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Why does Plex on Roku play some .srt files but not others?

jakobkraftjakobkraft Posts: 1Members
edited March 2012 in Plex Classic for Roku
I just installed Plex on my Roku 2 and am generally impressed. Video quality (at 3mbps) is pretty decent, playback is very smooth, no hiccuping at all. But what's driving me crazy is the unstable subtitle support. All my subs are external .srt files, all with the same name as the video file which works perfectly in WMC, MediaPortal, XBMC, etc. I know some people have had the problem where Roku doesn't detect the subtitle file at all and then they do a Deep Scan and it detects it after. But that's not my problem -- my Roku ALWAYS detects the file, it just doesn't always display it.

Example: my niece, hearing-impaired, is going through Season 1 of Buffy on my Roku, which I ripped from my DVDs. All files have external .srt but for every two or three episodes that display the subtitles, there's one that does not. Even though they were all encoded EXACTLY the same way and the subtitles are named correctly, even with the added EN.srt to show that it's an English subtitle -- which Roku shows (instead of just listing the subtitle file as 'Unknown' under subtitle options).

I know this is still in beta but I wonder is there a fix for this -- my niece got to the season finale and was really bummed when the subtitles didn't show. I had to go through my closet and pull out the actual DVD which kind of defeats the purpose. Am running latest server 0.9.5.3 on Win 7 32-bit, btw.
Any help would be greatly appreciated -- thanks in advance!!

Comments

  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,787Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    I'll be honest, I know very little about subtitle support. With that out of the way...

    I think the fact that you're seeing the subtitle option on the Roku screen, and that it looks the way you'd expect, means that things are going wrong at the server. So I think the best next step to investigate this is to get some logs from the server. Alan wrote up some info on getting the logs at http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php/topic/37215-frequently-asked-questions/page__p__236663#entry236663

    To be super helpful, I think it would probably be helpful to get logs that show the start of one video that works and then one that it doesn't.
  • stormeriderstormerider Posts: 758Members, Plex Pass ✭✭
    I'll admit I don't know anything about subtitles, either. I'll do anything I can to help (as someone who's partially disabled myself, I have both great sympathy and great empathy for other disabled folks), but I definitely need more test data. Schuyler's right, I think it's something going wrong on the server level (or how it's presenting the data to the Roku, which... well, the Roku platform is nothing if not picky). Hopefully the logs will help shine the light on this issue.
  • jmerrilljr@gmail.comjmerrilljr@gmail.com Posts: 67Members ✭✭
    This is O.T., I guess. I'm wondering whether anyone has been able to get srts working either in the USB channel or the Plex channel. In theory subtitles are displayed by default but I have had no luck. Roku support is non-existant on this issue. Any help?
  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,787Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    USB channel: no idea, you're on your own.

    Plex channel: SRT should work, and it does for me. Pull up the video you want to watch, and then go to Playback Options. One of the menus there should be for subtitles. Make sure that the subtitles you want are there and are selected. Go back to the main video screen and hit play.
  • jmerrilljr@gmail.comjmerrilljr@gmail.com Posts: 67Members ✭✭
    schuyler wrote:

    USB channel: no idea, you're on your own.

    Plex channel: SRT should work, and it does for me. Pull up the video you want to watch, and then go to Playback Options. One of the menus there should be for subtitles. Make sure that the subtitles you want are there and are selected. Go back to the main video screen and hit play.


    Here's what I found. ROKU claims to support MKV and it "sort of does." It will play an mkv file via Plex but you won't see any subtitle listing in playback options. If you Handbrake the file into an m4v container, then you will see a subtitle listing in playback options. I suspect ROKU is also fussy about the way an SRT in encoded. More to follow ...
  • MarcFBRMarcFBR Posts: 56Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2012

    Here's what I found. ROKU claims to support MKV and it "sort of does." It will play an mkv file via Plex but you won't see any subtitle listing in playback options. If you Handbrake the file into an m4v container, then you will see a subtitle listing in playback options. I suspect ROKU is also fussy about the way an SRT in encoded. More to follow ...


    The Roku channel MKV support is for a very specific video/audio setup in an MKV package/wrapper, not for 'anything' in an MKV file.

    Plex should be reading the external SRTs, but for whatever reason in your case, it isn't. (I don't know if this is because an error in Plex, or an error on your part, but for now, let's say it doesn't matter, you have an error, let's find a fixable solution.)


    Here is the easiest solution I can think of:

    Get mkvmerge. Drop in the video file, and the srt. It'll mux it into an MKV (muxing is taking the raw streams and putting them in a new package/wrapper, without reencoding, so it goes very fast.

    After getting your newly muxed MKV of (as an example) Buffy s02e12, you will end up with 3 files overall:

    Your original Buffy s02e12 file (I don't recall if you said if it was an avi, m4v/mp4, or an mkv.)
    the Buffy s02e12 SRT subtitle file
    the 'new' Buffy s02e12 MKV

    Remove the 2 old files (but don't delete them in case something goes wrong until you are sure it's working right.)

    Try playing the new MKV on Plex (and make sure you select the subtitle stream.)


    It should play fine using a properly setup file with internal subtitles. If that doesn't work, you have 2 choices- Wait until the issue is fixed. Re-encode using Handbrake (which you mentioned you have) and set the subtitles to 'burn' into the picture (this will make the subtitles a (permanent) part of the video stream, which will remove them not appearing for "whatever" the reason is they aren't showing.)
  • cafpjcafpj Posts: 5Members
    Hi guys, exact same issue here. Same files render srt normally, others dont.

    Just for the record, the mkvmerge tip worked just fine on the problematic mkv files

    Thanks
  • schuylerschuyler Plex Dev Team Posts: 3,787Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Employee
    cafpj wrote:

    Hi guys, exact same issue here. Same files render srt normally, others dont.

    Just for the record, the mkvmerge tip worked just fine on the problematic mkv files

    Thanks


    In the cases that don't work, do the subtitles show up correctly under the Playback Options? Grabbing logs from both the Roku and Plex Media Server.log could also help.
  • destructodestructo Posts: 118Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    The SRT format and Roku can be a headache. RokuChris was able to help me put with this when they first launched the USB channel almost two years ago. This is what he had to say:

    "The SRT format is very particular, especially in terms of required whitespace. Be sure there is a blank line after each subtitle in your SRT file and that the file ends with a single blank line."

    The single blank line at the end of the file seems to be the most common issue I come across. As for a blank space after each subtitle, well I don't have that much time on my hands. Open up a srt file for your average hour and a half movie and you will see what I mean.
  • mastermindgmastermindg Posts: 11Members
    destructo wrote:

    The SRT format and Roku can be a headache. RokuChris was able to help me put with this when they first launched the USB channel almost two years ago. This is what he had to say:

    "The SRT format is very particular, especially in terms of required whitespace. Be sure there is a blank line after each subtitle in your SRT file and that the file ends with a single blank line."

    The single blank line at the end of the file seems to be the most common issue I come across. As for a blank space after each subtitle, well I don't have that much time on my hands. Open up a srt file for your average hour and a half movie and you will see what I mean.


    Adding a blank line at the end of an srt has fixed Roku issues for me in the past.
  • daxmorsudaxmorsu Posts: 4Members

    Try to normalize the subs using this tool: https://github.com/caridy/plex-subtitles-normalizer

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