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My TV can only play subtitles if they are embedded into the file (eg a MKV or hardcoded over the video).

So given a film in a format (eg MP4) and a subtitle as something like a SRT, how can I combine them into something my TV can play?

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Try HandBrake. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. it allows users to add subtitles as a part of the movie with the option to turn the subtitle on and off. Something like DVD movie subtitles.

To install HandBrake from Ubuntu PPA:

  1. In terminal window enter: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases Your system will now fetch the PPA's key.
  2. Now just update the list of software repos, including the PPA you just added, by using apt-get: sudo apt-get update
  3. Open "Ubuntu Software Center" and check your "Sound & Video" category. You can also filter results by clicking the small down-arrow on right-side of "All Software" option and select your PPA.


If you are using Karmic (9.10) or later, you can just click on "Technical details about this PPA" link on the PPA page and select your Ubuntu version. sources.list entries hence shown can be added directly to your system's software sources: System Setting > Software Sources > Other Software(Tab).

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you can even use vlc's convert/save feature to hard-sub videos. – ad33l Apr 5 '12 at 21:48
I couldn't install handbrake. I add the ppa and update, should I also add the lines frome here: to the system software source? If do, how? – yinon Apr 6 '12 at 7:47
just updated my answer, just check it. similar instructions can be found on HandBrake Releases page. – ad33l Apr 6 '12 at 13:10
Handbreak is not yet available for 12.04. Only daily non-stable snapshots. I recommend waiting a bit for it since they are fixing a couple of saving issues. – Luis Alvarado May 11 '12 at 10:31

As explained by @axel_c, you could use mkvmerge (apt-get install mkvtoolnix) to create a Matroska container and include the subtitles in the output:

mkvmerge -o output.mkv video.mp4

This does not require re-encoding, so it is pretty fast.

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you can use avidemux.

To install

sudo apt-get install avidemux

The procedure:

1.Launch avidemux.

2.Open the .avi file.

3.Select a video encoder from the pull-down menu on the left pane, where it says Video.

4.Configure the encoder by clicking the "Configure" button.

5.Add a subtitler filter. First click on the "Filters" button in the left pane (under Video).

7.To finalize the process, click Save and type in a name for the output file.

More You can use VLC

  1. Make a new folder and keep the movie file inside that folder.

  2. put the subtitle file into the folder that you have created.

  3. Rename the subtitle with the movie name and use .srt extension at the last

Read more on.

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I added them with avconv like:

avconv -i The.Hunt.For.Red.October.1990.1080p.BluRay.x264.anoXmous_.mp4 -f srt -i -c:v copy -c:a copy -c:s mov_text The.Hunt.For.Red.October.1990.1080p.BluRay.x264.anoXmous_subtitles.mp4
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protected by Community Aug 20 '15 at 2:42

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