a bit of a preamble:
I've been using my XBOX 360 for a few months mainly for playing videos. My desktop PC is Windows 7 Pro 64bit and at first I tried using Windows Media Center and then playback on the XBOX. I installed Shark007 video codec ( http://shark007.net/win7codecs.html
) so there was no need to pre-transcode the videos (which mainly consisted of MKVs) because it was done on the fly. No problem for me i7-980X EE.
However, the service just didn't work 100%; sometimes loading the Dashboard with all the videos hung; sometimes playing back of videos itself hung and sometimes playback didn't work at all.
I then learned about another technique, which worked without the Windows Media Center by just providing all videos from my users "Video Library" (I'm on a German system and thus don't know how the proper term in English is); I only had to ensure the videos where properly encoded.
Since I was familiar with ffmpeg from Linux, I used a Windows precompiled binary to do the work, which looks like this:
ffmpeg.exe -i input.mkv -vcodec wmv2 -acodec wmav2 -ac 2 -sameq output.wmv
As long as ffmpeg was able to convert the video, I never had any playback issues (except that it sometimes took "ages" that a video from the Library showed up on the XBOX, but that's another topic).
I realize that this is not optimal, that the wmv2 codec produces larger files then the typical h264, but for me it gets the work done well.
When I use this method to playback the videos, subtitles are never included. In fact, when I read the output of ffmpeg and understand this right, they are just ignored (thrown away) during the conversion process.
I.e.: I am not able to produce a WMV with subtitles included.
When I start my search, I get thousands of hits, but nothing which really helped me solve the problem. Typical things I found:
- XBOX 360 does not support subtitles (at all or in WMV? Nothing specific here)
- hardcode subtitles into the video ( I want to avoid this, I want to retain the option to turn off the subtitles)
- Other people asking the same question with no solution (most dating back to 2006-2008; i.e. even after the great update from M$ regarding video support).
The first point gets very often recited, however there's one thing which makes me somehow not believe it: when I'm play back the video of the XBOX, I have an option to choose a subtitle. To me this tells me it must be possible.
So I'm wondering: how to do it?
- Does the XBOX support real subtitles in general?
- Is it a problem with the WMV container format? Do I need another one?
The reason I choose WMV container was pragmatic: after trying around, it was the first set of options which produces a working video for me.
- Is ffmpeg the right tool to include them?
I know I can use the option "-scodec copy" but it doesn't work, giving me "Could not write header for output file #0 (incorrect codec parameters ?)".
- Do they need to be part of the container or are external files supported?
Hopefully this attempt for finding a solution will be successful ...
thanks in advance,