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casolorz
Level 8

Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

I'm using an Arabic VTT UTF-8 subtitle file and on the tv I just see square characters. I tried the same subtitle in UTF-8 and had the same issue. I also tried a few other encodings on SRT like windows-1256 and it still had issues, didn't show squares but showed the wrong characters. On Chromecast the same VTT worked fine. 

Is there something I need to do on Roku to tell how to display that subtitle? I don't think I can attach the subtitle file here, can I?

Thanks. 
5 Replies
speechles
Level 10

Re: Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

Roku doesn't support anything but Latin character sets. They do support loading your own fonts and rendering subtitles with those but that is very involved writing your own mechanism to send/receive and parse/dispaly those. The internal Roku subtitle function only supports Latin character sets. Roku has no plans on ever changing that now or in the future.
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casolorz
Level 8

Re: Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

Thank you for the help. Is there by any chance a way to know when a font is not present? Thanks. 
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speechles
Level 10

Re: Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Latin_character_sets_(computing)

Roku is limited to those character sets.

To work outside the box you have to use Google Noto. Also keep in mind Roku wants to go left->right. You want right->left so you will need to reverse your string to render correctly in Arabic. Roku is not the device for Arabic users. It is painful and complex to code for.
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casolorz
Level 8

Re: Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

Oh you are right, hadn't even thought about it. But might still be worth implementing, there are probably other non RTL languages that the characters are missing for. Thanks for all the help. 
Armin
Level 7

Re: Arabic subtitle just shows squares on TV

I have the same problem with my newly purchased Roku TV, and I can't believe Roku do not support other encodings subtitles! There are thousands of non-English speakers living in the regions such as US and Canada that Roku sell its products. Arabic, Persian and Hebrew native speakers are totally being ignored by Roku. I read that Japanese and Koreans actually all non-Latin languages have the same problem.

People are asking Roku for adding other encoding support even since 2013! I had much older TVs in Tizen that was able to show persian and Arabic subtitles easily!

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