Subtitles vs Apple tv

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kordonio, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. kordonio macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2011
    I've compressed film in Handbrake from avi to m4v and added two versions of subtitles. In iTunes everything works fine, there is a cloud icon which displays subtiles, but when I launch streaming film to Apple tv subtitles don't displays and the "cloud"="subtitle" icon disappears.
    Is there any way to display subtitles on Apple tv? Maybe I did something wrong?

  2. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    As far as I can tell, aTV can only see:
    •Burned in subtitles.
    •Closed-Captions added through the subtitle menu of Handbrake.
    •.srt files added through Handbrake.

    I believe the vobsub files can't be added as selectable subtitles (yet) because they are images, not text.

    I've never tried the third because all the sites I've found that distribute them look sleazy. I believe you can create your own .srt files using a program like SubRip, but I haven't been desperate enough to bother trying it, yet.
  3. andymodem macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    I use to have problems with my Apple TV2 and subtitles. For example, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the two other movies in the series. Handbraking them them with the subtitles was a disaster. The ATV2 would only display half the text, and even then it wouldn't display all the subtitles. Friday I purchased iFlicks from the app store and gave that a shot. Converted all three movies in iFlicks and all the subtitles work like they should. Needless to say, I'm using iFlicks now instead of Handbrake for my needs.
  4. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Most .srt distribution sites (such as and are fairly legit, as I've yet to download an .srt with something nasty attached to it or with poor subtitles. Also, I'm not entirely sure if we'll see vobsub support in the .m4v/.mp4 container through iTunes or Quicktime anytime soon (any time I tried to open a file with toggleable vobsubs enbedded resulted in crashing the program), although VLC does work with these files.

    Whenever I need to add subtitles to a movie, which is something I usually do post-handbrake encode, I use subler to mux the subtitles into the file. I haven't had any problems yet.
  5. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Probably true. I keep hoping that Handbrake, since it uses VLC, will come up with a way to translate vobsubs into txt, so they can be included as aTV2 usable subtitles. I don't really think that's going to happen, though.

    My first generation WDTV did a reasonably good job with vobsubs when I put them as h.264 into .mkv, so I was also hoping that the better processor and software in the aTV2 would eventually be able to handle the in .m4v. That also doesn't seem likely to happen, at this point.
  6. rikscha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    Has anything changed since then?

    I have a DVD that I want to convert to m4v to play on my Apple TV. The DVD has subtitles in vobsub format and I cannot get the subtitles to work with Apple TV. Unfortunately, there are no available subs on the web that I could use to add them through handbrake.
  7. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    Nope, the M4V files used by iTunes and the Apple TV still do not support VOBSUBs, and I wouldn't expect this to ever change.

    Have you encoded the M4V with the VOBSUBs?
  8. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    Use Subler to make the subtitles forced, or to add set files to the movie.
  9. rikscha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    I did and then extracted the subs with subler to convert the subs to text format and then added them back.


    See above, thanks.
  10. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2011
    Ah ok, it sounds as though you have everything working now :)

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