How to use Embbed Subtitles in MP4?

Hi everybody!

I’m using Handbrake to convert my MKV files to MP4 and I choosing to add subtitles on this movies. On AppleTV and iPad it’s ok, I see this subtitles even AC3 audio (AppleTV) is working fine but on WD TV Live I unable to see the subtitiles. 

Can anyone help me with this issue?


Ivan Milazzotti

I had the same problem as yours, I had to convert mkv to m4v for my iDevices. The problem is that the WDTV Live does not support embedded subtitles in mp4 or m4v. What you need to do is extract the subtitle from the mkv using mkvextract programme. Download it for free, just google it. Now put the subtitle file in the same folder as your mp4 video. Make sure it has the same name as the video. If  you use network shares then your subtitle will now work on WDTV Live.  Another thing; if your mkv has AVC video codec, your may not need to trancode, just passthrough the video and trancode the audio streams. It saves time and doesn’t degrade video quality. Hope that helps

Actually it does support MP4 with embedded VobSub and it should with embedded SRTs too.

I think the subtitles he means are the soft ones that are used in m4v and are able to show on Apple devices. They are not srt files but show up as Apple text on media info. Those I tried to make them show on WDTV Live without success. I don’t think WDTV Live supports those, just as it doesn’t support embedded metadata which shows up in iTunes. If does support them, I would be grateful to know how, as it would save me the extra step of attaching an external subtitle file.

Techincally, the only subtitle format allowed per the M4V / MP4 standard is MPEG-4 Timed Text.

That’s what Handbrake creates, but HB can only do this with SRT sources or CC subtitles, IIRC.

That’s the point: I’m pretty sure I’d tested this successfully with some SRT subs a while ago (usually I’m MKV only). Today I tried it with Handbrake and it did not work. What did work however were Vobsubs in an MP4 created from a DVD with Handbrake. The WDTV played them and I could turn them off/on (despite being off spec). 

Unfortunately Apple TV or iPad do not support Vobsubs in an mp4 or m4v container. To cater for WDTV Live and Apple devices I found out that it’s better to use mp4 or m4v with timed text and external vobsub, srt or Advanced Sub Station Alpha files. I then access them using network shares. In mkv, the WDTV Live can handle soft subtitles.