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Posted by Donna Peng - Contact Author

Why Do Old Movies on DVDs Have No Subtitles? What to Do?

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I have a few old DVDs from Denmark (I'm in the USA). They will play, but the subtitles won't show up even though the subtitle drop down menu on my DVD player shows it's set to show English subtitles. I just can't understand anything being said. Not all old discs are subtitled or closed captioned. Why do some classic TV shows and movies on DVDs not have subtitles? What to do if the old DVD has subtitles but won't display the sub?

Old DVDs Have No Subtitles

Direct Fix to Old DVDs Not Showing up Subtitles or Closed Caption

Resort to a DVD copy software such as WinX DVD Ripper Platinum to convert your old movies/TV shows on DVDs to hard drive, flash drive or USB etc. for playback on computer, TV, mobile devices with selected subtitles or closed caption. If your DVDs have no subtitles, the program can add external subtitles to DVDs with a few clicks.

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum - Copy DVDs to MP4 etc. with subtitles you select.

  • Digitize old DVDs to MP4, MOV, MKV, etc. with the subtitle track you choose.
  • Add external subtitles to your classic movies/TV shows on DVDs easily during processing.
  • Support all kinds of DVDs, including classic movies, TV shows, scratched DVDs, workout DVDs, etc.
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Download WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for Windows to play DVDs with subtitles

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Add Subtitles to DVDs

Useful Tutorials: Guide to adding external subs to classic movies on DVDs.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software does not advocate ripping commercial/rental DVDs for any illegal purpose. You're suggested to refer to the DVD copyright laws in your country before doing so.

There's No Subtitle on Your Old DVDs for Theses Reasons

All films, clips, and slides must be subtitled or captioned in accordance with Federal Law and University policy. However, not all DVDs have subtitles, particularly older DVDs and VHS tapes that are often not captioned owning to tech issue.

Music DVDs may don't have subtitles because copyright permissions required to reproduce the lyrics on-screen as a subtitle track.

Some foreign dialogue on DVD movie is designed with no subtitle deliberately to make viewer fell a similar sense of incomprehension that the character on the movie feels.

The absence of subtitles on old DVD movies or old TV shows on DVD is due to the cost of subtitling. Some distributors released DVDs with no subtitles, not even a menu. It is estimated that the cost of subtitling would be covered by 20 extra sales.

Verify Old DVD Playback Subtitle Settings If the Sub Won't Display

Check if you've turned subtitles on. Your DVD player remote should include a subtitle button. Subtitles can be turned on or off by pushing the SUBTITLE button on the remote. When the DVD is loading, press Top or Pop up Menu, and select the titles on the DVD and click on Subtitles. You can also click on Subtitles in the DVD Player Settings. Note that make sure the classic movies or TV shows on DVD have subtitles. Check more fixes to DVD subtitles not showing up on TV.

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author - Donna Peng

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Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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