I’m rehashing a post I’ve made on AVS forums a while ago in the hope that the powers that be will finally take notice and do something about it, especially since some of the issues should not take to much work to get fixed.
First of all there’s a distinction between text and image based subs and between external and internal subs:
srt internal/external: transparent outline, hardly readable (external are displayed higher than internal)
idx/sub external: fine (as of 1.01.11)
idx/sub internal ISO: fine (as of 1.01.00!)
idx/sub internal MKV: messed up
Since WD is in the business of selling hardware it may be understandable that new features/fixes are predominantly applied to new models (WD TV -> WD TV LIVE) but what I really can’t wrap my head around is that some features that worked fine in previous models get broken in newer hardware. Case in point: SRT files were readable on the original WD TV but someone (Sigma?) apparently thought it to be a good idea to change the usually black outline of a sub (which is supposed to make the text stand out from whatever background picture) to a transparent one which makes it barely readable:
WDTV 1.xx external/internal srt
WDTV LIVE 1.xx external/internal srt
Internal Vobsubs (idx/sub) are messed up, apparently some colors of the palette are ignored/replaced ( update : mjuhasz determined the cause of this). Which is even more annoying and inexplicable considering that idx/sub are the very same bitmaps from the original DVD that are depicted just fine when in VOBs or ISOs. This bug was present with external idx/subs in the 1.0 firmware as well. Apparently someone forgot to apply the fix introduced with the 1.01 update to internal subs as well.
WDTVL 1.01.xx external idx/sub
WDTVL 1.01.xx MKV internal idx/sub
Some more, please add any issue not mentioned here in your reply posts (anime/SSA fans anyone?):
dropouts (fixed as of 1.??)
External/internal dx/sub with more than 1 stream show irregular dropouts of certain items. FF/RW will show these previously dropped items but then other items of the stream will be dropped.
update: mjuhasz discovered that dropped items are due to these items missing end times. Since these are spec compliant the LIVE should support them. Workaround for the time being: open and save the sub in BDSUP2SUB.
default stream settings are ignored
With subs set to on the LIVE will always display the first stream no matter what flag is set in the MKV or ISO.
Partially fixed as of 1.03.38: MKV are fine, VobSub setting is ignored, ISO/VOBs are pending investigation
external subs are preferred
When you have both external and internal subs for the same video always the external are displayed by default.
no internal subs for MP4
I’m not too familiar with this container but it can contain subs which are ignored by the LIVE
the vertical distance between two lines of srt subs is too big
PGS subs (SUP) from Blu-Rays are only supported in M2TS but not MKV containers
Fixed as of 1.06.15 : PGS have to compressed with zlib (MKVToolnix: default, MakeMKV: use WDTV profile)
As tinuadmin pointed out, as of prebeta 1.03.22 on playback of DVD ISOs subs have to be turned on manually despite Settings > Video Settings > Subtitle Default being set to on
As board mentioned, MicroDVD linebreaks are ignored. Instead the whole item is displayed on 1 line with a | in between. Problem: the LIVE manual lists SUB as a supported format. However, there are several formats with this extension: MicroDVD, MPSub, Philips SVCD Designer, Sofni, Sonic DVD Creator, Subsonic, Subviewer, TMPlayer.