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The Best Way to Play MKV on Roku 4 with Subtitle

The Best Way to Play MKV on Roku 4 with Subtitle

Camille Wesley No Comment

Officially, the Roku 4 supports H.264 MKV. But when someone is playing the rips of Blu-ray/DVD movie collection (MKVs with no transcoding of the audio, video, etc), some noticed that many of the MKVs were not playing (“corrupt”). Why? After a bit of investigating I narrowed this down to subtitles. When we ripped our movies, many people tended to rip all of the subtitle tracks even though they would be pretty unlikely to use most of them. The Roku Media player (at least via DLNA) is unable to handle a MKV with multiple subtitle tracks.

Roku 4 does not support DVD (VOB) and blu-ray (PGS) subtitle formats. The only subtitle format supported by Roku is the SRT subtitle format with UTF-8 character encoding. When you rip Blu-ray/DVD to MKV with multiple subtitle/audio, the subtitle format kept often is PGS that can’t be displayed on Roku 4. 

So if you want to play your MKV file on Roku 4, you have two choices: 1.  Remove extra subtitle track by using MKV editing tools. 2. Add external SRT subtitle to MKV video. I saw the method 1 in Roku forum while it didn’t provide an effective MKV editing tool to remove certain subtitle track indeed. But I know how to add external subtitle to MKV file. 

How to Add external subtitle to MKV for playing on Roku 4 with subtitle?

Part 1: Find the associated subtitle

1. You can go and find the proper subtitles in some subtitle sites. Here are several famous and reliable subtitle websites for you to get the subtitles you want for your MKV videos.

2. Perhaps, you also can extract the suitable srt subtitle from your source Blu-ray/DVD movies. You can refer to the guide: How to Extract SRT Subtitle from Blu-ray/DVD, BDMV, ISO?

Part 2: Add external SRT subtitle to MKV file

Step 1: Download Pavtube Video  Converter Ultimate on your Windows or iMedia Converter for Mac on Mac. They can help you add SRT/ASS/SSA subtitles to your MKV/AVI/MP4, etc videos.

Free download and install

Other Download:
– Pavtube old official address:
– Cnet Download:

Step 2: Run the right version app on your computer and import your MKV videos to it by clicking the “Add video” icon to import MKV video. (Snapshots are based on Windows version)

Step 3: Click “Edit” or the pencil icon  to switch to the editing interface, where you can find multiple editing functions and “Subtitle” is just one of them. Click the “Subtitle” tab and check the “Enable” box to allow you to add SRT/ASS/SSA subtitles to MKV videos. Then Click “Browse” to find and import the downloaded SRT/ASS/SSA subtitles.

Note:  Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate only supports SRT/ASS/SSA subtitles, and make sure that the subtitle file and your MKV video files are kept in the same folder sharing the same name.

Step 3: Go back to the main UI and click “Convert” to start inserting SRT subtitles to your MKV videos. If you don’t want to keep the original MKV format, just click the format bar to choose the output video format you want before conversion.

Now, test the MKV video on Roku 4. It should has subtitle displayed on the screen. 

Roku Subtitle tips

The SRT file must be external when used with MP4 and can be either external or internal when used with MKV. When using SRT subtitles, make sure your movie and the SRT file have the same name, otherwise the Roku will not know which movie it is associated with. Plex Media Server should scan your video file and automatically download the SRT subs for you. If not, you will need to download your own SRT subtitles if needed.

If you don’t want to mess with SRT subtitles, you can also embed the original subtitles from your DVD or blu-ray movies. For DVD, you can use either the MP4 or the MKV container. For blu-ray, you have to use the MKV container as PGS subtitles are not supported with MP4. Roku may never support embedded VOB and PGS subtitles, but Plex can help you by means of transcoding.

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