Better media player for subtitles?
September 18, 2008 3:25 AM   Subscribe

Windows Media Player and Center in Vista suck at subtitles for the old b&w foreign flicks I watch. Subtitles are white and get washed out when the picture is white. Is there a hack or some other media player which will render the subtitles better (outlined or in yellow). (FYI: subtitles for these films show up great on my Sony DVD player.)
posted by keith0718 to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Media Player Classic seems
to handle subtitles better than Windows Media Player. It also has more features if you dig down through the menus. I haven't used it a lot but I noticed a big difference compared to WMP. Hope that helps.
posted by archaic at 3:40 AM on September 18, 2008

PowerDVD came with my computer (it's apparently not cheap) and has been excellent for all my DVDs, including foreign/subtitled/b&w movies.

As for free, Media Player Classic plays just about any media with zero hassle and has very nice subtitles, white with black outlines. I just tried it with my Bande รก part DVD; beautiful.
posted by carsonb at 3:54 AM on September 18, 2008

Best answer: Media Player Classic is indeed excellent. Also worth trying are MPlayer (with the MPUI front end) and VLC Media Player.
posted by flabdablet at 4:23 AM on September 18, 2008

Media Player Classic is great for displaying subtitles but has a few quirks that are worth noting. For starters, to display subtitles that aren't part of the video stream itself, Media Player Classic must use a Video Mixing Renderer rather than another display method - Under the "View" Menu, selection "Options" and then "Output" and set Directshow video to "VMR9 (renderless)" and both Quicktime and Real Media to "DirectX 9". Set "VMR 7/9 renderless and DirectX 7/9 settings" to "Use texture surfaces and render video in 3D" and check the box for VMR9 Mixer mode.

Under the "Subtitles" menu option under "Options", set your "Maximum texture resolution" to at least 800x600 (default) so your subs look smooth. "Default style" and "Database" need no tweaking except for your preferences.

To access the subtitle themselves during playback, you can either go to "Play" and then to the "Subtitles" sub-menu and select your option or to to "Navigate" and then to the "Subtitle language" sub-menu and select your option (depending on the type of media playing). If you're using Haali's Matroska Splitter (a separate Directshow filter), you can also get to them by right-clicking the tray icon.

If you're playing back a VOB dumped from DVD, you can only access subtitles by going to "Play" and then to "Filters" and from there selecting the name of your media source and which subtitle stream you want to display. DVD subs in VOB files will often desynchronize; you can force them to resync by seeking anywhere in the video stream.

Also, to clear up some confusion: Media Player Classic lacks a lot of Directshow filters that you may need (E.g., DivX, XviD, H.264), all of which can be replaced by the latest ffdshow tryouts nightly build. Media Player Classic Home Cinema (MPCHC) bundles a number of decoders (e.g., H.264, VC1, etc.) into the Media Player Classic interface but is a separate project.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:42 AM on September 18, 2008

I do not think Media Player Classic is compatible with Vista.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2008

Use VLC:

I haven't met a media file that it won't play, there are TONS of options for subtitles as well.

Overall, a great piece of software. And free.
posted by StandardObfuscatingProcedure at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2008

I do not think Media Player Classic is compatible with Vista.

Completely false. MPC has worked very well for me on Vista and I haven't seen anyone else reporting problems on the Doom9 forums.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:38 AM on September 18, 2008

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