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Timed Text (Captions, Subtitles, Forced Narratives)

All timed text assets must be conformed to match the length of the accompanying video prior to delivery to Prime Video. Whenever available, Prime Video prefers to receive captions/SDH (subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing) over subtitles to provide an enhanced viewing experience to customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. See the Supported Features table for a complete list of timed text assets by territory.

  • Captions/SDH: Timed text that includes both spoken dialogue and atmospherics for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
  • Subtitles: Timed text assets that provide on-screen text of the program dialogue. Any subtitle, closed caption, or SDH file delivered as part of an MTA package must contain a full translation of all spoken dialogue and narrative text that needs to be understood by the audience, including Forced Narratives.
  • Forced Narratives: Forced Narratives (also known as Forced Subtitles) translate spoken dialogue and on-screen text that is in a different language from the primary audio content of the program when creative intent requires that the dialogue be understood by the viewer. They are displayed to the customer based on their audio choice, rather than selecting that subtitle language. If a title contains Forced Narrative content, delivery of separate Forced Narrative timed text assets is required for each language available in a multi-track audio (MTA) package. See the Supported Features table for additional information based on territory. A Forced Narrative file is required for every dubbed audio language being provided. You may also need to provide a Forced Narrative file in the original language of the title if you are providing us with a semi-textless master, where texted elements present in the theatrical or original broadcast version have been removed.

Technical guidelines for timed text

Prime Video accepts the following file types for delivery of timed text:

  • DFXP Full / TTML (Timed Text Markup Language) with a .dfxp file extension
  • Lambda Cap with a .cap file extension
  • EBU-STL with a .stl file extension
  • iTT (iTunes Timed Text) files with a .iTT file extension
  • SCC (Scenarist Closed Caption) with a .scc file extension
  • SMPTE-TT (RP-2052) with an .xml file extension
  • SRT

Frame Rates and Drop/Non-Drop Frame indication

Prime Video allows a wide range of timed text formats, some of which don't natively include Frame Rate or Drop/Non-Drop values. In general, if the time code format is in clock time (i.e. hh:mm:ss.sss), Frame Rate or Drop/Non-Drop information isn't required. If it's in a frame-based format (i.e. hh:mm:ss:ff or hh:mm:ss;ff), then you must send both Frame Rate and Drop/Non-Drop information via the file name convention, Prime Video Asset Manifest, or MMC Manifest. Depending on the specification and namespace used (TTML or TTAF) in DFXP, XML, and ITT files, Prime Video uses either the TTML timebase or TTAF timebase (media and SMPTE only) accordingly for parsing.

The table below summarizes the timed text formats that Prime Video accepts and whether or not that information must be included in the delivery manifest document. Information provided via delivery manifests takes priority over assumed default values found in the header metadata of the timed text file.

Positioning and styling

While Prime Video doesn't support timed text positioning, positioning information should be included when obscuring instances of onscreen text may occur in the lower third of the video frame. Some styling information is supported and the table below specifies what positioning and styling is supported for each timed text format.

File Media Frame2 SMPTE Frame3 Clock (ms)
EBU-STL  

 
SCC  

 
CAP

 
DFXP

SMPTE-TT  

ITT

SRT    

File 23.976 ND4 23.98 ND 24 ND 25 ND 29.975 D & ND4 30 ND 50 ND 59.945 D & ND4
EBU-STL    

 

   
SCC

CAP

DFXP

SMPTE-TT

ITT  

SRT                
File Italic Bold Underline Unicode
EBU-STL

 
SCC

 
CAP

 

 
DFXP

SMPTE-TT

ITT

SRT      

1 Frame-based subtitle streams must include frame rate in manifest/file naming convention. 29.97 assumed, when applicable, if blank.

2 Drop/Non-Drop doesn't apply to media frame based subtitle streams.

3 SMPTE frame formatted events will be converted to clock time (milliseconds) before being paired with videos. We won't reference SMPTE timecode tracks embedded in videos.

4 Non-Drop, SMPTE frame based subtitle streams with decimal values are drift-corrected with a multiplier of 1.001 after delivery.

5 Drop/Non-Drop info must be included in manifest/file naming convention for 29.97 & 59.94 frame rates.

Time Code Offset

Prime Video doesn't support time code offsets. All timed text files must be submitted with a 00:00 offset in order to conform to the video mezzanine file.

Character support

Prime Video supports the full UTF-8 character set, except musical notes.


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