Subtitle, Where and How to Install

There are Two Forms of Subtitles, Open and Closed. Here’s a brief description that will clear the confusion for those who don’t understand why they can/can not remove Subs from their Stream.
  • Open subtitles are ‘open to all’ and cannot be turned off by the viewer.
  • Closed subtitles are designed for a certain group of viewers, and can usually be turned on/off or selected by the viewer – examples being teletext pages, US Closed captions, DVB Bitmap subtitles, DVD/Blu-ray subtitles.

Subtitle can appear in one of 3 types:

  1. Hard (also known as hardsubs or open subtitles). The subtitle text is irreversibly merged in original video frames, and so no special equipment or software is required for playback. However, these subtitles cannot be turned off unless the original video is also included in the distribution as they are now part of the original frame, and thus it is impossible to have several variants of subtitling, such as in multiple languages.
  2. Prerendered (also known as closed) subtitles are separate video frames that are overlaid on the original video stream while playing. Prerendered subtitles are used on DVD and Blu-ray (though they are contained in the same file as the video stream). It is possible to turn them off or have multiple language subtitles and switch among them, but the player has to support such subtitles to display them. Also, subtitles are usually encoded as images with minimal bitrate and number of colors; they usually lack anti-aliased font rasterization. Also, changing such subtitles is hard, but special OCRsoftware, such as SubRip exists to convert such subtitles to “soft” ones.
  3. Soft (also known as softsubs or closed subtitles) are separate instructions, usually a specially marked up text with time stamps to be displayed during playback. It requires player support and, moreover, there are multiple incompatible (but usually reciprocally convertible) subtitle file formats. Softsubs are relatively easy to create and change, and thus are frequently used for fansubs. Text rendering quality can vary depending on the player, but is generally higher than prerendered subtitles. The above text was found in Wikipedia, for more information about this topic, please click here.

Installing Subtitle

There are a number of very popular sites such as OpenSubtitles, Subscene, Moviesubtitles, just to name a few. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be showing how to Install/Enable OpenSubtitles. You will need to join, don’t worry it’s free, in order to receive a Username/Password to continue. You can join from this Link. subtitle The screenshots for this article are from the Luxury Build on Kodi Krypton 17.6. The process is the slightly different with no build.
  1. Open Kodi.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Add-ons.
  4. Select Install from Repository.
  5. Scroll down to Kodi Add-on repository.
  6. Click to continue.
  7. If not using a Build, select Add-ons, Click on the “open box” icon. Continue from Step 4.
  • Select Subtitles.
  • Scroll thru the Subtitles listed and select your choice. In this case,
  • Select Install.
subtitle   Once installed, you will be returned to the previous page. Select again to Configure.  

Configuration Guide

  subtitle Select Configure to continue to the next step.   subtitle As a result of clicking configuration, a new window will appear asking for a Username and Password. Please enter the appropriate information you received when you joined using the link provided earlier. This must be done prior to continuing with this process.   subtitle Using the pop up keyboard, enter your Username and Password as directed. Do Not forget to click OK when done.        


subtitle Return to Settings and select Player. If using Kodi with no Build, select the Cog Icon. Then click on Player.   subtitle Scroll down and hover over Language. Move the cursor to the right. First of all, you will notice a rather long list of options made available. Because these are the default settings, here is a description of what each option is in case you wish to alter for your individual needs.
  • Audio – If you prefer another language other than English, you may select from here. If not, leave both options for Audio in default.
  • Subtitles
  • Preferred Subtitle Language : Sets the default subtitles when different languages are available.
  • Subtitle position on screen – Location of subtitles on the screen. This does not effect stylized subs such as SSA/ASS. Options are:
    • Fixed position (default) – Use the position defined in the video calibration screen. By default this is near the bottom of the video.
    • Above video – Place subtitles in the black area above the video when the video doesn’t fill the top and bottom parts of the screen (letterbox).
    • Below video – Place subtitles in the black area below the video when the video doesn’t fill the top and bottom parts of the screen (letterbox).
    • Top of video – Show subtitles near the top of the video.
    • Bottom of video – Show subtitles near the bottom of the video.
    • Fonts – Personal preference really, increase the size or type of font you like.

Default TV Show & Movie Service

  subtitle The rest of the list as shown above is all self explanatory. I would recommend to enable “Pause when searching for subtitles”. This will let you resume where you left off when enabling. This will be touched on a bit later. Click on Default TV show service to continue.   subtitle A new window will appear showing what services are available. If you do not see yours, select Get More to see the list. Due to installing OpenSubtitles previously it has already been placed in the list. But wait ! there are two versions ? Just over 18 months ago, OpenSubtitles changed their site and required users to join.  Select the lower option to continue. subtitle Repeat the same process for Movies as well.


  subtitle Probably one of the most under used or unknown options in Kodi is Accessibility. You may know someone or even have an Audio Disability yourself that interferes with your ability to enjoy Kodi. There is an easy solution. Select Accessibility below Language and Enable “Prefer subtitles for the hearing impaired” by clicking anywhere in the area shown above. This will allow subtitles to be Automatically appear when viewing either TV Shows or Movies.  

Downloading Subtitles While Viewing

  subtitle Open the stream you wish to view and scroll to the right to the Rectangular Icon and hover the cursor on it. Normally it will be the first icon found to the right in most builds, some are even labelled to make it easier. Click on Download to continue.   subtitle A new window will appear with a list of available subtitles for that stream. If possible, try to match the type of stream you have to what is shown in the list. Resolution, H.264/.265, etc. You’ll notice the stream has been paused as indicated in the top right corner.  


Finally, once you have made your selection, the stream will resume from where you left it. Hovering the cursor over the icon again indicates that Subtitles are now Enabled. If you prefer to not see these after opening a stream, simply follow the step above and click on Enable to Disable subtitles.

In Conclusion

Enabling subtitles or not is a personal choice. It may even be a necessity for some of us who have even a minor form of Audio Disability. Hopefully this article has helped some of you or even someone you know to enjoy your Kodi Media Player. If you have any questions please stop by the Streaming World Forum, it’s free to join.