Subs don't show on Apple TV but do on iTunes

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jgabriel, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. jgabriel macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012
    I have been having this issue for a long time now. Have experienced this with my old Apple TV 2nd Gen and also with my current Apple TV 3rd Gen. I download movies in 1080p in their original format .mkv. As I want to watch them on my Apple TV, I have to convert them to .m4v. In order to do that, I use iFlicks, which is an app for Mac. I know people usually prefer Handbreak. The thing is I really just need to convert the movies the easiest way I can. So, this app has some features that convert .mkv files super fast. What would take 8-10 hours using handbreak takes only 20 minutes on iFlicks. People say it doesn't end up with the same quality, but I decided I would accept that trade off, because having to convert movies that take 10 hours is impossible for me.

    The only thing I can't get right is the subtitles. The movies converted using iFlicks are imported to iTunes. Using iTunes to play the movies, I can see the subtitles, there is no problem at all. Everything work as they should. I use iSubtitle to add or remove subtitles form the movies, and it just works. But when I try to watch the same movies on the Apple TV, streaming them from the Mac, the same Mac where the movies played fine using iTunes, I can't see the subtitles. I know how to deal with the Apple TV, how to configure, how to set subtitles etc. Please, this is not the issue here - on all the forum posts I find, everyone says press and hold center button =/

    For some mysterious reason, the Apple TV can't see the subs that are in fact there.

    Curious fact #1: If I don't add any subtitles to the original file, just keep it with the ones that came with it, and convert the file, this issue doesn't happen. Only if I try to add or remove a subtitle, this happens. The thing is I really need to add subs in my language. The original files usually come with english subs only.

    Curious fact #2: It only happens with some .mkv files. There are .mkv files that are converted, then I add subs to them, and they play fine with subs on both, the iTunes and the Apple TV. But others, the subs only appear when played on iTunes. When played on iTunes, the subs always show. It bothers me so much...=/

    Can anyone give some advice as to why this happens? I have already tried changing the method of inputing the subs to the files, but didn't work...


    Although the fact that it works with some mkv files and doesn't with others seem a random thing, I noticed that if the mkv file is a movie, it is almost certain that adding subs to it after converting using iFlicks won't work, the movie will end up without any subs, the originals and the one I added will be gone. But if the mkv file is a TV Show, it probably will work, adding subs to it after converting with iFlicks will work on the Apple TV. :confused:
  2. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Ok...can't really help sub titles wise...I also hate dealing with them. I tend to edit the srt file, taking out what's spoken in English, resaving, the hard burning them in with mp4tools. Then I don't have to remember how to turn them on the atv, nor teach my family how to either.

    But as a side issue...I convert mkv to m4v either with mp4tools, or my new preference is Smart Converter Pro. Mp4tools takes like 3 mins, and smart pro is even faster. I use to hate mkv second choice.

    Of course, this is dependent on hardware you have.

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