Watch movies with subtitles on Xbox 360

xbox 360 movies

Xbox 360 multimedia capabilities are very good, with streaming functions available not only for Windows systems (see here for streaming movies using Ubuntu).

There is a caveat though, the lack of subtitles functionality for movies, and the only way to use them is to hard-sub (encoding the movie again applying subtitles on it).

Several tools are available for every operating system, but the easiest one I use is mencoder (part of the MPlayer project), a command line tool for encoding audio and video files.

Mencoder is available in almost every Linux distribution, for install on Ubuntu just type:

sudo apt-get install mencoder

I encode each movie in Xvid format (which Xbox is capable of play), with this command:

mencoder mymovie.avi -ovc xvid -oac mp3lame -xvidencopts fixed_quant=1 -sub mymovie.srt -o mymovie-encoded.avi

where obviously mymovie.avi is the original movie without subtitles, mymovie.srt is the subtitles file and mymovie-encoded.avi is the resultant output file.

terminal mencoder

The output file will be larger than the original one because I used the fixed_quant=1 option, that outputs larger files but with best quality (you can use 2 or 3 but the quality downgrades).

Encoding may be very slow on older systems, but once finished it can played as any other media…enjoy!

3 pensieri su “Watch movies with subtitles on Xbox 360

  1. You can add -subfont-text-scale number to the command line, where number is a value in range 0 – 100.
    This value represent the font as a percentage of the screen size.
    Default seems to be 5 so if you need small font you could try 3 but I didn’t tried though; in case let me know😉
    Other info here.

    Mi piace

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