Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Aug 18, 2013 7:42 AM by Ward Clark
Ward Clark Level 1 (40 points)

I'm having a chronic problem with DVD Player 5.4, which first appeared in earlier versions:


  1. Play a commercial DVD movie.
  2. Use Features > Subtitles to turn on subtitles.
  3. Backup to re-watch a scene to pick up a line of missed dialogue.
  4. Use Features > Subtitles to turn off the subtitles.

The movie then plays with no subtitles, except every 10-to-20 seconds a fragment of a subtitle (e.g., top or bottom half of a word or two) will flash on for a tiny fraction of a second.


The only way I've found to get the subtitles to completely disappear is to eject and reload the DVD.  It's a minor blessing DVD Player picks up where it left off.


I'm hoping someone has a trick to get DVD Player to fully disable subtitles.


-- Ward


P.S.  I'm also submitting this as formal feedback.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • basstoelpel Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the exact same problem. DVD Player 5.4 on a 2010 Mac Mini.

    Has anyone figured out a solution?

  • knucklehead23 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same problem here. Subtitles keep flickering on several DVD's, even while turned off. Any update on this (DVD Player 5.4 on SL 10.6.8)?






  • Level 1 (0 points)

    Exactly the same problem here. Some subtitles - not all - appear randomly for a fraction of a second, barely long enough to read them. This is on a commercial, 100% legitimate DVD. Can't believe this is still an issue if it was raised three months ago!

  • Sarah Condry Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having this problem with my iMac as well. Very irritating! I'm hoping someone will chime in with a solution!

  • Hippie Hugger Level 1 (0 points)

    There are FOUR places where subtitles and captioning are controlled

    1. On the features of the DVD programming, usually found in Special Features or in a section called Languages or Subtitles etc.
    2. In the DVD Player Preferences (DVD Player>Preferences>Player) Make sure the box called “Show Closed Captioning” is unchecked = off.
    3. Another place in the DVD Player Preferences (DVD Player>Preferences>DiscSetup) Make sure, “Use Disk Default” is set and not some Language.
    4. Finally, the real problem.  On the DVD player control, either the one for full-screen or the other one.  There is a button there (looks like a bunch of dashes on the mini controller and like a caption circle on the full-screen controller) and if you click and hold, it will pull out a menu where you can select OFF for subtitles/closed-captioning.  Doing it to one will fix the other.  Crazy?  Yep’!
  • Level 1 (0 points)

    Do any of these solutions address the OP's issue? That is, subtitles are not enabled for a DVD, but instead "flicker" on-screen randomly, almost like subliminal messages?


    These instructions look great for turning off subtitles altogether, but AFAIK that isn't the problem here. Or, is the issue that all these settings clash, and that they ALL need to be set to "off" to resolve this issue?

  • Ward Clark Level 1 (40 points)

    I checked out all of Hippie Hugger's settings and controls, and I adjusted a couple of my DVD Player settings.  None of this got rid of the annoying "subliminal" subtitles.


    Ejecting and reloading the DVD is the only way I've found to completely turn off subtitles.

  • Denis Smolin Level 1 (5 points)


    I had similar problem - even off, the subtitles "flicker" from time to time.

    What (propably) helps:

    I go to the folder <your user>/Application Support/DVD Player/Settings

    and deleted everything.

    After that, it seemts, that the problem is solved..

  • don from granite Level 1 (0 points)

    I have tried deleting settings, and I don't think this fixes it.  I have several commercial DVDs that do exactly this, and it starts right after the first time a "real" subtitle comes on-screen.  For example, if an English language movie has a scene where the actors speak in a foreign language, which is then shown in English as a subtitle, from then on during the movie, the subtitles flicker every few seconds even when the actors are all speaking English. 


    Then later, more foreign language is translated, and these subtitles are fully visible and readable, but the flickering goes on.


    I have not seen the flickering subtitles on DVDs that never use subtitles intentionally.

  • gruenwalt Level 1 (0 points)

    Switching subtitles on and off did not help, ejecting the dvd and reloading it did not help. With a brand new Sopranos box in hand and more than 30 dvds to go I decided to switch to VLC Player.

  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)

    Try all the Hippie Hugger recommendations, then try a pram reset ;  Power off the Mac, then power it back up holding the following keys:  Option, command, P,R (no commas) press these keys before the start chime, and continue to hold them until your hear the start chime 2 times, then release. Reboot.  See if this helps, as I have never encountered this issue.  Hope this helps:)

  • rhythmdevils Level 1 (0 points)

    I have had the same exact problem for a while now.  It only happens with some DVD's.  And it happens without changing any subtitle settings.  I never mess with the subtitles settings.  I've just watched probably 50 DVD's without this problem, and then today I have it again.  The only way I can find to get rid of it is to restart the computer, which seems to always work, but it often comes back again in the middle of the movie.  I once had to restart 2 times to make it through the movie. 


    I have another issue that relates to start-up and I'm curious if other users who have the flickering subtitle issue also have this problem.  Right after a restart, I loose my mouse speed preference settings.  After restart, the mouse moves at the fastest possible speed.  To fix it after every restart, I have to either put the computer to sleep and wake it up, at which point, it remembers my mouse speed setting and is back to normal, or I have to open the preferences and move the speed setting around- slower then back to where I want it. 


    Not sure if this is related, but I'm curious.  I don't mean to de-rail this thread. 

  • don from granite Level 1 (0 points)

    I've never seen your new issue, probably you should post to a more appropriate topic or start a new one. 


    However, on the main topic, I wonder if you read my posting on July 18 2012 in this thread, where I said for me the flickering subtitles only happens with DVDs that actually use subtitles intentionally (for example, a brief foreign language phrase translated visually in an English language film), and only after the first subtitle appears.  Is it possible that the 50 DVDs that did not do it were also not using subtitles at all?


    It seems to me that DVD Player may have some sort of automatic on/off for subtitles, and when the first one turns it on, from then on a bug of some sort allows other content (from closed captioning?) to appear briefly. 


    It's possible that some DVDs use subtitles but not closed captioning, and they may work without the flickering even if there is an occasional subtitle.

  • rhythmdevils Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I didn't mean to derail the thread, just curious if they could be related because they both seem tied to restarting the computer.  So just a feeler for those having the problem, not trying to get answers here. 


    Yes, I just had the problem trying to watch The Davinci Code, which has subtitles during some foreign language bits.  I think the flashing started about a minute before the first foreign language section, but I'm not sure there could have been a brief moment in the beginning. 


    And now that you mention it, when I have had this problem in the past, you are correct.  Restarting fixes it, but everytime there is a foreign lanugage bit in the movie, the problem comes back after this foreign language segment is over.  The subtitles are  normally presented during the foreign language part of the movie.  Then when the language goes back to english, the subtitles don't completely go away, they flash for a half second or so.  Makes the movie unwatchable. 


    So your hypothesis is a good one.  It seems there is an error in the way DVD player is displaying these "occasional" subtitles.  Or "pushed" subtitles as they are called in VLC media player.  Subtitles that appear during brief foregin language segments of native lanugage movies.  The "pushed" subtitle triggers the problem.  Restarting the computer resets it.  I


    I wound up just watching the movie on my macbookpro, which doesn't have the problem.  It's my Macpro that does.  Running 10.6.8 on both. 

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