Disclaimer: I do spend hours and hours researching this stuff before showing up here with these noob-like questions.
I've been converting my dvd's to mkv rips and storing them on my Synology DS1813+ with relative success. I'm starting to hit some titles with "forced subtitles" and need some guidance and reassurances.
I've been ripping with MakeMKV to my hard drive. quick check with VLC on windows 7, and then move it to the synology for storage. I use the Video Station app on the synology to index and scrape the data for a front end app called DS Video. (it's a Samsung Smart TV app...) I'm just using it for testing while I decide on my future media player.
So I decide to rip a title that I know has plenty of forced subtitles, "The Da Vinci Code". MakeMKV handles the rip and I notice one and only one English Subtitle. Okay, after a little research I use MKVExtract and pull out the subtitle track and it creates a sub and idx file. A little more research and Subtitle Edit opens the sub file. A glimmer of hope as I notice their is a checkbox for "forced subtitles only" and it reduces a gigantic list down to a manageable one that looks like my forced subtitles titles. I end up doing an OCR scan and I now have a srt file.
I feel like I'm getting in deep here but I'm determined to see it through. MKVmergeGUI and I'm combining the srt with the main movie.
Davinci original MKV rip with full english subtitle track in VobSub
VLC: plays all subtitles, but can also switch them off, taking "forced" off too...
DS Video: plays with no subtitles, but can toggle them on in settings. again, all or nothing though.
Davinci MKV rip with VobSub extracted and replaced with srt
VLC: plays srt subtitles, which are only the forced titles, in a quite nice font as well!
DS Video: upon launching the movie brings up a window asking me to select subtitle track 2, or no subtitles. Selecting "2" plays the nice looking "forced subtitles" that I created in the srt. As a side note, if there is more than one audio track the DS Video app brings up the same window to select an audio track.
My questions are:
- Why does a standard dvd player always default subtitles off but always plays the forced one's?
- Why do most soft players struggle with this?
- Why does MKV files not pick up on the flags or whatever a normal hardware dvd player uses?
- Does Popcorn or Dune or xbmc or Mede8er handle the playing of forced subs any better or does the problem lie with the MKV file format?
- Did I over-complicate this whole process?
I really don't mind the extra steps with creating SRT files, as they look really nice, I just don't have a feel for how accurate it is.
Any advice from the kind souls that have already gone through this would be appreciated.