Subtitles not Playing Properly

Smithee wrote on 2/22/2012, 6:17 AM
I've just recently purchased DVD Architect Pro. I have previous experience with a few other authoring front-ends on the lower spectrum.

I'm experiencing a strange subtitle problem with my first DVD project. They play fine in DVD Architect, WinDVD, PowerDVD, TotalMedia Theatre and in my Pioneer. However they don't play properly in my Oppo player: after a subtitle is supposed to end, it stays on the screen until the next one replaces it.

Since I've never had trouble with subtitles on the Oppo before, playing purchased discs, I'll assume there's something wrong with the way my DVD project was rendered. During rendering DVDA reports the subtitles as OK, though.

The subtitles were originally created in TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4. They were converted to DVDA format with Subtitle Edit 3.2.3, and imported perfectly into DVDA.

Could anyone shed some light on why the subtitles don't play properly on my Oppo DVD/BD player? Before I contact them directly about the problem, is there something I can do in DVDA?

Thanks for any help.


Former user wrote on 2/22/2012, 7:48 AM
After searching online for the Oppo player, there are a lot of complaints about subtitle issues. Not the same as you have stated, but since it works on 5 other software/hardware devices correctly, I would guess this is a problem with the player.

Dave T2
videoITguy wrote on 2/22/2012, 12:24 PM
Testing the subtitle display on an Oppo player will be non-productive.
Goto some other set-top players preferably with firmware and manufacture later dated than September 2011. That will test whether your DVD has been authored correctly to current best practices.
Smithee wrote on 2/22/2012, 3:46 PM
Hey, guys

I would have thought all the DVD issues with Oppo would have been long resolved, since there's a legacy of the DVD format of course.

My first two projects with DVDA were Blu-ray, and the subtitles worked perfectly on the Oppo. The subtitles were converted in the same way as mentioned in my original post, too.

I did another test by re-doing the troubled DVD project from scratch, to no avail -- the Oppo still hiccups. And I can add another player to my successful test list: the VLC media player plays them fine.

The Oppo (model BDP-93) is pretty much brand new with the latest official (non-beta) firmware. It's been modified to be region-free so I don't know if that factors into the equation.

I would think an older set-top player would be the best benchmark to see if a DVD has been authored correctly.
videoITguy wrote on 2/22/2012, 4:58 PM
The issue of firmware development in DVD and Blu-ray players has been very uneven. If you are testing strictly a DVD on DVD media you can get good test-bed set-top players of the vintage 2006-2007 -just prior to Blu-ray set-top player introduction.
If you are testing Blu-ray player compatibility for a Blu-ray authored disc on Blu-ray media - you absolutely need a player with firmware that is authored relase post Sept. 2011.
In no case should you test a DVD media on a Blu-ray player of any vintage until you have first assured yourself of testing the DVD on a DVD set-top player as stated in the first paragraph.
Smithee wrote on 2/24/2012, 4:06 PM
I e-mailed Oppo's customer service about the subtitle problem and this is the response I got:

Unfortunately this appears to be a compatibility issue with this authoring
software. We have received some other reports of similar issues with some
DVD Authoring software suites, but unfortunately these compatibility issues
have not yet been addressed as we have not been able to isolate the cause
of the errors.

Smithee wrote on 2/25/2012, 5:29 AM
OK... I set the subtitle language to unspecified and the Oppo still hiccups on them.

The player uses a feature called subtitle shift, intended for projection systems, which allows one to move the subtitles up and down on the screen. I don't use or need it and have it set to the default of 0 (zero). To perform this, the firmware is obviously doing some voodoo magic with the subtitle stream.

I betcha there's some 12-year-old Korean shareware programmer out there who could figure out why if he had the time and resources.
Lucius Snow wrote on 9/14/2012, 12:37 PM

I've been told this occured also on a Sony Blu-Ray player. I don't have the model though. By the way, my Oppo BDP-83 (with latest firmware) has the same bug.

Have you fixed it?

TekVilla wrote on 7/3/2014, 1:04 PM
Sorry for coming late to the party but I have only just migrated to Vegas Pro from Avid Liquid. Part of the reason was I wanted to be able to have subtitles on my discs and, like others here, found they did not display properly if exported from Subtitle Edit, and needed blanks inserted to get them off the screen before the next one displayed. Very tedious work.

Anyway, my workaround is to load the subtitle file into Subtitle Edit, select all the subtitles (using CTRL + A) and then click the little button to the right of the text box labelled 'Unbreak'. This removes the HTML like line-break code that seems to be what upsets DVD Architect Pro. I then save the file as a DVD Architect .sub file and it imports without reporting any errors and, most importantly the subtitles come on and off at the correct times, without blanks. I have tested this with a burned DVD.

You may find that some lines of text are too long, but prior to burning DVD Architect checks and reports these problems. You can copy the report to the clipboard and then to Notepad, and just find these subtitles on the timeline by their timecode, and manually insert a line break. Much easier than inserting hundreds of blanks.

I hope this is helpful.
Smithee wrote on 7/4/2014, 3:52 AM
In my case Subtitle Edit has nothing to do with the subtitles not appearing properly. Remember, as originally posted, the issue was specific to a certain player -- an Oppo BDP-93.

To rule out external software, when I create subtitle events from scratch in DVDA they don't play correctly on the Oppo.

Regardless, I tried what you outlined about unbreaking the lines in Subtitle Edit. Pardon the poetry, but No go on the Oppo.

I've found that subtitles exported from Subtitle Edit as 'Sony DVDArchitect w. line# (sub)' import nicely into DVDA, which seems to be its default format. I don't understand why you're having trouble in the first place, unless you've encountered a DVD player that has problems like the Oppo.

Since my original post over two years ago, I've tried the subtitled DVDA-authored disc on a number of other set-top players, and they all play the subtitles correctly. I tried the DVD-lab demo, and its subtitles play fine on the Oppo (just like TMPGEnc Authoring Works 5).

There's something different about how DVDA encodes subtitles. One has to assume that DVDA renders them with compliancy, with the onus on Oppo for not displaying them correctly.
Lucius Snow wrote on 7/5/2014, 1:58 PM
@TekVilla : I don't understand your method because it makes the subtitles being displays on only one line (and so too long). But we need two lines most of the time.

By the way, i've always used the "Sony DVDArchitect w. line# (sub)" format because it is the only one which works. But of course, it doesn't fix the bug when DVD-A compile. The only workaround is to make a blank subtitle after each one. This takes a lot of time...
Smithee wrote on 7/9/2014, 3:27 PM
I just can't imagine inserting blank subtitles as a workaround, especially when the DVDA manual states: "Various brands and models of DVD players behave differently with blank subtitle tracks."

But I understand your compulsion to do this. Having the subtitles fail on an Oppo player, as in my case too, is like a kick in the rear.

My compulsion lead me to try different subtitle ripping software to see if those programs would find something 'amiss' with a DVDA-authored DVD. They all worked fine.

Although I haven't tested blank subtitles, if the manual is correct, you may increase the chance of incompatibility by doing this.
Lucius Snow wrote on 7/10/2014, 6:46 AM
I can confirm the bug doesn't occur on Oppo only but on most of Bu-Ray players. But it doesn't with Blu-Ray disc on the same Blu-Ray players. It concerns DVD disc only.
videoITguy wrote on 7/10/2014, 5:20 PM
It has been noted over quite a long period of time - that OPPO is just not a good set-top player make for test bed of DVD or Blu-ray. Most test beds as mine have a large number of SONY, LG, HP, Sherwood, and Panasonic as the best choices for test play.

Subtitles generated in authoring packages such DVDAPro - have to be created differently for the type of project - be they Blu-ray or DVD. A shortcut in DVDAPro - is to create the titles in one single type of project instance - then save the subtitle file - then reimport that same file into the other project type.
The reason this is necessary rather than repurposing the project itself - is because at the time of re-write to the project output - the text resolution has to correspond to the desired project type. This may have affect on title spacing - but generally it is more about getting the font to correspond to the project rez.
Smithee wrote on 7/12/2014, 3:36 PM

I'm curious... how many Blu-ray players did you test your subtitled DVD on?

Besides the Oppo BDP-93, I only checked them on a Panasonic DMP-BD35, which played them fine unlike the Oppo.

Perhaps if actual Blu-ray player model numbers were documented here, Sony might look into the issue. It's something worth investigating as they deal with the issues of DVDA 6. But then again, based on the last update, the program looks to have been abandoned by Sony.
videoITguy wrote on 7/12/2014, 5:24 PM
It's all about set-top player firmware! FIRMware. Nothing else. Not SCS!
Smithee wrote on 7/13/2014, 5:33 AM
Yes, of course it's about firmware.

But if popular brands of players have trouble with DVDA's subtitles then it's an issue with SCS.

I discount Oppo as popular, BTW.

My experience with 'popular' brands of players, at least standalone DVD players, is that the subtitles play correctly.

Regardless, in this thread and in another one, two people have stated trouble on Sony and LG Blu-ray players -- brands that I would deem popular (i.e. ubiquitous).

If other authoring front-ends don't have trouble with popular brands then it's an issue with SCS, even though it may be faulty firmware. There's enough evidence to show that DVDA encodes subtitles differently. They might be 100% compliant, but they are different in some way; perhaps by one literal bit or byte of code during rendering.

To me DVDA is slick software. So slick, so filled with binary confidence, that the onus has to be on firmware -- no argument there.

All this reminds of a program from years ago that supported third-party modules. I reported a bug in the program and the author said it was the module's fault. The author of the module said it was the program's fault. "Get him to change that bad line of code" was the response from both parties. Neither would budge until the module proved so popular that the program was finally updated to compensate for the module, with blame still firmly on the module. In the arcane world of programming, I don't know who was right, but compensation was made for the other's failings.
Lucius Snow wrote on 7/16/2014, 8:59 AM
You can try for example on Sony BDP-S186 Blu-Ray player with latest firmware.

The bug has been seen on *many* BD-Player (Sony, LG, Oppo).
NickHope wrote on 12/12/2014, 7:54 AM
I also get this problem with DVDs in my Philips BDP 2100/05 Blu-ray player.

I have traced the source of the problem and come up with an extremely laborious workaround that involves the use of DVDSubEdit.

Note that there is a problem with DVDSubEdit on recent versions of Windows whereby it runs only once then won't run again. I needed to edit C:\Users\Nick\AppData\Roaming\DVDSubEdit.ini to remove the lines "MainWindowPos" and "ScanWindowPos" and then deny write permissions to it through right click > Properties > Security. I did that for SYSTEM, me, and Administrators.

I am working on a less laborious fix for this and will report back if I find one. A fix from SCS would sure be nice.
NickHope wrote on 12/22/2014, 12:08 AM
I've been through a long, dark tunnel with this over the past few days and come up with a workflow using no less than 7 free 3rd party programs. If you don't mind your subtitles not switching off on some players then fine. This is rather OTT. It's for perfectionists like me or people whose boss is threatening to sack them if the subtitles don't behave on his shiny Philips Blu-ray player at home. SCS should of course fix things so that none of this is necessary.

The laborious method using DVDSubEdit does work but it's so tedious if you have a lot of subtitles. The following method is also laborious but not as repetitive. It involves replacing the subtitles in your DVD with completely new subtitles rendered in MaestroSBT. You actually have a lot of control over the subtitle streams.

Some time I hope to pull this together with my other hacks into a "DVDA Patching Guide" article/video.

Install the following programs:

Subtitle Edit
MaestroSBT (unicode version)
Muxman Demo version 0.16.8
DVDSubEdit (needs permissions hack)

As stated in my last post, there is a problem with DVDSubEdit on recent versions of Windows whereby it runs only once then won't run again. I needed to edit C:\Users\Nick\AppData\Roaming\DVDSubEdit.ini to remove the lines "MainWindowPos" and "ScanWindowPos" and then deny write permissions to it through right click > Properties > Security. I did that for SYSTEM, me, and Administrators.

Create the following folders in advance:

MaestroSBT/English4-3 (or whatever descriptive name for this subtitle stream)
MaestroSBT/French4-3 (example if you have further subtitle tracks)

This workflow assumes you have a project with fairly long subtitles that you'll want to split onto 2 lines. It also assumes you have hierarchical menus for subtitles and/or scenes etc. and not just a title menu.

1. Author in DVD Architect Pro. MaestroSBT makes a nice job of automatically doing the line breaks but DVDA will complain about the long lines when you prepare. To start with, leave the subtitles on one line, then...
1.1 Right click on subtitle track > Export Subtitles > "project.sub" (or whatever the name of your project is)

2. Open "project.sub" file in Subtitle Edit
2.1 Save as Sub Station Alpha "project-1-line.ssa" file to use later in MaestroSBT
2.2 Reopen project.sub
2.3 Tools > Split long lines... > Single line maximum length: 45, Line maximum length: 95 > OK (The exact splits are not important. This is just to get DVDA to prepare the folders without complaining)
2.4 Save (do not do "Save as" a DVDA .sub because this will make an incompatible file that DVDA can't import)

3. DVD Architect Pro
3.1 Insert subtitle track > Import Subtitles > project.sub (Ignore that they don't perfectly line up on frame boundaries, they will be rounded to 2 decimal places anyway)
3.2 Change name and language of new subtitle track to match the old one
3.3 Delete old subtitle track and make sure new one takes the same track number
3.4 Make DVD > Prepare to "original" folder (hopefully without warnings about subtitle length)

4. Copy "original" folder and contents to "patched" folder. Delete "patched/SPREPARE.SPSS".

5. PcgEdit
Open "original" folder
Patch the "subtitles-off issue" in accordance with my post of 10/27/2012 8:05:58 PM on this thread (easier than it looks).
Patch the 'title menu button bug" in accordance with my post of 11/5/2012 4:44:38 PM on this thread (easier than it looks).
Remove PgcEdit backup folders from within VIDEO_TS folder

6. Open "project-1-line.ssa" file in MaestroSBT (unicode version)
Both 4:3 and 16:9 DVDs need a 4:3 correction stream. On widescreen DVDs that 4:3 corrected stream will be used when the DVD is displayed letterboxed on a 4:3 screen. For widescreen DVDs, come back later and make a 2nd stream with 16:9 correction (see 6.7 below)
6.1 Set files
Output script > Browse > choose subtitles folder (e.g. MaestroSBT/English4-3/)
Save as Scenarist "English4-3.sst" file
6.2 Rendering
Bitmaps > Windows BMP 4 bits
Color Rendering > Only one set of text, antialias and outline colors
4:3 correction
6.3 Timing
FPS In: 29.97 (assuming NTSC DVD)
Check Drop frame
6.4 Styles
Select "Default" > Edit style
Bottom margin: 60 (Good for both 4:3 and 16:9 letterboxed. Splits a 2-line 16-point subtitle nicely across the picture and black matte)
(DVDSubEdit will want that bottom border higher to be "safe". Ignore it for modern screens)
Left margin: 40
Right margin: 40
Font: Aerial
Regular, Size 16 for narration
Italic, Size 16 for label-style subtitles (e.g. species names and dive sites in my projects)
Text color: Ignore this, it will be set later in a CLUT (color look up table)
Outline color: Ignore this, it will be set later in a CLUT
Outline size: 2
Antialias Threshold 1: 140
6.5 Edit & Preview to check
6.6 Generate

6.7 For widescreen DVDs, a narrowed stream is required that will be stretched to fill a 16:9 display (along with the anamorphic video)
Set files: Output script e.g. MaestroSBT/English16-9/English16-9.sst
Rendering: 16:9 correction
Bottom margin 60
Left margin 120 (40 if you've already split the lines in DVDA or a text editor)
Right margin 120 (40 if you've already split the lines in DVDA or a text editor)
Antialias threshold 1: 140
Font: Aerial
Regular, Size 18 for narration (Hollywood DVDs seem to be more like the default 20 bold but those are BIG)
Italic, Size 16 for labels (e.g. species names and dive sites in my projects)
Extra character spacing:
0 for regular text
1 for italics

7. PgcDemux
Input IFO: Select the IFO corresponding to the VOB containing the subtitles. This will probably the first big VOB. e.g. patched/VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_0.IFO
Outpt Folder: "demuxed" folder
Check "Demux video stream"
Uncheck "Create Logfile"

8. MuxMan 0.16.8 (downloaded as "trial version")
Video: demuxed/VideoFile.m2v
Segment video preference: NTSC 720x480, 16:9 Only Letterbox
Audio: e.g. demuxed/AudioFile_80.ac3
Language: English en
Stream 1: MaestroSBT/English16-9/English16-9.sst
Wide (Click Wide before entering language and ignore red warning for now)
Language: English en
Stream 2: MaestroSBT/English4-3/English4-3.sst (need to click in the white field then click the up-arrow to activate "2". It's flaky)
LB (it will pair itself in track 1 with the 16:9 stream)
Language: English en
Stream 3: MaestroSBT/French16-9/French16-9.sst (or whatever your 2nd subtitle stream is called, if you have one)
Wide (ignore red warning for now)
Language: French fr
Stream 4: MaestroSBT/French4-3/French4-3.sst
LB (it will pair itself in track 2 with the 16:9 stream)
Language: French fr
Stream 5: etc. etc...
File > Import Chapter > demuxed/Celltimes.txt (number of scenes will show at the bottom)
Destination folder: "remuxed"
Start. Say OK to create VIDEO_TS
Wait while it remuxes

9. VobBlanker
Input Video Manager: "patched/VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.IFO"
Output Folder: "reauthored/VIDEO_TS/"
Select main movie VOB file (e.g. VTS_02_*.VOB)
PCGs in Selected TitleSet:
Select "01 OneSeq"
Replace > "remuxed/VIDEO_TS/VTS_01_0.IFO"

10. PcgEdit
Open "reauthored" folder
In left pane, double click on line containing TTN1 for affected title
Click 1st colour swatch and change to subtitle text anti-aliasing colour. I use RGB 180/180/180
Click 2nd colour swatch and change to subtitle text colour. I use RGB 230/230/230.
Click 3rd colour swatch and change to subtitle text outline colour. I use RGB 20/20/20.
Delete reauthored/VIDEO_TS/PgcEdit_backup* folders

11. DVDSubEdit
File > Open full domain > reauthored/VIDEO_TS/VTS_02_1.VOB (or whichever VOB is affected).
Subpic Color/Transparency:
Set "All pixels" to 15 with slider
Select "p" from the dropdown list and set to 0
Edit > Apply last modifications to all > check only "Apply changes to transparency" > DO IT!
File > Save all modifications

12. ImgBurn
Burn, make iso, whatever
jeremyk wrote on 11/10/2015, 8:45 PM
Oppo finally fixed this with its November 6 update to the BDP-103 firmware.

Hooray, at last.
Koening wrote on 4/4/2023, 2:37 AM