[vdr] Burning DVB (non-Teletext) subtitles to the video prior to editing and transcoding

Petri Helin phelin at googlemail.com
Sat Jul 14 12:52:08 CEST 2007

Samuli Seppänen wrote:
> I did not find anything definite about this subject from LinuxTV wiki, mailing list archives or google, so here it comes. Please point me to a previous thread if there is one - I did check the mailinglist archives for the last 12 months or so.
> Ok, so I'm using VDR as the software for my dedicated VDR box - see http://users.utu.fi/sjsepp/gentoo_vdr/gentoo_vdr.html for more information. There are some recordings that I like to archive. The process which I use currently is like this:
> 1. Fix / demultiplex the recordings with ProjectX
> 2. Multiplex the recordings with mplex
> 3. Edit and transcode the videos (to xvid) with Avidemux
> Now this works just fine for those recordings that don't have separate subtitles. Here in Finland we do have separate subtitles on some channels. The subtitles are not s.c. teletext subtitles, but "normal" dvb subtitles. VDR can record these just fine and ProjectX can extract them as well. The files ProjectX creates for the subtitles are .sup and .sup.IFO.  I tried selecting the subtitle export format in ProjectX, but it did not seem to have any effect - I guess it's only valid for teletext subtitles. The DVB subtitles don't seem to be that well supported, so I can't edit the recordings at all unless I want to break the timings in the subtitle files.
> So I was thinking of a couple of approaches:
> - Convert the subtitles to some other (bitmap) format (dvd subtitles, for example) which is better supported and which the editing software (avidemux) can understand
> - Converting the subtitles as above plus streaming them IN the video stream with vlc (I guess this is possible?)
> - Burning the subtitles into the video stream prior to editing and transcoding with avidemux - this is what I'd prefer
> Could someone point me to the right direction - I don't really care how to get to my goal, as long as I get there. 
> All guides I've found make use of Windows programs, which do work in Wine at least to a degree. I'd rather do this 100% natively in Linux, as I haven't got any Windows boxes around.
> Best regards to all,
> Samuli Seppänen

What you could do is take a recent enough ProjectX cvs which has support 
  for exporting dvb-subtitles in Vobsub format. Then just demux the 
video, audio and subtitles with projectx, encode video and audio with 
your preferred method and combine video, audio and subtitles in to a 
Matroska envelope.

To get the right subtitles in right format, ensure that your 
ProjectX.ini file contains these definitions (PageId=1 makes sure you 
select the finnish subtitles in case there are more than one subtitle 
stream present):


And, since you speak finnish, I'd point you to www.linuxtv.fi, which 
contains relevant information in finnish (e.g. 


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