First of all, I am not a pro in encoding, so please let me know if I did something that does not make sense.
So, this is my problem: I have tried to convert an existing .mp4 video with .ass file into x265 .mkv with Staxrip (to make it smaller), using NVEnc native encoder (CBR mode, see MediaInfo attached).
No problems with audio/video, but I have problems with the subtitles; I am sure that the original (.ass) file is displayed correctly but, when I use the embedded subs, there are weird characters (see attached screenshot).
I checked the non-Unicode language from the control panel (in Windows 10) that is correctly set to US (the same language of the subs), and I tried to use a different player (I normally use Potplayer). I also tried to convert to x264 instead, but there is the same issue.
Can you please tell me what to do?
Thank you in advance.
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.ass file is Unicode..You have to convert it to western encoding and save as ascii
All text in Matroska is UTF-8 and usually ASS files are as well. If it is misdetected somehow you could try to manually mux the ass file using MKVToolNix GUI. Drag&drop the ass file, select the new track and on the right side scroll to "Subtitle and chapter properties" and click the "ÅČ" button. Then try the different character sets until the preview is correct, then mux. I'd try "UTF-8" first.
Alternatively you could use an editor like Sublime Text to add a BOM first: open the .ass file in Sublime Text (should say "UTF-8" at the bottom right), then "File"->"Save with Encoding"->"UTF-8 with BOM". Mkvmerge should then automatically detect that the file is UTF-8.
Btw: I think this only happened because your StaxRip version is older. New ones include recent Mkvtoolnix which assumes UTF-8 for ASS files by default.
this tool, but now I am interested to understand why my version of Staxrip did not detect the subs correctly: I have installed the last stable version (188.8.131.52) that includes Mkvmerge version 15.0.0. Is this implementation just in the Beta versions?
StaxRip 184.108.40.206 (Sep-2017) was the last version released by the original author (Stax). New author (Revan654) has since picked up the project. Using UTF-8 for ASS by default is a change implemented in MKVToolNix 25.