Subtitles not working with BluRay rips

My WDTV Live box successfully plays DVD and BluRay discs ripped using Handbrake to a USB drive.  I have also been successful in displaying subtitles on DVD rips, using the ‘subtitle’ button on the remote. But I cannot get subtitles to display on Blu Ray rips, even though I’m using the exact same settings on the ‘subtitle’ tab in handbrake for both DVDs and BluRays. 

The mkv files (from both DVD and BluRay) display subtitles in Video Lan (VLC) by using the Subtitle/Sub Track/(desired subtitle) feature. Note that I need my subtitles to be ‘soft’ (not burned in) for flexibility; my girlfriend is deaf and needs them, I prefer to disable them if she’s not watching.

Getting subtitles to work in Handbrake (for DVDs) was a piece of cake - simply ‘add’ them on the Subtitle tab. I add them without any further options / settings - that is, I add (eg) “1. English” and leave ‘forced only’, ‘burn in’, and ‘default’ unchecked. And this works beautifully for DVDs through WDTV (and BluRays through VLC) … but not for BRs played through WDTV …

Any thoughts?

Edit to add: When playing a BluRay rip on the WDTV, pressing the ‘subtitle’ button does display a mini-menu in the upper left corner, and pressing it again cycles through the various subtitles that are present in the source - “subtitle: Off”; “subtitle 1: English”, etc. And this list of possible subtitles does reflect exactly the number of subtitles I added in handbrake (I tested by adding all the subtitles on some movies).

Oh No :cry:

Are your Bluray Subtltles PGS ?

If they are … they need to be zlib compressed to display (use MKVMerge)

Zlib.jpg

1 Like

JoeySmyth wrote:

Oh No :cry:

 

Are your Bluray Subtltles PGS ?

 

If they are … they need to be zlib compressed to display (use MKVMerge)

 

Well, yes they are … ! So this would appear to be something VLC can handle that WDTV cannot.

OK, since it’s 3am already I guess I’ll cross this bridge in the morning!  Thanks for the pointer.

Yes, Steerpike

VLC or any other PC Software player can handle Uncompressed Bluray Subtitles…

But the WDTV only handles Compressed (zlib) Bluray Subtitles.

Just saying, (friendly advice) if you type in “PGS subtitle” in the “Search Box” at the top of this page …

you’ll get a lot a results concerning this matter. 

P.S. Thankfully, zlib compressing the subtitles (with MKVMerge) is pretty painless …

it will only take about 10 mins Max to do the job (it doesent touch the video or audio streams … it just compresses the PGS subs and remuxes the file)

JoeySmyth wrote:

Yes, Steerpike

 

VLC or any other PC Software player can handle Uncompressed Bluray Subtitles…

 

But the WDTV only handles Compressed (zlib) Bluray Subtitles.

 

Just saying, (friendly advice) if you type in “PGS subtitle” in the “Search Box” at the top of this page …

 

you’ll get a lot a results concerning this matter.  

Once you gave me the keyword “PGS” to search for, I did find lots of info … but not knowing that PGS was a factor, I spent a few hours searching / reading / experimenting with no success. > Now that you have given me that keyword, I do see that there are lots of posts on the topic - thanks!  One such topic says … “Subs ripped with MakeMKV are not displayed ( fixed as of MakeMKV 1.7.8, use WDTV profile )” - so is there in fact a remedy at this point?  Regardless, I will read more and experiment more.  Thanks for the assistance!

Awesome!

I followed your steps - downloaded MKVToolnix, opened MKVMerge GUI.  Opened the mkv file produced by handbrake, and implemented the settings above. Remuxing took just minutes and the result worked as expected - selectable subtitles!

The only (extremely minor) difference I noticed is that the subtitles are yellow on the original BR disc, while they are ‘teal’-ish on the rip. I don’t care at all (they both look good) but I couldn’t see an option to change it.  Not going to spend any time on that for now!

I did see, in MakeMKV, an option … View/Preferences/General - enable ‘Expert’ mode; (this enables an ‘Advanced’ tab); On this new ‘Advanced’ tab, there is an option ‘Default Profile’ and the dropdown includes an option for ‘WDTV’.  Comments in other posts suggest this ‘may’ have an effect on subtitles, so I’ll give that a shot on my next project.

My overall opinion of bluray discs has been very poor; they take forever to start up, occasionally require you to download new firmware on your player, and may force you to view previews, etc.  I’ve been wanting to rip them for some time and now that I have a solution to the ‘subtitle’ issue, I’m all set!  It is SO MUCH easier to play a ripped bluray compared to playing the actual disc. Happy Camper !!!

Thanks again!

You might consider it a bonus of VLC but the WDTV is specs conform: PGS subs are zlib compressed by default which is why MKVMerge does it without any manual intervention. Simply remux the file and the PGS subs will be compressed.

1 Like

Steerpike wrote:

The only (extremely minor) difference I noticed is that the subtitles are yellow on the original BR disc, while they are ‘teal’-ish on the rip.

 

 

Just wondering, i don’t know if this works for PGS subtitles . does the color adjustment appear in the options menu during playback ?

 

subcolor.jpg

Usually this is for text subs only but I still gave it a try, and guess what: it worked for one item and then it reverted back to the regular sub color. Also, selecting border color to blue does not change an item’s outline but turns the entire screen blue so you can’t see the video below it. Well done, WD.

Techflaws wrote:

Usually this is for text subs only but I still gave it a try, and guess what: it worked for one item and then it reverted back to the regular sub color. Also, selecting border color to blue does not change an item’s outline but turns the entire screen blue so you can’t see the video below it. Well done, WD.

Fail :cry:

Update to this subject …

I’ve been successfully ripping my bluray collection as described above -Handbrake->.mkv file, then re-muxing in mkvmerge GUI to zlib-compress the PGS subtitles - and been happy with it.  But this week I noticed that chapters (which I don’t make much use of, hence, never noticed this before) were ‘broken’ in the re-muxed output. As it happens, I kept the original un-remuxed files around, and if I play the original version in WDTV live, the chapters are fine.  Example - “Love, Actually” - has 20 chapters.  In the remuxed version, the chapter list goes from 1,2,3,4 to 9,10, then 12, 13… I looked at my rips of “Avatar”, “Gravity”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and they all exhibit similar issues - some chapters are simply missing from the chapter list (I might see 1,2,3,5,6… or 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,…) Also, I upgraded mkvmerge from 6.x to 7.x this week, and the problem remains. I just re-did the mux of “Love, Actually” and see no errors. Anyone else notice this?

Also - in doing the above tests - going back and opening the un-remuxed versions - I noticed that subtitles play even on the un-remuxed versions! I applied the latest WDTV Live firmware (2.02.32) last week, by coincidence. So did WD relax the requirement for PGS subs to be zlib-compressed? I read through all the release notes I could find and could see no reference to such a ‘fix’, but regardless - it seems I no longer rneed to remux my files. Can anyone else confirm this?   I’m happy to still re-mux and zlib compress if that generates a more ‘correct’ output, but - since the process is corrupting chapter lists, I’m not sure this is such a good idea. 

Maybe Handbrake compresses the subs? You can verify this with Mediainfo. Also, I don’t see any chapter issues with MKVToolnix on my encodes. If it’s reproducible you should infrom Mosu about it.

I started this thread because the handbrake output would not show subtitles on the WDTV-Live player, and I haven’t changed Handbrake versions since.

I just ran ‘medianinfo’ on the original version of ‘avatar’ I created back in Feb using Handbrake, and it shows:

Text
 ID: 4
 Format: PGS
 Codec ID: S_HDMV/PGS

The re-muxed version shows:

Text
 ID: 4
 Format: PGS
 Muxing Mode: zlib
 Codec ID: S_HDMV/PGS

The only difference being the Muxing Mode entry.

So the fact that I see perfectly good subtitles now, with the original file from Feb, tells me something has changed in the way WDTV-Live is handling the subtitles.

The only change is as follows: I bought a new WDTV-Live a couple of months ago and finally plugged it in this week, and updated firmware to latest available (2.02.32). The original version that I did the earlier tests with is now in another location and I won’t get to it for a few more weeks. When I get back to that location I will test with these two files.

I’d rather say, you mixed file or player versions somehow. Muxing mode zlib is what is important and Handbrake does this as you say. The SMP supported zlib compressed PGS subs since firmware 1.0 and the old WDTV Live pretty early on too (1.03?).

No, I’m saying that the handbrake output was NOT zlib compressed; I had to run the file through mkvmerge in order to get zlib compression, and in order to get subtitles to display with my old WDTV Live. Hanbrake may have the ability to produce zlib compression, but I don’t know how to make it do so and the ‘mediainfo’ output above tends to confirm a lack of zlib compression.

It will be a couple of weeks before I can get my hands on my original WDTV live device; once I have that in my hands I will re-test with the very same file.

Yep, it appears I’ve misread this but I can only repeat myself: nothing has changed on the WDTV side when it comes to PGS subs. They always had to be compressed with zlib or would not be shown.

OK, finally arrived at my ‘other place’ where I have the old WDT Live player.

Firmware version: 2.01.86

Part number: WDBHG70000NBK (for what it’s worth).

Tested the original ‘Avatar’ rip from February (I brought the actual USB drive with me, to test) - subtitles do NOT show (this is the same file that now plays subtitles on the new player - confirmed).

Updated firmware from 2.01.86 to 2.02.32.

Retested the exact same file … subtitles now display!

So - in conclusion, I can tell you that the new firmware absolutely positively DOES now allow non-zlib compressed subtitles to display.

I’ll be **bleep**, you’re right. I’ve just encoded a file with compressed and non-compressed subs and both get displayed on 2.02.32. Of course this is yet another example of weird priorities on WD’s part: compressed subs are the default setting of the MKV standard. So instead of suddenly supporting out of spec files, why not finally support the forced flag?

You may say, ‘serves you right’, but I decided to take advantage of this new found ‘feature’ (not having to zlib compress subtitles) but this week it bit me in the butt.  After months of ‘success’, this week I tried (again!) to rip Hunger Games (original movie). That is one of the hardest movies to rip, due to playlist obfuscation, etc, but after much reading of the SlySoft forums I was finally able to get a working copy. Anyway, as soon as I turned on subtitles, when using WDTV-Live, the image would freeze and I’d have to restart the box. Interestingly, I could still use ‘back’ to get back to the menus, and navigate to the ‘restart’ action, but any attempt to play any other video at that point just dropped me back at the same frozen video screen. 

I scratched my head for days on this, and finally remembered the whole zlip thing, so ran the video through mkvmerge, and zlib compressed the subtitles and now I can play the movie and watch subtitles! 

Actually there is still one thing wrong with my rip - and this applies to the zlib’d and un-zlib’d versions - and that is, only the first chapter marker is honored; I can press ‘next’ once, and get to chapter 2, but no more. All subsequent presses of chapter are without action.  But if I play the same file in VLC on the computer, the chapters are there.   Anyway, I’m happy to have at least a playable, subtitled movie at last!