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Level 7

Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

MP4 files on my external drive have subtitles and 2 audio channels (AC3 and AAC) built in to them. When I play them on my Roku Ultra (latest as of April 2020), I do not see subtitles. I click the Options button and see "Closed Caption" (which I thought was different from "subtitles") set to "Always On", and "Audio" is set to "Default", and says it can only play the Default audio.

I read something somewhere that said you had to have subtitles in a .srt file, but a posting up here a couple years back said they got it working without the .srt file.

What am I doing wrong? My Roku Media Player version is 4.2, build 1657, and says it is up to date. My Roku Ultra firmware is version 9.2.0, build 4807.

Thanks!

10 Replies
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Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

i have the same issue with mkv and mp4 files with subtitles embedded and even identical named .srt files. no luck on the subtitles.

i can play subtitles on smaller TV episodes that have only 1 subtitle choice, but zero luck with movies with multiple subtitles...

 

pls help... looks like a step down from a 6 years old WDTV

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Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

Yes, I am coming from an old Western Digital TV Live player. It would play ANYthing!

Roku support told me it will play embedded subtitles in .mkv files. I haven't had a chance to test that yet.

I also have 2 audio streams in my files, and AC3-Passthru and an AAC stream. I'm not sure which one Roku is playing, but it doesn't let me switch.

The Roku is a far superior device, but the Media Player app is pretty clunky. It would also be nice if the ff/rew function displayed smoother scanning. Why not a slo-mo? Or a frame-advance when video has been paused? I could go ON. Smiley Happy

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Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

while roku ultra 8th gen is the superior of two devices, it feels like owning the most sophisticated car that would start up most of the times.

- inability to see single of the 20+ subtitles on any well coded mkv files / WDTV would show all subtitles

- choose audio tracks and know if i picked Atmos over Dolby Vision etc...

- forward and rewind are stone age and clunky...i could forward by being able to see the frames and stop just where i wanted to... oh how i miss that

time to plug back WDTV and look on the internet for replacement remote.

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Level 20

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

RMP (and the Roku OS that underlies its operation) has limited caption support for embedded caption tracks. For example, both DVD and Blu Ray discs use DVDSUB or PGS captions. These are image based, rather than text based captions. Roku devices cannot display such captions. So if you have ripped Blu Rays or DVDs you'll never see captions. I've only had so-so success using external SRT files, but technically they are supported, as well as VTT caption files. 

The only embedded captions that I've have success playing on a Roku device is EIA-508/608 text captions. This is the style of caption used for broadcast TV in the US. Any TV show that I record (using J River) that has captions will display those captions with any of my Roku devices.  

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 20

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file


@htm9000 wrote:

Yes, I am coming from an old Western Digital TV Live player. It would play ANYthing!

Roku support told me it will play embedded subtitles in .mkv files. I haven't had a chance to test that yet.

I also have 2 audio streams in my files, and AC3-Passthru and an AAC stream. I'm not sure which one Roku is playing, but it doesn't let me switch.

The Roku is a far superior device, but the Media Player app is pretty clunky. It would also be nice if the ff/rew function displayed smoother scanning. Why not a slo-mo? Or a frame-advance when video has been paused? I could go ON. Smiley Happy


Yes, the old WD players were capable, but there's a lot of newer codecs that it doesn't support. The best player I've found for playing anything, all audio and video codecs and all captions, is the Nvidia Shield. But it's double the price of the most expensive Roku, so I would expect it to have more features. 

I have had success with changing audio tracks in the past, but it's been so long since I've done so maybe something has changed. 

RMP is always being updated. You might contact @RokuChris with your suggestions, and perhaps join the beta test team. The nice thing about beta testing RMP is that the "live" version also remains on your Roku, so if the beta is having issues you can still use the public version. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 8

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

yes the TV programs work. but no DVD or BluRay... in fact so luck on .srt files also with the DVD or BluRays. so that is a bummer. will check out Nvidia Shield.

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Level 20

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file


@perception wrote:

while roku ultra 8th gen is the superior of two devices, it feels like owning the most sophisticated car that would start up most of the times.

- inability to see single of the 20+ subtitles on any well coded mkv files / WDTV would show all subtitles

- choose audio tracks and know if i picked Atmos over Dolby Vision etc...

- forward and rewind are stone age and clunky...i could forward by being able to see the frames and stop just where i wanted to... oh how i miss that

time to plug back WDTV and look on the internet for replacement remote.


Going back to the WDTV would be a huge step backwards. While I never had that box, I did understand it to be a bitrate limitation, similar to the Sony SMP-N200 players that I started with. The WDTV certainly doesn't support Dolby Vision, and it's questionable about its lossless audio support. So TrueHD/Atmos or DTS-MA/X may or may not play. It certainly doesn't support H.265/4K. 

Of course, no Roku device supports Dolby Vision either. Nor will it stream any lossless audio track. While I enjoy my Roku devices, they can't touch the Nvidia Shield for streaming local media. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

I'm having the same issue, but we have the latest WD My Cloud hooked up with Plex, and we have our old WDLIVE box on the network, as well as the ROKU media player so we're having to switch between solutions based on what we are watching.   Seems a shame that the ROKU media player is so clunky... and playing subtitles shouldn't take such an effort.

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Level 7

Re: Roku Media Player not playing subtitles included in mp4 file

I would like to add I can never get RMP to play subtitles from a media server, if they are .srt files name the same name as movie. Only embedded subtitles (UTF-8 timed text) works. However, if I put the same movie and .srt in a USB and put that in the Roku, RMP plays it with subtitles fine. Very annoying that it can't from my media server.

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