MKV Subtitles not showing up automatically

When I’m playing MKV files from my server, here’s the steps I have to do:

  1. Make sure subtitles are enabled. Sometimes they are by default, sometimes they aren’t.

  2. I have to click the icon which changes the aspect ratio of the screen. Pressing this button kind of refreshes the screen for a second which makes the subtitles show up.

Why do I have to do step 2 every time? Is this a known issue and I’m not sure if I’m doing something else wrong but it’s an error that’s been happening for the last couple months now and I’m not really sure why.

I think it’s a Kodi bug, as I’ve noticed that files with forced subs don’t display them by default.

Have you tried setting your preferred language in Player settings ? Setting the preferred subtitle language to User Interface language ( that is English in my case ) did help for me quite a bit.

If changing your aspect ratio fixes your problems most of the time I’d guess that your TV is just displaying the subtitles off screen and when you press the aspect ratio button it switches to the correct aspect ratio and subs become visible. But I’m just guessing

I’ll try the preferred language and see if that helps.

As for the aspect ratio, the actual aspect ratio does not change when I tap the button the first time, it only refreshes the screen. Pressing the button a second time is when it starts to cycle through the aspect ratios which is why I’m not sure it’s what the issue is.

Oh okay. Do you have to go through the same steps to get the subtitles to show up?

I’ve never tried your step 2. Seems a strange thing to have to do, but I’ll try it out of curiosity.

This is how mine is configured and it works perfectly if the mkv file has had the appropriate flags set for the subtitle tracks. My workflow is to include the full subtitle track in every mkv file I create, if there are no forced subtitles then the default flag is not set, and Kodi does not show the subtitles unless I manually switch them on. For titles that do have forced substitles, I included a second track, and mark it as the default. Kodi then shows them without any intervention on my part. No difference at all from playing the original disc.

This does presume however that the mkv file has been prepared with due degree of care to these details. All of this can be done as a one-stop shop in makemkv when dealing with the source, though post-processing tools are available, depending on preference.

Yes exactly this automatisation only works if the subs are properly tagged as I pointed out in one of my early threads : Set as default settings for all media doesn't work - #25 by grahamh