Guide for Adding Back in Subtitles to BluRay MKVs that Have Been Through Handbrake? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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As the title states, I am looking for a guide to adding back in the subtitle tracks to MakeMKV BluRay rips that I have compressed in HandBrake. I can't seem to find a decent guide. I am a paid member of AssassinHTPCBlog, but I don't see a guide there either. Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 01:46 PM
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Add both the original file and the encoded file into Mkvmerge GUI (MKVToolnix), select only the tracks you want to keep, then merge them into a single file.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Add both the original file and the encoded file into Mkvmerge GUI (MKVToolnix), select only the tracks you want to keep, then merge them into a single file.

What is the best method for burning in subtitles?

I realize several players honor the "forced" subtitle setting, but I'd rather just have them burned into the video for the few rips that need it (John Carter, District 9, Avatar, Iron Man, etc)

I've heard that handbrake will and will not work (assume it does?)

I've also heard mencoder, avc, and avidemux all have the capability, but I've yet to use any of them.

Thoughts?
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Add both the original file and the encoded file into Mkvmerge GUI (MKVToolnix), select only the tracks you want to keep, then merge them into a single file.

So I did this for one of my rips, and I know it added in the subtitle track because it works in VLC but I can't get it to work in WMC with DirectVobSub?
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gronnie View Post

So I did this for one of my rips, and I know it added in the subtitle track because it works in VLC but I can't get it to work in WMC with DirectVobSub?

DirectVobSub supports PGS (i.e. Blu-ray) subtitles in MKV just fine. Do you see DirectVobSub icon in the system tray? LAV Video Decoder won't work with DirectVobSub inside WMC (i.e. if LAV Video Decoder is used in WMC, DirectVobSub won't be loaded even when it should be), unless you use Shark's codec pack.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

What is the best method for burning in subtitles?

I realize several players honor the "forced" subtitle setting, but I'd rather just have them burned into the video for the few rips that need it (John Carter, District 9, Avatar, Iron Man, etc)

I've heard that handbrake will and will not work (assume it does?)

I've also heard mencoder, avc, and avidemux all have the capability, but I've yet to use any of them.

Thoughts?

HandBrake can handle Blu-ray PGS subtitles (and output as "Burned In" or a subtitle stream) since v0.9.9 (v0.9.8 or earlier does not support it). Burned in quality looks the same as the original one. Try it.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gronnie View Post

So I did this for one of my rips, and I know it added in the subtitle track because it works in VLC but I can't get it to work in WMC with DirectVobSub?

DirectVobSub supports PGS (i.e. Blu-ray) subtitles in MKV just fine. Do you see DirectVobSub icon in the system tray? LAV Video Decoder won't work with DirectVobSub inside WMC, unless you use the version of Shark's codec pack.

I am using Shark's codecs, and DirectVobSub icon shows the subtitles are enabled yet they do not show on the video. Not sure what could be wrong?
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 09:37 PM
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Is the subtitle stream flagged as "Default"? (You can check this with MediaInfo or Mkvmerge GUI.) Otherwise you have to select the subtitle stream manually. A workaround would be:

1. Make it default, obviously. To do so, you can use Mkvmerge GUI > File > Header Editor.
2. In LAV Splitter properties, choose "Advanced" subtitle selection mode and add the tag "*:*" (without quotes) in the Subtitles field. (This tag will force the splitter to always load the first subtitle stream of the file.)

Details of Advanced subtitle selection mode
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Ugh did exactly as you said still can't get the subs to display when played in WMC or WMP, but they work find in VLC. Tried remuxing a different movie just in case it was something weird with the first one, but same result.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-07-2013, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Got it to work.

I had to uninstall Shark's codecs, enable UAC, restart my system, reinstall Shark's codecs with administrator privileges, then change the H264 tab to Use FFDshow's codec.

Something must have been wrong with privileges before, because I had Shark's codecs setup correctly before the reinstall and they weren't working.
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 04:21 AM
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I've found subtitles to be weird in WMC. On some movies I can get them to work just fine (forced or default) but on others they just won't work, even when I turn them on manually in DirectSub. Always work in MPC-HC/XBMC.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gronnie View Post

Got it to work.

I had to uninstall Shark's codecs, enable UAC, restart my system, reinstall Shark's codecs with administrator privileges, then change the H264 tab to Use FFDshow's codec.

Something must have been wrong with privileges before, because I had Shark's codecs setup correctly before the reinstall and they weren't working.

There really is no reason to not have UAC enabled and you must have it enabled and run Shark007 at an elevated (administrative) level to make the changes to your registry and register the splitters and codecs.

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post #13 of 17 Old 05-08-2013, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewbert View Post

I've found subtitles to be weird in WMC. On some movies I can get them to work just fine (forced or default) but on others they just won't work, even when I turn them on manually in DirectSub. Always work in MPC-HC/XBMC.

I've found this to be mostly true although I didn't try with WMC much because I did not like VOBSub much and it wasn't too remote friendly. Toggling through subs in MPC-HC is a breeze with proper settings in the Keys tab of MPC-HC.

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post #14 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

HandBrake can handle Blu-ray PGS subtitles (and output as "Burned In" or a subtitle stream) since v0.9.9 (v0.9.8 or earlier does not support it). Burned in quality looks the same as the original one. Try it.

You've verified this in their release preview? Are you running this in Windows?

Also, it would be mighty nice if they added a video "passthrough" option to support burning in subtitles. I'd rather not "guess" as to which quality to choose for video output, also what does lossless do in order to make the file grow??
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 01:38 PM
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Yes. Yes.

Video passthrough+subtitle burning is impossible, re-encoding is always necessary to burn in subtitles.
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post #16 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post


Video passthrough+subtitle burning is impossible, re-encoding is always necessary to burn in subtitles.

Thanks. I guess I don't know the right terminology, but I was referring more to a "Quality-passthrough" setting where I'm not guessing if the quality I pick is the same as source. I realize it will be re-encoded by nature of layering text over source frames

What video settings would you recommend for that intention?
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post #17 of 17 Old 05-13-2013, 10:50 PM
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In Handbrake > Video tab, there are two places to control quality:

Qualtiy

The most important, of course. CRF (Constant Rate Factor ["constant" means that the quality or rate is constant throughout the video file]) = 0 means "lossless" (i.e. compress the decoded video in a lossless way), that will usually result in larger file size than the original. CRF = 18-20 is a good choice, usually you won't see any quality degradation compared with the original. File size of a 2 min clip (ripped from a BD movie):

- Original: 457MB
- CRF=0 : 1787MB
- CRF=20: 94MB

You can't predict the final file size with CRF. If you want to set the file size, choose "Avg Bitrate" with "2-Pass Encoding".

Optimize Video > x264 Preset

This is literally a preset of important x264 parameters (x264 MeWiki). I think Handbrake's default is "Very Fast". x264's default is "Medium" (and I usually use it, a good compromise of quality and encoding time). A faster preset implies faster encoding time, larger file size and generally lower quality. For example,

- Ultrafast: Baseline@L4.0, no CABAC, 1 ReFrame etc.
- Veryfast: High@4.0, CABAC, 4 ReFrame etc.
- Medium: High@4.0, CABAC, 4 ReFrame etc.

Try to encode a short clip and you can check the differences.

You can leave "Profile" and "Level" to "Auto" because the preset automatically determines them.
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