Customizing Subtitle appearance in Plex Media Player (PMP)
By default, Plex Media Player only allows you to customize the look of subtitles for size, color, and placement. But the internal AV engine in PMP (called 'MPV') supports a lot of parameters including tuning the subtitles to your liking.
All the info below applies to text-based subtitles with no formatting only. (e.g. SRT, TX3G)
This means it does not apply to ASS/SSA subtitles, because these usually come with very elaborate formatting already applied. There are however special formatting commands available which apply exclusively to ASS subtitles. Look them up in the mpv documentation.
It also does not apply to image-based subtitles (VOBSUB, PGS), like you find them on DVD and BluRay.
Customize Subtitles in PMS with MPV Parameters
You just have to create a text file named
mpv.conf and put it in the same folder as the main configuration file for PMP
The Advanced Configuration support document explains the location of the folder: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/207338798-Advanced-Configuration
Here is the full list of subtitle parameters for MPV: https://mpv.io/manual/master/#subtitles
NOTE: you cannot set a color for the subtitle letters themselves in the
mpv.conf file. This is overridden in PMP by the color selection in Settings - Subtitles
The following example (which mimics the default appearance of subtitles in MPC-HC) is achieved with these parameters:
--sub-border-size=3 --sub-bold=yes --sub-spacing=1 --sub-ass-force-margins --sub-shadow-offset=3 --sub-shadow-color=0/0/0/0.5
I have attached this as a ready-made mpv.conf file to the bottom of this post. You just need to unzip it and place it into the appropriate folder.
Now we will break this configuration file up, line by line, to show what each line does:
This defines the border around subtitles to be 6 pixels thick.
Normally, this option doesn't apply to ASS subtitles, because they define their own border style. If you want to treat ASS subs with the same black border, you need additionally the line
This makes the subtitles use the bold font face.
This increases the letter spacing a bit, which makes it better readable from a distance, IMHO.
these 2 lines activate the text shadow
and define the color and opacity of the shadow
NOTE: Don't mind the black borders on top and bottom of the included images, my screen is 1200 pixels high, instead of 1080.
Move subtitles from the black borders over the picture
This may matter to people who use a video projector and screen masking, so the subtitles don't appear in the masked area below the picture:
add the line
This setting has only an effect, if the video is stored without black margins (not 'letterboxed')
2017-08-27 first revision, Thank you to @shopgirl284 for help!
2018-01-21 added how to move subs away from the black borders
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