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Subtitles are the text or graphics overlayed on top of video playback. They are commonly used for foreign language films.

JRiver has the premiere subtitle engine.


  • Higher drawing quality than other existing solutions
  • Support for a wide range of formats
  • Works with LAV CUVID
  • Works with madVR exclusive using madshi's custom overlay rendering system
  • Works with conversion for Android phones (Gizmo) and DLNA devices
  • Supports customization of placement, fonts, delay, sizing, and more


Here are two 100% crops of a Blu-ray showing subtitles with ffdshow (system used in many players and older versions of JRiver), and with the JRiver subtitle engine.  Notice the sharpness of the subtitles and the colored ghosting around the edges of the ffdshow version.

ffdshow subtitles:

JRiver subtitles:

Selecting Subtitles

You can set subtitles in one of following ways:

  • If a menu exists (DVD), you can use it. At this time, Blu-ray playback has no menu.
  • While viewing a movie, you can use the OSD (On Screen Display). The controls that operate this are the arrow keys on a remote or a keyboard. Use up arrow or down arrow to move through the available settings, and left or right arrow to change them.
  • While viewing a movie, right-click and use the 'Subtitles' menu.

Forced subtitles will show subtitles only when the language used is different from the sound track. For example, if the movie is in English, but a few words are spoken in Russian, subtitles will appear only with the Russian.

Unfortunately, many Blu-ray disks do not "mark" forced subtitles and hence MC is unable to automatically detect them. On such disks, the "forced subtitles" are listed as completely separate subtitle stream and are normally towards the bottom of the list of available subtitles. In such cases you will need to select them manually. Once you have selected the correct subtitle stream, MC will remember this selection and use it then next time.

You can configure more advanced subtitle options in Options > Video.

Technical Details

Supported Embedded Subtitle Formats

  • PGS subtitles (used by Blu-ray)
  • EVOB subtitles (used by HD-DVD, etc.)
  • VOB subtitles (used by DVD)
  • SSA / ASS subtitles (used by MKV, etc.) [support for many animation / karaoke features, but not all]
  • Text subtitles (used in MKV, etc.)
  • DVB subtitles (used in television in much of the world)

Supported Sidecar Subtitle Formats

  • SRT
  • IDX+SUB (VOB format)
  • SUB (MicroDVD format)
  • SAMI subtitles
  • SSA / ASS subtitles

Supported Video Decoders

  • Works with all video decoders

Supported Renderers

  • madVR (uses custom madVR overlay system so that subtitles work nicely with exclusive mode)
  • EVR
  • VMR 9

Render Quality

  • madVR: pixel-perfect rendering
  • EVR: pixel-perfect rendering
  • VMR 9: rendering can be resized or decimated to a lower quality depending on the source video and hardware

Sidecar naming rules

Sidecar subtitle files must start with the same name as the video filename.  They can optionally contain any suffix to describe the language, etc.  Then they must be terminated with a known extension like .srt or .sub.

Another way to say this is that subtitles must use the convention, [Name]*.[Extension] where * is an identifier (or empty).

You can also place the subtitle files in a subfolder.  The folder must be named 'Sub', 'Subs', 'Subtitle' or 'Subtitles'.  The subtitle file itself must use the same naming rule [Name]*.[Extension]

Additional features

  • Works with JRiver video encoder for streaming to Android phones with Gizmo, streaming to DLNA devices, etc.
  • Supports sizing and shifting (global size option in Options > Video, per-video settings available by right-clicking a playing video and using the 'Subtitle' menu)
  • Subtitle selection is remembered between plays (for both internal and sidecar subtitles)


Introduction of the subtitle engine:

Selecting subtitles: