MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

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BradleyMacDonald
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:29 pm

MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by BradleyMacDonald »

Description of problem or question:
I am burning some movies from DVD that I want to display on my Samsung TV that uses a USB port. I can do all the basics - including MP4 (does not want to seem to work with MKV files?) - and have multiple different audio tracks (English, French for example).

I have one standard track added to all my movies : Foreign Audio Scan - Forced - Burn In
This allows me to have any sub-titles for foreign languages in the films I burn. This part works well.

However, when I try to add another sub-title track - it says it is burned in file - and I can turn that one on/off when I play the movie in something like VLC Media Player. In fact it works well.
But when I try to have it play on my SamSung smart TV - it does not work at all. I have made sure that the Subtitles are turned on - on the TV.

Has anyone else run into this? Is there a particular setting I need to use in my burn to have the Samsung TV allow the use of Subtitles? OR is it the burning to a MP4 format that is causing me issues? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thank you
Bradley

Steps to reproduce the problem (If Applicable):




HandBrake version (e.g., 1.0.0):
Version 1.2.2 (so a little old).



Operating system and version (e.g., Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Windows 10 Creators Update):
Windows 10



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Woodstock
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Posts: 3367
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by Woodstock »

The MP4 standard does not allow for DVD-type subtitles in the file; the subtitles must be TEXT format, not IMAGES like are used on both DVDs and Blurays.

There is an unofficial way to make it happen... but most "smart" TVs do not implement it.

Handbrake can add the second subtitle track as "switchable", and VLC knows how to deal with it, but...

BradleyMacDonald
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:29 pm

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by BradleyMacDonald »

Hello Woodstock...

So - if I understand correctly:
1. MP4 does not support the DVD subtitles - but MKV does. But my two TVs do not support MKV :(
2. VLC deals with it - because the second track is 'switchable' - but that only works in VLC. This makes sense.
3. There does not appear to be a way to get the SubTitles to work on most TVs that have a USB port at this point in time. Is this basically correct?

Bradley

DexKen
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by DexKen »

You could try saving the subtitle as a seperate .srt file and name it exactly like the video file. Keep the 2 in the same directory on your usb. Some TVs can show subtitles that way. May work with your model, worth a try.

Woodstock
Veteran User
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by Woodstock »

Bradley, as I've said many times, "Smart TV" is a relative term, and that family doesn't have any geniuses.

The MP4 standard is broken in many ways. When people have enough money, they can get it changed to make their particular feature work on future devices. VLC isn't the only application that supports DVD VOBSUB subtitle tracks; most open-source players do, and a few commercial ones as well.

As for the TV and MKV files, try this: Change the file extension to .AVI, and try playing it. I have a Samsung TV that doesn't support MKV, but it does support AVI, and accepts MKV files as being AVIs. Something to do with AVI being an even worse mish-mash than MP4.

I gave up on trying to get TVs to accept things. For my personal viewing, I create MKV files with all the things I want, and watch them through media players attached to the TV's HDMI ports. The TV is nothing but a monitor. My family, however, refuses to learn how to do that, so I also encode MP4 files with only one simple audio track, one subtitle track (if needed) burned in, and no chapter markers (something else that doesn't work in standards-only MP4 players). They're happy, I'm happy.

As for "save as an SRT file", that can be done, sort-of. There are tools that will do optical character recognition on the subtitle images, and create SRT files of what they find. OCR is not perfect. Sometimes it does a wonderful job; other times... Let's just say don't try it on a movie that has lots of foreign names in it, like "Karstedt", "Shikza", or "Miðgarðr", because it will have problems. :)

BradleyMacDonald
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:29 pm

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by BradleyMacDonald »

Woodstock - a very informative reply. Thank you. I understand it much better now.
So - I will try MKV trick (AVI) and see what happens.

Much appreciated!!

akyhne
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:02 am

Re: MP4 - Subtitles - Not Showing...

Post by akyhne »

You can always try to search on the movie titles on webpages like https://subscene.com/

Your subs might be there in .srt format. It's basically people that have already done the OCR job Woodstock mentioned, and saved the files in SRT format.
Just be aware that not all files will have the right timing, according to your version of the movie. A US DVD might play faster, than a UK version or be edited differently, so that the text is shown at the wrong time.
A rule of thumb is, that if the first few subtitles in the movie are spot on, the rest will probably be also. I just rename the downloaded .srt file to the same name as the MP4 file, open the video in VLC, enable the subtitle stream (SRT), play a bit of the beginning, middle and end of the movie, to see if subs are in sync with the movie.

If I can't find a sub that fits, I use Subtitle Edit from nikse.dk to either:
* Do my own OCR
* Resync the sub to fit the video (called Visual Sync in SE).

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