How To : Convert DVD subtitles to SRT format
This guide explains how you can create so-called SRT subtitles from DVDs, which enables you (with a video player app that supports it) to play your movies with and without subtitles, with proper scaling.
* A DVD with subtitles.
* DVD Catalyst 4 software, installed on your computer (free trial version download here or purchase full versionhere).
* A computer with a DVD drive, running Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
DVD Catalyst 4 is currently Windows-only, there is currently no MAC OS X version available
* SubtitleEdit software, installed on your computer, freely available from here.
for this guide I used the 3.3.1 version
Use the download links above to install the required software on your computer.
In order to be able to do something with DVD subtitles, we need to export them from the DVD first.
By default, DVD Catalyst includes the subtitles from a DVD in the actual video part of a movie file. To be able to change the subtitles, we need to make a small settings change.
* Start DVD Catalyst 4 using the shortcut on your desktop.
* Enable “Power User” at the bottom right, next to the facebook/google+ buttons.
* Go into Global Settings (top left, under the cat-eyes) and select the Language tab on the right side.
* In there, enable “Export DVD Subtitles”.
Now tap on Hide Settings (top left, under the eyes) to exit out of here.
Now insert your DVD, and in DVD Catalyst 4, enable the subtitles for the movie/tv episode(s):
and start a conversion of the DVD.
After the conversion is complete, you end up with 3 files instead of just 1.
Of course you end up with the movie file, but along with it you will find a .sub file, which contains the DVD subtitles, and a .idx file, which determines when the subtitles need to be displayed in the movie.
If you have VLC (www.videolan.org) installed on your computer, you can watch the movie with and without the exported subtitles:
Convert SUB IDX to SRT.
Unfortunately, when it comes to video player apps on tablets and smartphones, the DVD subtitle format isn’t as commonly supported. The SRT subtitle format is a lot more common, but the format is quite different.
DVD subtitles are “image-based”, meaning rather than text itself, the subtitles are pictures of the text instead.
SRT subtitles are “text-based”, meaning, they work like text in a document you type in Word for example, and enables you to change the font, size, bold, italic etc.
To convert DVD subtitles to SRT subtitles, the subtitles need to be converted using OCR software. This process, similar as what programs like Omnipage do when you use a scanner to scan a document in your computer, looks at the image, and compares portions of the image to images it knows as being text.
To convert our DVD subtitles, we can use a free program called SubtitleEdit.
If you followed the instructions above, you should have installed it already.
Use the shortcut to start the program:
The program looks a little complicated, but it is quite easy to use though.
However, the process is a bit hands-on, and can be a bit time intensive.
In the top-menu of SubtitleEdit, select File > Open, and browse to where you stored your movie and subtitle files, and select the .sub file.
and click Open and Yes on the import question.
SubtitleEdit will display the subtitles. If they are a bit hard to read (as in my screenshot), you can use the settings at the top right to change it a bit.
These settings work well for me:
Now tap on the Start OCR button at the bottom right.
and it will start the process.
This is hands-on. It tries to recognize characters in the subtitle images, and if it sees something it doesn’t know, it will ask you for the character.
The first time, it does this a lot, but the more you use it, the more it will recognize by itself, so push through this and it will become easier.
It will ask for each character it finds, and the next time that character (in the same case) shows up, it will recognize it and skip it.
In the above screenshot, it wants to know what the image is, in this case a capital Y.
For your first movie, it will basically asks your input for each character it finds in the alphabet, twice. Lower and Upper case, and of course numbers.
After those are done, it will remember them for the next movie, so only in some situations does it need your input again.
After the process is complete, you end up with the subtitles in text-format.
The SubtitleEdit (hence its name) enables you to make some changes and such, but for our needs, just save the new subtitle file using File > Save in the top menu.
It is best to save it in the same location as your movie, since thats where we need it anyway.
Now we have the movie file, the .sub and .idx file and our newly created .srt file.
Copy it over to your device, and if you use a video player with support for subtitles such as MovieGallery for Android (MovieGallery 2 or higher),
(MovieGallery on Galaxy Nexus with SRT subtitles)
(MovieGallery on NOOK HD+ with SRT subtitles)
About DVD Catalyst 4
DVD Catalyst 4 converts your movie and TV show collection (DVD, AVI, MKV, ISO etc) to great quality video files that are perfectly optimized to play on portable devices.
Convert DVDs with a single click of the button, convert 1 or 100 video files in batch-mode by using Drag & Drop, remove black bars, include subtitles or closed captions.
It includes pre-configured device profiles for 1000s of devices, including the latest Apple devices (iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPhone 5) Barnes & Noble NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9, Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and much much more.
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