Subtitle psychosis!

Is it just me or does the blasted WD TV Live Hub do other people’s heads in too!?

To my serious question… Is it possible to override the Hub’s “Subtitle Default” setting via mkv flags? I’ve found a thread suggesting that with the Live and Live Plus you can’t. I’m guessing the Hub’s the same because I’ve not managed it in umpteen variations/permutations of “Default track” flag, “Track enabled” flag, “Forced display” flag, sub/idx, srt, ssa…!

Tackling the problem (of forcing display of English-Translation-type subtitles, but not general-type subtitles) another way, does there exist a utility that can ‘burn’ subtitles onto the video stream, without otherwise touching (i.e. compressing) the video? For example, Handbrake can burn on subtitles, but I believe it’ll always mess with (compress) the video too.


Of course there is no way (nor tool) to burn in subs and not affect video quality. According to the specs these flags are possible with MKVs:

FlagDefault: Set if that track (audio, video or subs) SHOULD be used if no language found matches the user preference.

FlagForced: Set if that track MUST be used during playback. There can be many forced track for a kind (audio, video or subs), the player should select the one which language matches the user preference or the default + forced track. Overlay MAY happen between a forced and non-forced track of the same kind.

Mosu also wrote on Doom9:

Unfortunately the description for the “default” flag is ambiguous. Players have come interprete it as “turn on this track, regardless what!”. I always tended to disagree with that interpretation, but well, it is how it is.

Having said that, there seems to be some confusion and bugs about how to handle subtitles. IMO the player should override the file’s settings. After all, it’s my player and if I set it to subtitles on, I want them on, no matter what.

So if your LIVE defaults to ON and you have elvish or navi as a separate track, setting this to forced should get you what you want.

Ta Techflaws, yes, I’d read the specs; it just seems like WD haven’t (or are interpreting them contrary-like)! You using words like ‘should’ and ‘possible’ brings me back to my first line and my frustration with the WDTVLH - the WD blurb will say things like ‘supports’ x y z and at the ‘demo level’ yes, things work, and pretty well (to the extent that I’ve bought 2 WDTVLHs) but try and do some things that should work and you can come a cropper. Example, no italics on srt subtitles, nor ssa seemingly!

I take your point re’ the player overriding file flags; a third option, “Soft”, i.e. go with file settings, would seem sensible.

Bottom line, as before, I don’t believe subtitles can be forced on (upon play initiation) if "Subtitle Default" is Off. But you’ve given me food for thought (and yet more to investigate)… set "Subtitle Default" to On (which will allow me to sort Translation-type subtitles) but see if I can use flags to  stop regular HoH subtitles from coming on. What’s the betting that flags are ignored and subtitles will come on regardless…!?

Edit/Update: Yup, set "Subtitle Default" to On and you then can’t stop subtitles appearing - setting “Default track”, “Track enabled” and “Forced display” all to No does nothing.

The bottom line would appear to be that the WDTVLH (2.07.17) totally ignores mkv flags “Default track”, “Track enabled” and "Forced display", at least. Anyone able to prove differently.

Finally, sorry but I’ve just realised this is in the wrong forum - that’s the extent to which the “nuances” of this device are driving me crazy :slight_smile: