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sludgetrough
Level 7

[Resolved] - Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Hello, all,

I've been searching everywhere and I've seen this problem reported by many, but couldn't find a definitive answer.

When using Plex media server channel through the Roku, subtitles from external files such as .srt files do not display.  


  • Subtitles display correctly when I play the file through the Plex server on my PC, so I know formatting/naming etc is not the issue.

  • Plex channel through Roku recognizes that there is a subtitle track, recognizes the correct language for it, and allows me to select it.  However after doing this, still no subtitles are displayed.

  • I've tried this on several versions of Roku, Plex, and with multiple movies and .srt files.  This feature has never worked for me on any version of Plex or Roku, and I've been using Plex for 5+ years.

Plex support swears it's a problem with the Roku player being "picky," whatever that means.  Any help would be much appreciated.
Cheers!
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9 Replies
renojim
Level 8

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Do you have a link to a sample SRT file that doesn't work? I don't use Plex, but I've been using SRTs for years without a problem. Since it's the underlying firmware that handles the display of subtitles, it shouldn't matter what channel is used for streaming.

-JT
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sludgetrough
Level 7

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Here's a couple of my latest test subs from subscene.com for the French film "Belle and Sebastian."  After properly naming and pathing, these work fine when I play them through Plex on my PC, but Roku's Plex channel doesn't display the subs.

Belle and Sebastian 1
Belle and Sebastian 2
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renojim
Level 8

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Those 2 links are the same. I'll take a look and see if it works for me.

-JT
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sludgetrough
Level 7

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Oops, you're right.  Point is, I just get my subs from subscene.com, so nothing special.  Thanks for taking a look, I'm dying to know what you find.  This probably has been bugging me for years and I just finally got the time to post about it.
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renojim
Level 8

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Well, you might not like what I found. That sample worked fine for me using my own channel and own server. Pardon me for asking a stupid question, but you did unzip the downloaded file, right? Open your SRT file in any text editor and it should be readable. If it's full of garbage characters (except for the first 4 characters in the file which may be the UTF-8 BOM) then something's wrong with the file.

I believe Plex uses the firmware's support for SRTs, but I don't use it so I can't say for sure. Have you tried the Roku Media Player channel? It should find your Plex server if it's setup to be a DLNA server and as long as the video and SRT file have the same name it should pick it up. Once again, I don't use RMP or Plex, so I can't comment on them or test them.

On the bright side, there's nothing wrong with the downloaded file and the Roku shouldn't have any problem with it, but we're no closer to figuring out what the problem is.

-JT
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sludgetrough
Level 7

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Hmm well that's weird.  Yep, unzipped the file of course.  Again, it's working fine through Plex so the file and setup is good.  It's just Roku that seems to be braindead.

If you got it working with a Roku Plex channel, that's disturbing.  Might just be my version of the player or something, who knows.  It's an older Roku 3.

Have not tried Roku Media Player, I'll give that a shot next. 
Thanks for taking the time to experiment with this!
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sludgetrough
Level 7

Re: Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Got it.

Your story inspired me to dig deeper into my settings.  Used the * button to access options while the movie is player, then found a setting:
Captions:  On Replay

Changed that to:
Captions: On always

And voila, subtitles!

I was using a different menu to select the subtitles before, not sure what this "on replay" business is.  Sounds like it plays subtitles only the second time you watch something?  If so, what the heck is that for?  Anyway, thanks for the replies and the inspiration to dig deeper.  Cheers!
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renojim
Level 8

Re: [Resolved] - Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

Glad to see you got it figured out! I was going to ask a few more "dumb" questions and probably would have thought of that eventually.

The "On replay" setting is actually nice for those who don't want the captions on all the time, but may want to go back a few seconds because they missed what someone said. When you press the Replay button the captions will appear for several seconds and then go away.

-JT
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venz0ja
Level 7

Re: [Resolved] - Plex External Subtitles (.srt) files not displaying

hi 
and you plex support private listening?  i try and not work, but youtube work fine/
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