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  1. Member
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Location : Columbus
    Search Comp PM
    Hello all,

    I have two questions here. Formats and subtitles.

    I've only just begun to start storing some movies on my Synology DS112 and am running into all sorts of problems with compatibility, playback, etc. So my first question is, what format should I be storing them in? I was putting them in MP4, but hear a lot about this MKV format and would like to try that. Ultimately, I want a standard method of bringing movies in that can play back on most every device. I only have about 10 movies and only add maybe 1 or 2 a year, so I wouldn't be opposed to storing in 2 formats if necessary.

    My goal is to keep everything on my DS112 and then stream the movies to my Roku on our main TV (both wired). Second, it would be nice to be able to stream to our Android and Apple devices if desired (subtitles not important there).

    On the main TV is where I get to the subtitles. My mother-in-law is staying with us to help with our newborn twins and her first language is Arabic, then French, and English not much at all. I would like her to be able to watch movies with us so my plan was to get a DVD from a library, rip it, add an Arabic subtitle (through hard code or srt file), put it on the DS112 and then play it through the Roku 3. I have tried both Plex and DS Video with marginal success. Not opposed to something else or paid program.

    Long story short, I've tried every guide out there and on these forums and can't get the subtitles to play at all or when I do the Arabic shows as gibberish.

    What am I doing wrong.

    Thanks for the help.

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  2. Banned
    Join Date : Oct 2004
    Location : Freedonia
    Search Comp PM
    All I can do is guess and make suggestions.

    I've found that SRT format for subtitles is the best supported. I know NOTHING at all about Arabic code pages. Generally what you have to do is find the right code page. This may involve a lot of trial and error. I'd suggest first just trying UTF-8 encoded SRT as that's the easiest thing to test. If that fails, then try various code pages for Arabic and see if any work with the Roku. Also, I would think that MKV would be supported better than MP4.

    One of the sad realities is that devices sold in North America may not support non-European character sets. This happens with DVD/BD players when people try to play various video files and their subtitles don't work. For example, years ago Philips sold a DVD player in North America that could play subtitles if they were based on the Latin alphabet, Greek and Cyrillic and nothing else. We used to get a lot of posts from people in the Middle East who foolishly bought DVD players in Europe and then found out when they got home that their players couldn't display Arabic subtitles at all when playing Divx/Xvid files.

    I did a quick search and I didn't find anything useful about Roku and subtitles other than some people have had unique issues with Chinese not working quite right, but what I found contained nothing really helpful, it was just complaints about ONE character not working in the entire Chinese character set. I see a ton of complaints about foreign language subtitles and the Roku and the Plex media server and I didn't find any solutions. Let us know if something I suggested actually does work.
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  3. Member
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Location : Columbus
    Search Comp PM
    Sorry for my late response, it's been hectic around here!

    What do you mean by code page for Arabic? In VLC, to get the subtitles to work I go to Preferences > Subtitles > Default Encoding > Arabic (Windows-1256) Is it related to that?

    My thought was, if I could get the subtitles added permanently from my computer then they would be as such "burned in" and remove any need for character support from the player, but that doesn't seem to be the case. So I don't understand how subtitles work then.

    In the meantime, I might try French subtitles since it's a second language to her and should be easier to work with. Back to formats, it sounds like you're saying I should rip my DVD to MKV and then add a file in the same directory? If that doesn't work, should I follow this guide for permanent subtitles?
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