How-To: Convert a BluRay to MKV -- With SUBTITLES INCLUDED

Step 1->  Rip your BD to FOLDER structure using a program like DVDFab or AnyDVD HD

  No further instructions here; I assume you can get this far.

Step 2-> Examine the file with BDINFOto determine which PLAYLIST comprises your movie:


The TOP window pane shows you the PLAYLISTS, and the BOTTOM window shows the assets that are associated with this playlist.  In general, you can infer that the BIGGEST (in terms of bytes) or LONGEST (in terms of length) is your main movie.  But here, there are two playlists (00000 and 00001) that are identical. 

Clicking the 00000 playlist and comparing the output in the bottom to that of 00001 shows that they ARE actually identical.  So we’ll use 00000.

That’s all we need to use BDINFO for, so close it.

NOTE:   If, indeed, the main movie *IS* entirely in its OWN M2TS file, you can SKIP STEP 3.  However, MANY BD’s are authored in such a way that the movie is scattered among MANY M2TS files.   Disney / Pixar movies are known for this.  So, even though MY movie *IS* in one M2TS file, I’ll still show Step 3, as the steps are identical regardless.

Step 3 ->  Remux the Main Movie into its own M2TS file.

Open that specific playlist file in TSMuxerGUI


Click ADD… and navigate to the PLAYLIST file that was determined above.  It should be in *\BDMV\PLAYLIST directory.

  The top portion of the screen, under “Tracks:,” lists ALL of the video / audio / Subtitle tracks that make up the movie.

In our example, the studio decided to put both a HIGH RESOLUTION (HD) and Low Resolution stream inside the M2TS.   Don’t know why, but I don’t want the low resolution stream.

  I am selecting the HIGH RESOLUTION video stream, and ALL the english audio tracks.   Pick any or all, but make sure you include at least one!

  Apollo 13 has a HUGE number of subtitle tracks.   We’ll deal with those later.   Don’t select ANY of them right now.

After Selecting the tracks you need, and DESELECTING all the ones you don’t, under OUTPUT, click the “M2TS Muxing” radio button, provide a path for the OUTPUT file to be saved, then click START MUXING.

This can take quite a while.  It took about 5 minutes on my 4-core i3 processor.  

It should be noted that, if you DO select the Subtitle tracks, the resulting M2TS file will play just fine (with subtitles) on the WD Boxes.   So if that’s all you want, you can STOP.

But if you’re interested in saving a signficicant amount of space, continue on.

As it stands, this new M2TS file is a few gigabytes smaller than the original, just from removing the unused audio and subtitle tracks.

Step 4 -> Pull the PGS (a/k/a SUP) format Subtitle track(s) out of the BD to use in your MKV.

Keeping tsMuxerGUI Open, DESELECT EVERYTHING except the Subttitle track you want.


Change the OUTPUT radio button to DEMUX, and click Start Demuxing.

This took about 15 minutes on my PC.

Step 5 -> Use BDSup2Subto convert these to a format recognized by MKV Players:   VobSub


Open the SUP file you just demuxed in BDSup2Sub.

When it is finished loading the file, take note of the bottom of the OUTPUT pane; it will say “Detected X Forced Subs.”  If X is any number larger than 0, you’ll need to determine what you want to do next.

Step A->   SOME Forced Subs Detected

If Forced Subs were detected, you’ll probably want to create a UNIQUE Subtitle track that contains ONLY the forced subtitles.   The WD doesn’t obey the FORCED flag, so you’ll need to account for these subtitles separately.

In the CONVERSION OPTIONS window that opens automatically after import, keep all defaults (unless for some reason you need to change them; I never have…) and click OK.

Click FILE  /  Save/Export…

Make sure “Export Only Forced” is CHECKED.

Then click SAVE.   This should go pretty quick; Maybe 15 seconds?

Click FILE / Save/Export AGAIN, but this time, make sure “Export Only Forced” is *NOT* selected.

Make sure you assign a unique file name for this second set, and click SAVE.

You will now have TWO subtitle tracks;  One for the FORCED subs, and one for ALL subs. 

This is useful for those (like me) who want the full set for when the kids are being too noisy and I don’t want to turn the TV up.   

Step B->  NO Forced Subtitles Detected

Click FILE  /  Save/Export…

Then click SAVE.  

Step 6 -> Create your MKV.

Using HANDBRAKE, open the M2TS file you created in Step 3, and use all your favorite options to create your MKV.

No further instructions here…  I assume you’ve already used it… There’s tutorials galore on this subject if you haven’t.

Step 7 -> Merge your SUBTITLE TRACKS into your MKV.

Using MKVMerge


… ADD your MKV File that you created in step 6.

…ADD your IDX files that you created in Step 5.


… select any options you may need to select (like turning off Header Compression if you’re using older products that don’t support that)


In the PICTURE BELOW, IGNORE the file names I used for my MKV.  I didn’t want to wait 15 hours to actually do Handbrake on Apollo 13, so I used a pre-existing (star trek) MKV just to get the screen scrape.


Really nice work, Tony! Shouldn’t this thread be made sticky?

I have a few comments to add:

Step 5) My experience is, that adding a delay of 520ms to the subtitle tracks gives a timing closer to the original (don’t know why, but it is very consistent, both for DVDs and BDs). The delay can be added in the CONVERSION OPTIONS window when loadíng the SUP file.

Step 7) Keeping the VOB/SUB as separate files avoids the transparent shadows, that makes it hard to read subs at light backgrounds. This workaround DIDN’T work for BDs at earlier versions (movie stuttered when larger than around 2.5GB/h), but it does now with the newest version (HOORAY!). Very much recommended! [I don’t know which version since 1.02.21 fixed the stuttering]


Wow, Tony:  What an effort you made!  I am very appreciative.

I have been able to do half of what you described.  I actually got a movie with subtitles to play.  Interesting, the movie played on the WD from my Windows 7 PC WITHOUT any jitters, so I got a bonus!

I’ll be muxing all day today, and trying to get the hang of all that you have shown us.  Again, thank you so much.  I think lots of members on the forum appreciate the effort that you have made.

Nice job, Tony. So far when MakeMKV produced out of sync results, I’ve relied on MKVMania’s guide incorporating Clown_BD.

Cocovanna: Step 7 sounds like a good idea for people using NAS or local disks. Never even thought of that possibility. Step 7 wont work thought for people using DLNA.

That’s true, Tony … and I must add, that the workaround has only been confirmed for local USB disk, I do NOT know if it works with a network share.


Cocovanna wrote:

Really nice work, Tony! Shouldn’t this thread be made sticky?




Excellent job… very helpful information !!

I don’t think it’s an excellent job, not for the time being.  Yeah, it was a good solution one year ago, but not for now. 

7 steps with 5 apps- that’s not what you really want. 

I just don’t see why it should be so complicated. I know some app that does BD to MKV conversion in 2 steps- with subtitles included, of course.

One is MakeMKV - it copy BD and DVD to MKV without change anything. 3 clicks at most.

The other is Pavtube ByteCopy - it does what MakeMKV does and  also shrink Blu-ray and DVD. 2 clicks for BD to MKV conversion, one for importing BD, one exporting MKV.

Both of the two app allow you to keep the subtitles you want.  but there is a problem as I tested- the WD TV Live Plus does not play blu-ray subtitles in MKV container.  And that’s why I purchased the Pavtube ByteCopy- it converts bd subtitles to vobsub, and this plays well.

MKV is not the only way for playing BD  with  WD TV Live Plus- I tried everyway possible, BDMV, BD ISO, M2TS, and BD MKV.  Actually the device plays all of them.  And the problems:

BDMV (M2TS) - each time open a new m2ts, it gets back to  beginning
BD ISO - can’t forward, or select chapter to play BD MKV - subtitles not display,  but I managed to fixed this without hurting video and audio quality
I’ll make it clearer with detailed steps in a new post,  tomorrow or the day after.

1 Like

I disagree with you.  Tony went to a lot of trouble to help me, especially, and others who use and need this forum.  It doesn’t take a lot of steps for everyone, as Tony suggested.  I just open TSMuxerGUI and I get everything I want and need, including subtitles.  It even decreases the file size, if you get rid of unwanted audio tracks and foreign language subtitles.  So, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Thanks, Tony.

I’m saying sorry to Tony, for my agressive words.  And I believe lots of WD TV users benifit from his solution.

As a newbie here, I was eager to share something I know with everyone. I meant no harm. 

Anyway, I’m confident with my solutions - I use MakeMKV and Pavtube ByteCopy to copy BD and DVD to MKV from time to time and they never let me down.  Both allows you keep the audio and subtitles you like, removing ones you don’t like.

The thing with WD TV is, it support MKV playback and certain subtitles (srt, ssa, sami, vobsub, etc). But it does not support the original blu-ray subtitles (pgs) in MKV.  So you get to switch the pgs to something it can read- Tony did this in the above steps.  This is good.  I just want to point out this process could be simpler with other app- the ByteCopy does change pgs to vobsub without transcoding video or audio. And it costs less than AnyDVD HD or DVDfab. I liked DVDfab, till it became a shareware.  Now I’m a Pavtube fan and recommend their app to my friends. They did write a guide for WD TV Live Plus, I think you’ll give it a chance after you read it:

I believe it’s a very considerate solution. If you have better idea, kindly let me know. I’m always looking for better solutions.


Tony: As I’ve stated before, thanks so much for the effort you made to provide me and others a means to 1) convert BD files; 2)pointed to the correct software to use; 3) provided a means to diminish the size of a BD (MKV file); and 4) to be able to include subtitles in the MKV file.

At the moment, I am converting the M2TS file to an MKV file, using Handbrake.  The last step that remains for me to accomplish is to add the subtitles using MKVmerge.  Since it appears that it’ll take 5 hours! to convert the M2TS file using Handbrake, I’ll let you know the outcome much later today.  I am very curious what the video quality will be like.

At any rate, for others who might want to use the process you’ve described, if they follow your directions explicitly I doubt that they’ll have a problem.  

Much thanks and many kudos!

I appreciated what you had to say and I’m going to try both the BD converters that you recommended. I’ll let you know how I make out.  Thanks.

Well, after 3 days of trials, for my purposes, I find using BDInfo and TSMuxer the most satisfying.  It’s easy to use, relatively fast, gives me the subtitles that I long for, and the BD picture quality I require.  I find that the TSmuxer, by virtue of removing all the foreign subtitles I won’t use and ignoring the extra audio tracks that I don’t need, does a great (and quick) job and decreases file size by 40 percent most of the time.  Moreover, the software is free!  BDIfo let’s me know which tracks I need, as some BDs use several track (Try Disney!).

In the end, I suppose the software you use is going to be determined by your personal preferences.  And herein lies the real point to be made:  WD Live works with all of them!

Very useful Tony!

I have the tools and you are generous to help others with this tutorial. These are  free and i think well regarded tools.

But you still end up with large files. Is this not an issue for you?

I find it fine for SD material but use Handbrake to reduce the video size by a factor of 5  for BD and get near identical quality. I use audio passthru.The downside is 5-6 hours of processing!

I’d be really interested in views on the size issue.

In my experience, a finished file size of 25 GB is fine, considering its BD with DTS 5.1 and subtitles.  And it takes only several minutes, not hours, to rip the file, and the quality is very high.  That’s my opinion, but I’m sure others may disagree.  

I certainly prefer a size of 5-10GB compared to 25-35GB … especially when you want to keep a backup (and I do). There is no visual difference, as described several times in this forum.


I have to disagree with you.  I think there is a discernible visual difference.  So does my wife.  But I’m only offering an opinion, not a technical fact.  Again, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.  It is also true that backing up one’s video files must be a consideration.  I own a WHS 2011 system that I built, so it’s not a problem for me technically or financially.  But that certainly isn’t true for everyone.  

You always offer sound advice and I appreciate it.  Thank you.

Also, my backup is the original BD.

Techflaws wrote:

Also, my backup is the original BD.

Yeah, but it is really a LOT of work to rerip the complete collection, when the HD fails. Restoring 1 TB from a backup is done in a few hours (without me participating). And some of my disk (especially TV series) requires special treatment.