subtitling can be done via a subpicture stream or an Advanced Subtitle.  An advanced subtitle is very similar in structure to an advanced application.  It has a manifest, markup file, and font and is declared with its resources in the playlist.  But, an advanced subtitle has some unique characteristics as well. 

  • The markup for an advanced subtitle uses the .xas extension rather than .xmu.
  • The markup may not contain event, area, button, input, or option elements.
  • Inline styles are not permitted.
  • The markup may never receive focus.
  • An advanced subtitle may not use script files.
  • An advanced subtitle is rendered as part of the sub-picture plane and not the graphics plane so zOrder may not be modified
  • An advanced subtitle may not be active at the same time as a subpicture subtitle.

One of the great things about advanced subtitles is that they can be downloaded and run in time with the movie after the disc ships.  This could significantly increase the potential audience for your movie.

Playlist Reference
An advanced subtitle in a playlist is slightly different from and advanced application in that it must include track information and many not specify zOrder.

      <AdvancedSubtitleSegment titleTimeBegin="00:00:00:00" titleTimeEnd="02:00:00:00" src="file:///dvddisc/ADV_OBJ/as_manifest.xmf" sync="hard">

        <Subtitle description="English Test" track="1"/>

        <ApplicationResource priority="1" size="99999" multiplexed="true" src="file:///dvddisc/ADV_OBJ/as_manifest.xmf"/>

        <ApplicationResource priority="1" size="99999" multiplexed="true" src="file:///dvddisc/ADV_OBJ/as_markup.xas"/>

        <ApplicationResource priority="1" size="99999" multiplexed="true" src="file:///dvddisc/ADV_OBJ/Miramo.ttf"/>

      </AdvancedSubtitleSegment>

Generating an Advanced Subtitle Markup Page
When generating subtitles, the primary information needed is the text being spoken, when it appears on screen, when it ends.  The simplicity and regular structure of this data lends itself nicely to automation, of which I am a big fan. 

At the end of this project you will find a sample advanced subtitles project.  In this project is an Excel file with a macro that will generate an advanced subtitle markup page with the data entered on the first tab (Subtitles).  The default x and y positioning and alignment may be overridden by enter a new value in the override columns.   Default values for your markup page are set on the second tab (Settings).

When opening the Excel file, be sure to enable macros.  There is some low level of data checking.  For instance, entering a start or end value in the wrong format will turn the row red.  But, always be sure to run the validator on your project to make sure the output is correct.  And, once you're ready to export your markup file, press the "Export Subtitles" button at the top of the page, or press CTRL+r.